Orcs Must Die! - Friv Online Games Review

When I reviewed Space Marine a few weeks back, I thought I’d had my share of Orc-slaying for the considerable future. However, with the release of Robot Entertainment’s Orcs Must Die!, I’ve discovered that one can never slay two many green beasts — and this time around it’s been just as enjoyable. In fact, I may even go as far as to say it’s an even more enjoyable experience.

With Orcs Must Die!, Robot Entertainment have taken their strategical roots that were attained with titles such as Age of Empires and Halo Wars and added in a third-person viewpoint, creating what they’ve dubbed an ‘action-strategy’ game. Which is a pretty good explanation of what they’ve delivered. The player takes control of a War Mage — who rather comically doesn’t look as frightening as he sounds — as a member of ‘The Order’ his job is to defend the magical rifts of another realm from ‘The Mob’. You guessed it, they’re the grumpy, apple-coloured ones.

Loads to unlock...
They’ll be busting down the doors of the game’s 24 fortresses (or levels) in an attempt to enter a gateway into the rifts. A combination of weapons, spells and traps is the War Mage’s method of stopping them. Orcs attack in waves, with a little breather in between to set new traps and such. This is, of course, is all after an initial setup period that gives time have a look around the map and setup traps or funnel enemies into the places most suited to bring about their demise. Allow too many Orcs through or let Mr. War Mage die and it’s ‘try again’ time. The general gameplay really is a refreshing mix of third-person shooting, hacking, slashing, using MMO like abilities or spells and setting strategical strongholds or sneaky surprises. All while incorporating all the pleasantries and excitement you’d traditionally expect when destroying thousands upon thousands of the Orc race. As well as an economy mechanic to buy traps with money that’s earned for each Orc who hits the floor.

There’s plenty to play through, with a massive replayability factor as you unlock new traps and spells, as well as upgrading those you’ve already earned. High scores will improve dramatically upon returning to earlier levels, and they’re all neatly tracked by way of Steam so you’ll easily be able to see where you’re friends are in comparison. Every level offers a new challenge, be it by introducing multiple lanes of defense, allowing for placement of archers on high ground or by way of portals that allow instant travel between points in a fortress. All portrayed in what I’d call a ‘Pixar-like’ art style, that suits the setting perfectly — the ‘cartoon-ish’ aspect just makes the already super-fun gameplay feel even more enjoyable. While the break-dancing War Mage upon completing each level certainly adds to the humour.

Not as tough-looking as he sounds...
The best thing about it, though? Is that it also plays beautifully on the PC. Robot Entertainment’s experience with the platform shows through — there’s enough settings offered up for the type of game it is and the keyboard and mouse controls feel as smooth as anything. Popping off headshots with the crossbow and racking up the kill combos for extra points feels natural and responsive, plus having the weapons and traps bound to the number keys is a perfect fit. Compatibility with a controller is in there (as well as there being an Xbox 360 version), but it feels so clunky — they most definitely had the PC in the front of their minds while developing this one.

At the end of the day, I just can’t fault Orcs Must Die! in the slightest. It’s casual enough to pick up and play in short spells, as well as having a high level of mastery required to top the leaderboards. But, most of all, it’s just a whole lot of fun, whichever way you decide to play it — and being a great PC version rounds everything up to award this game the score that very few attain, five our of five. Already in 2017, you can play in this shooter on the site Friv Online Games. For £11.99, which is the going rate on Steam at launch, I think every PC gamer should be picking this up. For those that do, they’ll most certainly get their money’s worth.

 

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