Release Date: July 30th, 2012
Developer: Robot Entertainment
Publisher: Robot Entertainment
Platform: [Reviewed: PC]
Last year, Robot Entertainment surprised us with its well-rounded title, Orcs Must Die and this year they have topped themselves with Orcs Must Die 2. How well does this title stand as an action filled strategy game? Was the move too soon, or is this exactly what we die-hard action-strategy fans have been craving for? It’s time to find out.
Orcs Must Die 2 picks up just a short time after the leading events and setting to Orcs Must Die. As the goofball Battle Mage, you have been suppressed by the Sorceress and her orc army for quite some time now. Power and prestige will only last for so long, it seems, as the orcs have turned on their sorceress leader. She makes a mad dash into a rift of unknown and find herself in the midst of her former adversary.
The two make amends and agree that there are some orcs coming their way that really do need to die. The story is foundational at best, but honestly this game would have been great even without any sort of story to proceed it. Introducing another fighter for the “good side” does make way for cooperative play. With co-op play being the biggest gripe in Orcs Must Die, fans of the series will be thrilled to know that a buddy can now join them in some orc killing action.
It would seem that this is the game that Robot Entertainment wanted to shoot for to begin with. This title gives you a lot of what the first had and a whole lot more. The levels within the game can be completed in a single-player play-through but are adapted for co-op to include challenges that call for an extra hand. It’s good to know that some forethought was put into the level designs to make this a co-op game that actually stresses co-op. While we are on the subject let us mention the cash system.
You will spend money to buy several traps to lay on the battlefield, but player’s will share credits with the co-op partner. Its hard enough planning an attack by yourself but now take into account that your friend has free will over your credits too. You will have to do some great communicating, planning, and forethought to make sure each credit is spent towards building the ultimate fortification.
There are plenty traps, weapons, apparel, and trinkets to purchase in this game. When you complete a level, you are awarded skull token based on your performance. You can use these tokens to buy new equipment that will make Orc slaying a whole lot more interesting. You start off with turret like arrow traps, tar pits, and spiked floors, but other hardcore traps such as flame-throwers, wall grinders, dwarf guardians and ceiling-mounted, swinging bludgeons become available for purchase with tokens.
There is never a lack of creative ways to set up combos and strings of kills in this game. As time goes by you can even upgrade traps. What makes games like this even more enjoyable is the ability to directly get in on the action. You may buy new weapons and trinkets for your character that will let you kill orcs in action combat simultaneously with your traps. This game is very satisfying when it comes to gameplay and the options you are given, point-blank.
Modes included in this game are Story, Endless, and Classic. Story mode is essentially just the string of levels that make up the game and essentially the core game in itself. Endless mode elaborates on the story mode and provides endless waves of increasing difficulty, just like in Gears of War horde mode or Nazi Zombies in Call of Duty. When you own Orcs Must Die you get access to Classic Mode in where you get to play on 10 maps from the original game with Orcs Must Die 2’s mechanics and features. Classic Mode is a great way to reward the supporters of the predecessor and who can complain with extra maps on which to kill orcs?
In summary, Orcs Must Die 2 is a lot of what Orcs Must Die needed to be in the first place. Some could argue that a lot of the old was pushed back upon us in this title, but with all that has been included it’s well enough to stand as its own title. This game is stylish, addictive, and now it’s even co-op! There isn’t much more you ask from a $15 title and it you even remotely like strategy games, there is no need to dodge this one. Just like Dungeon Defenders, it’s not your by-the-book strategy game but its twist on the genre is very refreshing. Pick this game up if you’re craving hours upon hours of orc killing goodness!
Replay ability: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.25/5