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Review: Vermintide 2 Sees Keriliian Reborn as a Sister of the Thorn

Screenshot: Sister of Thorn career, Warhammer: Vermintide II

As the world crumbles around the Ubersreik Five (or four, it doesn’t matter) the elf Kerillian has been seeking the aid of Lileath, but without a response. In an act of desperation or foolishness, Kerillian leaves the safety Taal’s Horn keep and her companions, and sets off on a journey of rediscovery.  When she returns, she’s born anew as a Sister of the Thorn.  Thanks to her new patron, Ariel, Kerillian has access to new weapons and an array of new abilities—and she’s never been deadlier.

The Sister of the Thorn career is the fourth and presumably final career for the elf Kerillian in the first person action game Warhammer: Vermintide 2. She joins Kruber and Bardin in getting their fourth careers, with Sienna and Saltzpyre waiting for their turn—presumably before the End Times finishes off the Fantasy Warhammer world. And while I really enjoyed Kruber’s Grail Knight career, and am still meaning to do more Bardin Engineer runs, I think Kerillian’s career is one of the most exciting—and most overpowered.

Screenshot: Sister of Thorn career, Warhammer: Vermintide II

Usually when a new career drops, it’s an excuse to fire Vermintide 2 back up. It’s a game I’ve been playing since release, and I’ve dragged multiple groups of friends back with me into Helmgart and the rest of Vermintide 2 environs dozens of times. But this time around a new career dropped while we were actively playing around in Vermintide 2’s recently released Chaos Wastes expansion—and I have to say, it feels like Kerillian’s new career is almost tailor made to excel in the Chaos Wastes.

The Sister of the Thorn career has the capacity for insane damage output, and I’m not saying that lightly. One of her new abilities, Radiance, can be configured in such a way to cause absolute destruction, with its generic description of ‘combat potency’ being a gross understatement. I’m not exactly thrilled with the Sister of the Thorn’s career ability in most of its forms, however. Kerillian can now create a hedgerow that has the ability to block enemies—including incoming Ratling Gun bullets and Flame Rat fire—but it can also be annoying for your teammates if not used in a clever way, since it can block them, as well. The other option for her career ability is a straight damage burst of thorns from the ground, which works in great synergy with her passives and other talents—especially if you build her to bleed enemies, and do more damage to enemies that she bleeds. But combat potency is the real draw, and even though it’s possible to build Sister of the Thorns Kerillian without it, it’s a shame if you do.

Screenshot: Sister of Thorn career, Vermintide II

Kerillian’s also got a couple of new weapons to play with now that she’s a Sister of the Thorn. She gets a staff that works a bit like Sienna’s staves. If you use the staff too frequently, there is an “overheat” style mechanic that will be familiar to anyone who plays as Sienna with her flaming magic. The staff has two modes: one where you shoot projectiles, and another where you levitate enemies in the air where they flail helplessly. This is both amusing, and helpful—though seems like an extra step where most career abilities can just kill the enemy in question. That’s why I like Kerillian’s other new weapon: the javelin. Her javelin works a bit like Bardin’s throwing axes, but with a whole lot more range, and penetration. Like Bardin’s axes, Kerillian’s javelins can be “recalled” to her, giving her infinite ammo with them. Of course, you can always choose to wield a bow even as a Sister of the Thorn—but I definitely suggest checking out her new weapons.

You have two options while getting the Sister of the Thorn career for Kerillian: buy the base career, or pay a little extra and get the optional cosmetics. These cosmetics are unlocked for you immediately after purchase—you don’t have to hunt for them in levels—and add a bit of visual customization to Kerillian, without any other benefits.

Screenshot: Sister of Thorn career, Vermintide II

Sister of the Thorn is a great addition to Vermintide 2, at the perfect time. Most people are probably playing around in the Chaos Wastes with its rogue-lite style gameplay, and boons that can create incredible synergy. The Sister of the Thorn career can benefit greatly from certain boons—especially those that are activated on critical hits, since you can make Radiance guarantee the next three hits be critical hits. I can’t stress this enough: it’s an absolute blast to run around as a fully buffed up Sister of the Thorn Kerillian in the Chaos Wastes.

I think every time a new career for Vermintide 2 comes out, I wax on and on about how fun it is. Sister of the Thorn is different, however. She genuinely feels overpowered, but in an incredibly fun way. Her actual career skill is a little underwhelming, but her potential for damage output is insane—especially when paired up with some abilities you can acquire in the free Chaos Wastes expansion.

 

Kerillian’s Sister of the Thorn career is available now in Warhammer: Vermintide 2 on PC and Xbox.

 

 

 

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