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.
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.
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.
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