Just Like Making Orc Salsa
Orcs Must Die! 2
Publisher: Robot Entertainment
Genres: Action, Strategy, Other
Developer: Robot Entertainment
That’s not to say that these two examples are the only ones. With over 30 different traps, 14 weapons, and 10 trinkets, there are a bountiful plenty of ways to crush, slice, maim, tenderize, set fire to, freeze, electrify, hurl into a writhing void and transmogrify the murderous competition. The best part is that your choices are never set in stone as you can wipe your choices in the spellbook clean and have all your skulls refunded to try different weaponry and trap upgrades.
While I still believe that the uniqueness of traps could use some work (which will probably be fixed with DLC) the style of play of the War Mage and the sorceress varies quite heavily. Our burly male hero and his weaponry are built for medium to close range combat, having an equal chunk of health and mana to sustain fighting, while the Sorceress’ powers lies in her huge mana pool and must keep at a distance as her health leaves much to be desired. As with the first game, the player must construct a gauntlet of traps placeable on walls, floors, ceilings, or guardian soldiers hired to help out, and fight back the horde, much like tower defense games of yesteryear. The problem is that all traps have their own cooldown time after use, so the player must also fend off the incoming monsters with the weapons or magic they have at their disposal, which creates that sort of adrenaline you would never find in this game genre.
OMD2 is shorter in story than its predecessor, but that does not discount from the amount of content that the game provides. While there are three different difficulty modes for players to sink into, there is also three different gameplay sections: Story, Classic (takes 10 levels from the original Orcs Must Die! and cranks up the difficulty), and Endless (face 10 levels of unending waves of monsters until you run out of durability on the exit). The War Mage and the Sorceress still exchange witty banter amongst themselves as well as their repetitive one liners (but honestly, I’d probably quote and re-quote the War Mage if I were in his situation), and the presentation level of the title is still incredibly above average, sporting a cartoony feel of the players’ allies and enemies, and a catchy hard rock/classical melange for the soundtrack.
You would be correct in stating that Orcs Must Die! 2 plays and looks exactly like Robot Entertainment’s Freshman title, of which I have no problem with. While the game’s single player can be very trying at its final levels (but is still within the realm of clearable), there is still hours upon hours of playable game, either alone or with a friend online. Over all of the games that I have played this past year, Orcs Must Die! 2 has claimed the throne as multiplayer game of the year for me. This coming from the guy who plays MOBAs like League of Legends, SMITE, and Awesomenauts daily.
A copy of the game was purchased for review for PC. The reviewer spent approximately 14 hours playing the game, completing the story and classic campaign.
While there are people that rage that less than a year between sequels can only end in failure, Robot Entertainment has proven to me that there are games and genres that can pull it off. Orcs Must Die!, a title that I had the pleasure of enjoying at PAX 2011 while Angry Joe was chatting up the developers of Crimson Alliance, was definitely high on my list of games that you must play last year. Now, that title is replaced by Orcs Must Die! 2–and I mean it in a literal sense. Not many of the elements of the game have changed, but the details and mechanics that have changed are for the benefit of the player and the title as a whole.
|PROS||Relatively cheap, Single Player and Co-op gameplay is very well done, Huge trap variety|
|CONS||Most items/traps are from first game and its DLC, Single player extremely difficult at final levels|
|WTF?!||Endless mode, for those who think there isn’t enough mass genocide in the story|
Time has passed since the first game and due to the actions of the War Mage protagonist in sealing them off from humanity, the orcs will never invade the world beyond but at the cost of humans living without magic. The result will be a series of famines and droughts that the human race will not be able to adapt to before perishing, as most of the way of life revolved around the use of magic. Another minor problem would be of the Sorceress, the power hungry antagonist of the first game, is now without magic to enslave the orcs, and now on the run from the monsters due to the severing of the worlds.
Just before the monster hordes found her last hiding spot, a small rift to the human world appeared and offered her escape at the cost of allowing the orcs to pursue the Sorceress into the human world. The antagonist now protagonist of the game meets the War Mage of the first game, now a miner in the dwarven mountains seeing as there is no real demand for a magic user in a world with no magic. With the orcs stepping out of the newly created rift, reports of rifts opening up all across the mountain, and the question as to how the initial rift opened in the first place, the former War Mage and the Sorceress team up to keep the monsters at bay so they can find out what exactly is going on.
The core gameplay of Orcs Must Die! 2 has changed subtly, still keeping the 3rd person tower-defense aspect of play from the first game, but retiring the in-game talent trees. In recompense for this move, the skulls you earn in game either by performance in a level, random drops from enemies, and bonus skulls for reaching score benchmarks is used as currency. Skulls can be used in your spellbook to buy or upgrade your weapons, traps, and newly added trinkets that grant a passive bonus while equipped or has an active spell that can severely change the tide of battle.
While there are many new foes to face from the world of monsters, like bomb throwing gnolls, cyclopean mages, earth elementals that multiply on death and incredibly powerful trolls, having both the arsenal of the War Mage and the Sorceress is more than enough to annihilate any creature that pours forth. One of the major features of OMD2 is the facet of co-operative multiplayer, whereas two players can take on the hordes to find interesting trap compositions to take down foes.
For example, my friend lives and breathes by the Car Wash Co-op trap setup, whereas the enemies will wander into a tar trapped hallway while being sprayed by acid traps from each side and from the ceiling. If the fiends make it to the end of the hallway, they get rewarded with a spinning haymaker trap on the ceiling that will knock the foes to the beginning of the car wash, or straight into a deathtrap, whether it be a freefall off a cliff or a pool of acid. My personal favorite is dubbed the Coin Roast, placing patches of brimstone in between coinforge platforms so that enemies are set ablaze and die shortly after on the coinforge, granting more money per kill. All others who do not die from being set ablaze are met with fire arrow traps at every placeable wall.