The tower defence genre of games was dying out on the PC because the games weren’t able to offer much by way of novelty. Multiplayer strategy games replaced them by and large. With the launch of tablet PCs and Smartphones, they saw a minor revival in popularity as they were simple enough to be ported to such devices. All this changed with the launch of Orcs Must Die! The game was innovative in changing the age old bird’s eye view of standard tower defense games by making it a third person shooter game. The focus is still on killing wave upon wave of Orcs by setting up traps and defences, but the addition of a third person perspective really amplifies the fun that can be had while playing.
Orcs Must Die! 2 takes what was good about the first game and makes it better while at the same time keeping the game accessible for new gamers. This indie-game features levels that are really challenging. They have refined the game’s economy that allows you to choose upgrades for either your weapons or your traps. The improvements include refunds on equipment purchased.
Game play is as polished as ever, with the best addition being a cooperative player mode. While the game can still be played as a single player game, the sequel is much more fun when played with a friend. Fans of the first game loved the hero who was dorky and full of witty quips. The war mage apprentice is now joined by the mind controlling sorceress villain from the first game. Luckily for our hero, in this game she decides to join the good guys to destroy the Orcs who no longer are under her control.
The war mage and the sorceress have their own sets of weapons and gizmos that can be used to slaughter the Orcs. A real fun feature that the sorceress can use is the ability to control the Orcs to kill the other Orcs in the room.
The traps have been upgraded in interesting ways too. Previously, wall defence turrets that shot arrows could be upgraded very simplistically to shoot poison arrows. Now our war mage can upgrade these wall turrets to shoot fire arrows that burn Orcs up and ice arrows that freeze them and leave them ripe pickings for your shotgun.
Another welcome addition to the game that really brings out the fun of the cooperative game play is the Endless mode. Here you are treated to wave after wave of Orcs in increasing numbers. Coupled with the complex levels, this mode is great for hours of slaughtering madness.
Some of the nice points of this game that have been addressed well by Robot Entertainment include the attention paid to the voice actors. While there is not much of a story to boast about, the banter between the mage and the sorceress while the levels progress, and even during game play is witty and provides nuggets of information that move the game along well. The sounds and music effects used have enough similarity to the first game to remind you that this is a sequel. In terms of graphics, the more colourful environment of the first game has been replaced by a darker walkways and mazes.
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