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Orcs Must Die! 2 Review

Alex Cocilova | Aug. 10, 2012
If you've never played Robot Entertainment’s game Orcs Must Die! for the PC and Xbox Live Arcade (released October 12 and October 5, 2011) then you missed out on some fun orc slaying comedy.

If you've never played Robot Entertainments game Orcs Must Die! for the PC and Xbox Live Arcade (released October 12 and October 5, 2011) then you missed out on some fun orc slaying comedy.

It's basically the product of a marriage between a third-person shooter and a tower defense game, a third-person combat game that basically throws hordes of orcs and other monsters at you as they try to get into a "Rift." Your job is to stop them, by any hilariously gruesome means necessary.

Luckily, Orcs Must Die! 2 (released July 30, 2012) keeps that same fun and simple gameplay while offering a lot more content to make the $14.99 price tag more than worth it. It's only for the PC and can be purchased on Steam, Gamersgate and Gamestop's Impulse service.

Collect orc skulls by successfully completing levels to unlock new traps, weapons, gear and upgrades. Nearly everything (traps, weapons, trinkets) in the game has one standard upgrade, a special upgrade and a choice between two perks that can drastically change how that item should be used. For instance, arrow walls can be upgraded three times to do additional damage. Then you can pay for one of the unique upgrades: arrows will sometimes light enemies on fire or arrows will sometimes reduce movement speed. Finally the special upgrade allows the arrow walls to be placed on ceilings. When over 50 traps, weapons and other utilities taking advantage of this, the strategic possibilities seem nearly endless.

The story is a thin thread that strings the game along but isn't really necessary. Basically, strongholds were built to protect the Rifts, which connect the world of the orcs to the human world. War Mages were trained to be humanity's protectors and orc killers; you play as the last remaining member of the order, who is also described as the worst War Mage ever. Go figure. Spoiler alert from the first game: through the game you discover a rogue war mage controlling the orcs to attack the strongholds and take absolute power. You end up thwarting her plans and the orcs turn on her. Orcs Must Die! 2 picks up from there as a small, weak Rift is opened and the rogue war mage escapes through, only to find the hero and a world for the worse because the Rifts were closed.

Orcs Must Die! 2 has two characters to play as, and while the campaign is identical for both, the characters are unique enough to warrant multiple play-throughs. Choose between the War Mage, the original hero from the first game, or the Sorceress, the defeated rogue mage of the first game. While he uses a shotgun or crossbow to take on his foes, she uses a wand that zaps or charms (a mind control spell) the hordes. Many of the traps are shared, but there are a few that are unique to the character.


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