‘Orcs Must Die Unchained’ Review – Orc Slaying At Its Finest
I have a long history with the Orcs Must Die franchise. I have played each entry ever since it released and quite honestly Unchained sort of flew under the radar for me. When I saw it went to a free to play model I feared it would deter from the overall function and fun of the game. After playing a few matches and playing around with different characters I realized that the fun never left the game and that if anything, Unchained just added new elements and layers that made it a better title.
Orcs Must Die Unchained takes a lot from the other two entries in the series and turns it into its own entity. The game is a free to play download from Steam so anyone can play it. It has almost adopted the modern MOBA-game payment model. Gone are the days of playing as just the Warmage or his female counterpart. Orcs Must Die Unchained introduces a ton of new characters you can play as. Each of these characters costs two different types of currency, the real money premium currency as well as the in-game currency. The prices for the premium currency aren’t too horrible if you need to use that to purchase items and heroes. Each different character has a couple different abilities at their disposal as well as an, “ultimate,” ability they can use every so often. Some characters even interact with certain traps, like Smolder, who is pictured below, interacts with one of the traps that makes a flammable goo. Not only can she ignite this trap but when you’re playing as her the trap is free to place!
The gameplay is exactly what you would expect from every other Orcs Must Die title. Though it does seem like some of the graphics have dropped off in favor of the multiplayer gameplay. Its not a huge drop off to the point of me putting down the game but it is noticeable. The multiplayer gameplay works out surprisingly well. I wasn’t expecting to like the mass multiplayer as much as I would. The other entries had multiplayer but this extends to more players, like a MOBA does. The more the merrier is a proper phrase to explain it. More players means that you can have more characters on your team and the wealth of characters is there. Some characters excel in magic whereas others are bruisers and tanks that get right up into the mix of things. The traps are back and are in serious supply. Each trap is upgradable through the in game currency, but you have to level each trap up before upgrading it. When you get traps out of the loot boxes you get different amounts of points for them and once you hit the next threshold, you can upgrade them.
There is a lot more to the game like an in-game progression system for each character, which adds a little more diversity to your play styles. Robot Entertainment did just add a new mode called Sabotage, where you work together with other players to go against another team to defeat the orc hordes. This mode is a great call back to the original games, plus there are rewards involved as well. There are some gripes I had with it though. When you open the game, theres a menu that I couldn’t quite make full screen but when I opened the game, it immediately went to full screen. I tried using a controller with the game as well as the mouse and the controller felt really awkward to use. Other than that Orcs Must Die Unchained is a solid free to play game that stays true to the past entries’ formula. I love it and will continue to play and support this title moving on because if theres on thing I love it is a really good free-to-play game!
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Review statement: The in-game currency used to purchase characters was provided by the developers for the sake of this review.