Review: Orcs Must Die!

by

Tower defense genre seems to be in a hype lately with Orcs Must Die! and Dungeon Defenders. That is all good, it’s a nice refreshment from the current trend in videogames.
This game is a fine example of how indie developers are the source of some of the most fun and entertaining titles in the most recent times, and with Orcs Must Die! The developers from Robot Entertainment truly deliver tons of fun to the players!


Story
A Grand Wizard is the guardian of the dimensional rifts, he has slayed thousands of orcs and dies by sliping on Kobolt blood, cracked his head open, dies and now his apprentice must defend the rifts from the hordes of Orcs. As the master dies he realizes the world is doomed.
Geez master… Thanks for the vote of confidence! So yes; you the apprentice, a War Mage, and one of the last members of the order to defend the fortress and the rifts, from the never ending attacks of the Orcs!

Orcs Must Die!

Prepare your defenses, the horde is coming!

Gameplay
Orcs Must Die is a tower defense game with a good mix of hack and slash, and it works like a charm! You can use a sword staff or a crossbow to fight. While the sword staff is powerful and offers a nice AoE damage, personally i think the crossbow is a much better choice, not as powerful as the sword staff, but keeps you away and safe from the orcs, plus you can get points by performing headshots.

Now lets go to the even more fun part shall we? The traps! So what have we got to play with?
Floor Traps: these tar like pits slow the enemies, allowing other traps to reset and kill more orcs, also good if you decide to melee with your sword staff!
Spike Traps: tons of spikes come out of the floor stabbing orcs in an instant. One of the first traps at your disposal and a powerful trap.
Spring Traps: these do not damage the orcs but send them flying away, use them wisely to make orcs fall into the pits of acid in the fortress.
Arrow Walls: these traps fire tons of arrows, sending orcs to oblivion! You place these on walls and using them properly can make the difference between defeat and victory. Used in conjunction with Floor Traps it’s a killer combo!
Barrel Bombs: placing these and later making them explode to kill a lot of enemies in a single explosion, not bad but i barely used them.
Barricades: self explanatory, they block the path and force enemies to move in a different direction. A good way to use them is in conjunction with the Spring Traps, so orcs are forced to walk right into it and then fall into the pits.
Guardian Archers: not a trap but you can summon archers to help you defend the fortress, they cannot move from the place you summoned them, look at these as if they were attack towers if you want. You need to keep them alive as they can’t defend from orcs if they get near them.
Other traps include Blade Traps, Steam Traps, Push Traps and more, but i will not spoil them all for you, that wouldn’t be fun, right?

Traps can also be upgraded, but upgrading traps does not work the same like in Defense Grid or Dungeon Defenders (that you can upgrade traps while you fight). After each level is completed you earn skulls, you can earn from one to five depending how good was your defense, and then use such skulls to buy upgrades for your traps.
You can also use magic like the Wind belt to send enemies flying away, cool to throw orcs into the pits, Flame Bracers and a Snow Amulet.

There is not a unique way to get a victory, the amount of traps let you use your creativity and imagination, to beat each level in very different and unique ways. Levels are creative, and as you advance the defense becomes more complicated, as you have to defend 2 different areas at the same time. It can be hectic and challenging! Getting a victory feels rewarding in the most challenging levels. Nightmare mode… well, just wait to see it!

Orcs Must Die!

Send these pesky monsters flying into the pits!

Downside
As much as i liked this orc killing fest, there was a major letdown and that is the lack of co-op or multiplayer. A game like this will benefit tremendously if you could play it with friends. I dont know, maybe an expansion or DLC specifically for co-op could be created?
The obvious comparison would be Dungeon Defenders, the awesome mayhem it is to play with friends or people online. It’s a missing element in Orcs Must Die! We can only hope Orcs Must Die! will have a simialr feature in the near future.
It is just me or some Orcs don’t die when they fall into the pits? Probably was a problem on my end or a bug, not sure really.
Probably a bit repetitive but hey, it is a tower defense game and that is common for the genre.

Orcs Must Die!

War Mage: oh crap… dont tell me, they are behind me right?

Extras
Oh hell yeah! There are two DLC packs for the game, the first one named The Artifacts of Power including new weapons and traps. Vampiric Gauntlets, The Alchemist’s Satchel and The Shock Zapper.

Overall
Orcs Must Die! Is a game any tower defense fan must have in their collection, definitely a must buy! A title that offers countless hours of pure gameplay awesomeness.
Available for the Xbox Live for 1200 Microsoft Points and Steam for $14.99. Not a bad price for a game like this. If you want to see more of the game check out this fantastic interactive video the developers uploaded to Youtube.

We give the game a 9 out of 10!

~Mario