- Created on 06 December 2011
Platforms: Xbox 360 and Windows PC - Windows PC version reviewed.
Publisher: Robot Entertainment
Developer: Robot Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
Review Author: Jamie Kimpton
Storyline and playability
Orcs Must Die! is a title that truly lives up to its name. Playing as a lone warlock, you have been tasked with preventing hordes of Orcs and other fantasy meanies from storming your keep. On paper it sounds like a fairly generic tower defence game with some hack and slash elements and essentially that's what it is, however the beauty lies in the execution. Speaking of execution, the primary draw for OMD is the numerous and innovative methods in which you can dispose of your invaders. As the game progresses you are given new traps and toys to better allow you to spill green blood.
Beginning with the rather mundane spike trap and equipped with a standard sword and bow combo, the pace at the beginning eases you into OMD's world and allows you to get to grips with the trap-hurt-kill play style which is present throughout the game. As the levels open out they increase in difficulty with multiple wave spawns, flying enemies and even enemy short cuts. OMD balances toybox-esque experimentation and fun hack-and-slash gameplay to provide a whimsical and fun take on the tower defence genre.
For a budget title OMD looks pretty sharp, the cartoon graphics fit the setting and tone of the game well and the frame-rate runs crisp and smooth even when you become surrounded by hordes of Orcs.
The grunts and groans of the Orcs are as you expect them to sound with a lot of generic grunting and heaving. However the traps all have their own satisfyingly visceral noises as they cleave and squish your oncoming attackers.
One of the most fun aspects of OMD is the sheer variety of Orc disposal methods available to you. Some traps are pretty generic fantasy dungeon trappings but even those feel fresh and fun. Leave a spinning wall disc near an obstacle and an imposing knight and watch as the hordes funnel in to be sliced in half or hacked away at by your stoic guardian. With over 20 traps and the freedom to choose your loadout at the beginning of each level and a rather strict scoring system OMD has some great replay value.
The main protagonist is a cocky and brash young man, his attitude and personality are pretty annoying and this is only exasperated by the constant spouting of internet memes and pop-culture catch phrases that he shouts at every given opportunity. The jokes wear thin pretty quickly and the modern references were a little jarring in such a rich fantasy setting.
4/5 - Orcs Must Die is a fun and polished budget title, if you're a fan of the genre or just looking for a time-killing distraction you could do a lot worse then this.