Developer Fatshark's excellent four-player co-operative rat-smasher Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is currently free to play on Steam, and will remain so until Monday, September 3rd.

Vermintide 2, for the uninitiated, plays out a little like Valve's classic Left 4 Dead series, albeit with particularly brutal combat, and a bunch of horrifyingly malevolent rat people to maim instead of zombies.

In Vermintide, teams of four players - choosing from one of five distinct heroes, each offering three possible "career" classes - battle it out in a relentless assault of sword swings, axe plunges, whistling arrows, magic, and bullets. However, careful coordination is required to fend off the Skaven hordes, scour stages for reward-boosting items, and live to see another day.

Developer Fatshark's sequel introduces a new, distinctly less rat-like enemy faction - Rotbloods - as well as a host of reworked mechanics. These, among other things, are designed to help reduce the first game's often exhausting grind, opening up the experience by making experimentation with different weapons and gear much more viable.

The first Vermintide (the rather clumsily titled Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide) released in 2015 and was deemed to be good; when Vermintide 2 launched earlier this year, Eurogamer's Johnny Chiodini proclaimed it to be very good.

"Vermintide 2 is a sequel done right," he said, "It's not overly ambitious or outlandish, instead choosing to build smartly on the solid foundations of its predecessor. New players will find a varied, exciting cooperative melee game - returning players will find the same well honed action, now free of many of the drawbacks of the original." Cue a shiny Recommended award.

If any of this appeals, Vermintide 2's free Steam weekend - which coincides with the release the new Shadows Over Bogenhafen DLC - is happening right now and ends on Monday, September 3rd. And should you be sufficiently smitten after your experience, there's 50% off Vermintide 2 for the duration of the event, meaning you can purchase it for a mere 11.89.

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Matt Wales

Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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