Orcs Must Die! Review
Orcs Must Die! Box Art
System: Xbox 360, PC
Dev: Robot Entertainment
Pub: Microsoft Studios
Release: October 05, 2011
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood and Gore, Violence

Part of that confidence comes from the game's variety of enemies, each of which poses a unique challenge. While regular orcs will simply charge in, allowing you to pick many of them off with the crossbow, crossbow orcs will attack you directly from a distance, forcing you to keep moving or pull back. Ogres take very little damage from traps and are immune to basic physics plates, able to stun you if they get too close, while gnoll hunters actively pursue you rather than the rift, poisoning you and moving in for the kill. There are flying enemies as well, some of which explode on the ground after being slain. Their deaths are satisfying, whether they're hurtled into a lava pit, impaled on spikes, gibbed by blade traps, or incinerated on a brimstone floor panel. (The gore can be switched off from the options menu if you're not into it.) The traps sound meaty, while the music fits the ambience, though it doesn't particularly stand out.

Orcs Must Die! Screenshot

There's no multiplayer, but the game does have online leaderboards, which rank one by career kills as well as by score on each specific level. Furthermore, completing the game on War Mage difficulty unlocks "Nightmare," which offers confident players a stiffer challenge and extends the game's lifespan by at least a few more hours. That said, I can see this being the sort of game that feels worn out after a playthrough or two, though the ability to go back to earlier maps with the full spellbook unlocked is a delicious way to satisfy one's appetite for mayhem, allowing one to try out some new strategies.

Advertisement

In all, Orcs Must Die! is a well-crafted, polished endeavor with gameplay that is enjoyable right down to its core, a charming aesthetic, and almost the exact opposite of a plot. It's comedic-fantasy fare, light and fun, but complex. It would be nice if there was more content, since what's there can be digested in a matter of hours, but a game that leaves its player complaining that he wants more has done something very, very right.

By Shelby Reiches
CCC Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.2
Graphics
Definitely gains points for design, with an over-the-top fantasy feel and great animations.
4.5
Control
Simple and intuitive. After five minutes, I never had to look at the controls again. An easy game to pick up and play.
3.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Though the writing is witty, there isn't much of it, and the music is forgettable, though unobtrusive. The sound effects are satisfyingly meaty and cha-chingy, though.
3.5
Play Value
Fifteen dollars isn't bad for a few hours of entertainment, and there's some replay value to be had, but the game could use more levels or, better yet, some design tools.
4.1
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Play as the War Mage and defend 24 fortresses from an enraged mob of orcs and 11 other villainous monsters.
  • Choose from a selection of 6 weapons and magic spells and 17 traps that hack, launch, flatten, gibletize, and incinerate your enemies.
  • Upgrade your traps, spells and weapons to cater the game to your personal play style.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Orcs Must Die! Screenshot - click to enlarge Orcs Must Die! Screenshot - click to enlarge Orcs Must Die! Screenshot - click to enlarge Orcs Must Die! Screenshot - click to enlarge Orcs Must Die! Screenshot - click to enlarge Orcs Must Die! Screenshot - click to enlarge Orcs Must Die! Screenshot - click to enlarge Orcs Must Die! Screenshot - click to enlarge Orcs Must Die! Screenshot - click to enlarge Orcs Must Die! Screenshot - click to enlarge

    X
    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook