I admit i’m not a huge fan of tower defence games. Sitting on the sidelines, placing different turrets to protect your base from waves of enemies feels a bit detached to me. I like to get stuck right into the fighting. Well, fortunately, someone at Robot Entertainment must have heard my plea, because we now have Orcs Must Die! A new defence game available on the Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA).
The story starts with an old wizard talking about his never-ending task; he must protect the portal to his home world from a band of vicious but dumb orcs. However, during one attack, he falls and cracks his head on some stone steps, killing him. Now, to his dismay, the task of protecting the rift has been passed to his apprentice; a young mage who looks like he would rather be partying with wenches than fighting off orcs.
And thus the campaign begins. For a generic, run of the mill story, it’s quite quirky and comical. Not your usual serious fantasy tale.
Fans of tower defence will instantly understand the concept. You place various traps and machines in the level, in order to stop and defeat wave after wave of goons. The main difference in this game is you’re not some disembodied entity, floating around placing traps; you can run around the whole level and scope out your surroundings. Additionally, when the attack begins, you can equip melee weapons to strike down the orcs. So if there are a few lone enemies that manage to run past your traps, you can utilise weapons like swords and crossbows to take down your victims.
It’s not overly complicated to learn, and the tutorial eases you in very well. To add to the cartoony value, the nameless mage always does a victory dance after every level, shouting various wacky quotes, including the now infamous line, “Winning!”
Graphically, it’s got a very nice cartoon-y feel about it. The orcs are your typical ugly, chunky and silly goons, and the mage sports some dashing good looks, and a strong jawline. Imagine if Bruce Campbell was born in Mordor, and you might get the idea.
I wanted to find some negative to this game, but I have to say it’s a very strong and entertaining game. The controls are tight, the gameplay is addictive, and the humour is really good. Even I enjoyed it, so I’m sure you will to.
Developer: Robot Entertainment
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Price: 1200 MS Points
Rating: T (Teen)