Orcs Must Die! 2 Review – “Orcs Must Buy”
Orcs Must Die! was a cracking game from Robot Entertainment that was released in October last year. It was loved for its fun attitude, cool art style, unique approach to the tower defense genre and ridiculous protagonist. Nine months later we've got Orcs Must Die! 2 and it's going to be loved for its fun attitude, cool art style, unique approach to the tower defense genre and ridiculous protagonists.
The original Orcs Must Die! was a unique blend of tower defense and third person shooter, making Orcs Must Die! 2 a less unique, but equally brilliant blend. The object is to stop a multitude of orcs getting from rifts (bad places orcs come from) to mines (good places orcs can't go). You do this by using a mix of weapons and traps. You have more in your arsenal than in Orcs Must Die! and working out the perfect trap layout is more fun (and funnier) in the new co-op mode.
This new mode sees you slash and smash your way through the orc horde with a friend, and not only is it the best addition to Orcs Must Die! 2, it's the best way to experience the campaign. One of you will play as the War Mage and the other one of you will play as the Sorceress - who's back on this side of the rifts and not happy with the orcs. At the start of each level you'll each select which weapons and traps you want to use and to make sure you and your friend's traps complement each other you'll see what each other has picked. It's the small touches like this that makes the co-op experience perfect. But whilst it is perfect, if you're used to going solo, it'll be tough to adjust. The points you have to spend on traps are shared, and it's unlikely you'll share the exact same vision of what to do with them, so compromise is necessary. Often though the game helps you out as the majority of the levels have more than one rift you need to defend from so you'll tend to split the points down the middle and defend half each, until one of your trap setups becomes too weak and the more successful partner ends up juggling the two setups desperately trying to stop orcs getting to their goal.
Whilst the co-op feels perfect and is a real lols-per-minute experience, if you're looking to play Orcs Must Die! 2 solo, you're not going to get as much fun out of it. As there's only one of you, you can't take as many traps into the level, and you'll find defending against multiple rifts can occasionally slip from challenging to frustrating. But that's the only problem you'll find. Orcs Must Die! 2 is still a big bundle of fun that'll keep you sinking hours into perfecting the ultimate killzone. On top of that, with your friends high scores to the side of the level select screen, you'll be fighting for bragging points as well as trap upgrades.
As with Orcs Must Die!, there's a massive replayability factor. You're rewarded with skulls for stopping orcs getting past your traps, the more orcs you stop, the more skulls you get and these skulls can be spent in your Spellbook to unlock weapons, traps, trinkets and upgrades for all of the above. Once you've unlocked or upgraded a trap, you can go back to other levels you haven't maxed out the skulls on to unlock more skulls to invest back into your traps. It's a great way to keep you coming back for more.
Robot Entertainment clearly are believers of "if it isn't broken, don't fix it". As a result Orcs Must Die! 2 is almost identical to the original. On the one hand this leaves you occasionally wondering why you've got what at times feels more like a large DLC than a whole new title. But on the other, more correct hand, you realise that Orcs Must Die! 2 is a huge game, with all of the frantic fun of the original, loads of new levels, some great new traps and best of all, you can take a friend along for the ride. It's a great twist on the tower defense genre that you should be buying right now and forcing a mate into buying too.
- Developer: Robot Entertainment
- Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
- Formats: XBLA. PC
- It's still got the great sense of humour.
- The co-op is a lols-per-minute experience.
- It's great for both short bursts and long sessions alike.
- There's very little here that makes it feel like a standalone title as opposed to DLC
- At times the single player mode can be frustrating as it feels like you need a co-op partner on certain levels.
- You can only co-op with people on your friends list.
- Orcs Must Die! 2 is Orcs Must Die! with a load more levels, some more traps, an improved upgrade system and the all-important co-op mode. Whilst there's not a whole lot of new stuff here, there's enough to warrant a buy, especially if you're a fan of the previous title and have mate who is too.
Buy it, Play it, Skip it?