Thursday, 22 November 2012

Finished: Orcs Must Die

Orcs Must Die is a third person shooter/tower defense game by Robot Entertainment.

The premise is pretty straight forward Orcs are attacking the fortresses of the order, trying to make their way through the Rifts they protect to get through to the juice vulnerable lands beyond. Most of the orcs and associated forces are very single minded intent upon reaching their target rift via the shortest path possible.

The order is unfortunately mostly out of commission, save that is for The Apprentice who is able to take up a trusty magical crossbow and conjure defenses to prevent the orc hordes from pouring through.

For the most part it is a pretty standard tower defense game, though on a closer and more personal scale. You have a budget provided each wave, but you also earn money per kill, earning more money for long killstreaks and combos, which doing multiple damage types to the unfortunate victim before it dies.

The game excels in providing a wide range of traps and weapons. There are only a limited number of slots a player can fill with weapons and traps, so choices are made around level layout, expected enemies and personal preference.

Performance in levels is scored, both with a score based on kills and combos, and a 5-skull rating system. 4 skulls are based on rift points remaining, 1 for beating par time.

These skulls are then spent on upgrades, every trap has an upgrade that will cost a certain number of skulls, this system is final, you cannot ever refund the skulls, and you can earn a maximum of 5 skulls from any given level, which does potentially mean that if you spend them badly it will be very difficult for you to progress late in the game.

I loved the traps in this game, there are floor traps, wall traps, ceiling traps barricades and minions. I particularly liked a combination of barricades (fortunately orcs can't jump or climb), grinders, tar pits and swinging maces where the terrain allowed it. I picked up this game just after it came out and I had a lot of friends also playing through it and having a great time. We all had a great time watching orcs get flung into acid pits, set on fire, shot with arrows, exploded with bomb, sucked into grinding machines and knocked down by gigantic swinging maces.

Unfortunately the late game really starts to drag, the levels get progressively longer and there is no mid level saving or check pointing. This is especially bad when aiming for 5 skulls, a minor mistake can set you back a significant amount of time.

As a result there was a significant gap between when I bought this game and when I finished it, it took Orcs Must Die 2 coming out to convince me to play through the rest of Orcs Must Die 1.

Games list at time of post: 410 unfinished titles
Changes since previous update: Finished 0 titles, dropped 0, added 3


  1. I almost feel bad for the Orcs.

    I actually haven't finished OMD1 yet either, and am hoping for OMD2 to trigger me into doing that. Seeing as though I'm currently playing OMD2 in coop with my little brother, however, that seems unlikely.

    1. Can't say I blame you, especially if you have a coop partner, OMD2 is the better game.

      It is not like the story in OMD is particularly amazing, though the choice that the apprentice makes at the end of the game is pretty interesting, it also was never going to last given they were making a sequel.