Quantcast
Review: Orcs Must Die! 2 - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android


Orcs Must Die! 2  



Review: Orcs Must Die! 2


2:00 PM on 07.27.2012
Review: Orcs Must Die! 2 photo



These orcs. They really should just die. That doesn’t sound unreasonable, does it?

Orcs Must Die! 2 (PC)
Developer: Robot Entertainment
Publisher: Robot Entertainment
Release: July 30, 2012
MSRP: $14.99
Rig: Intel i5-2500k @3.30 GHz, 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 580 GPU (SLI)

When Orcs Must Die! came out a year ago, it felt necessary to explain the tower defense genre. Now that Orcs Must Die!, Dungeon Defenders, and other games have changed the genre rules, I’m not sure if this is any longer necessary or even helpful. What you do need to know is that Orcs is among the best of the genre. It is as addicting and fun as PixelJunk Monsters and Plants vs. Zombies without imitating either. This sequel, released a scant nine months later, only builds upon the strengths of the original.

Given the brief development of this follow-up, players wouldn’t be wrong for curbing their expectations before jumping into Orcs 2. This isn’t a sequel that drastically changes the visuals, mechanics, or setting. However, it is a sequel that addresses nearly every complaint lodged against the original and comes close to perfecting what was already one of the best games of last year. Everything from more customization to co-op make this a superior game. I personally prefer the first game’s levels, but even those can be played via DLC (free to those who previously purchased the original on Steam).

Whether you play solo or co-op, you’ll be grateful for the changes made to the spellbook. The spellbook is now divided into different sections for weapons (now upgradable), traps, trinkets (providing passive and active buffs), and costumes (the dead end for those who have unlocked all else). You can upgrade each item up to three times, give it buffs, and add new abilities (for example, gain the ability to use wall arrows on the ceiling). You can invest so heavily in one item that you won’t be able to see as many traps and weapons in action this time.

This is both a good and bad thing, depending how you look at it. If you want to see everything the game has to offer, you’ll need to play a lot more of it. On the other hand, players now have a good incentive to keep playing after finishing the story. Even when you max out all of your War Mage’s items after beating Nightmare mode, you can do it all over again with the Sorceress.

The game’s clever additions don’t stop there. Returning fans will be happy to find that the crossbow is no longer forced into the loadout and that skulls can be fully refunded at any time. This gives players the freedom to experiment and try new traps out. There are a lot of great additions to the arsenal that you won’t want to miss out on as well. I spent the majority of the game with the blunderbuss (a shotgun with a serious wallop), ice amulet, wall arrows (which now slows enemies when upgraded), boom barrel dispenser, and coinforge.

You’ll find your favorite loadout available from the previous game, which includes items featured in the Lost Adventures DLC. You’ll also find new items like the bone amulet which does major damage to a line of orcs. It also summons a bone golem. Or you can get physical with the dwarven hammer that deals major damage up close. Then there is the polymorph ring that turns the Sorceress into an ogre. There's too much new stuff here to list, but it’s all useful and fits the game perfectly.

One minor frustration some players may have is that it’s hard to properly spec your character for both single-player and co-op. You’ll inevitably end up leaning on your partner for some abilities, but you’ll find yourself in a pickle when you play offline because of it. This is hardly a complaint though, especially with the refund skulls ability. If anything, it highlights how the co-op demands players to work in tandem and strategize together.

I played the entire game co-op with Destructoid’s Holly Green and didn’t regret it one bit. With her Sorceress, she was able to deal damage from afar and apply the Ice Vents unique to her character, while I would ran headfirst into enemies and set up guardians at choke points. If you are worried the game won’t play the same with co-op: don’t! If anything, you’ll be missing your partner when you play offline.

Orcs had a pretty rough end. The same is true in a narrative sense with Orcs 2, but it was the lack of progression that really made original end so abruptly. There wasn’t much else to do. Orcs 2 fixes this with endless mode, more unlocks, leaderboards, and a new skull system that will sink its hooks into you.

Whenever my co-op partner wasn’t online, I’d replay previous story levels and get five skulls on them. If you play on War Mage difficulty, you’ll be able to obtain five skulls on levels: 4 skulls for not letting a single enemy into your rift and 1 skull for making the stage’s par time. It’s easy to manage at first but becomes increasingly difficult as you reach the insane later stages. There are also occasional skull drops that you can pick-up from dead enemies. As long as you don’t completely fail a stage, you are always making progress in Orcs 2.

I didn’t play with the Sorceress until I already beat the story on War Mage difficulty, but I kind of wish I had chosen her from the start. Her staff is the best weapon in the game because it is capable of a variety of attacks. You can rapid fire it from afar with great accuracy, charge it up for an explosion, and use the alternate fire to charm enemies, making them attack other orcs. She also has a couple trinkets and traps specific to her. I can see myself playing the game all over again with the Sorcerress, since her speed, unique abilities, and arsenal give her a somewhat different feel. Although players can play as the same character in co-op, I highly recommend taking advantage of each character's abilities.

Orcs Must Die! 2 is less Half-Life 2 and more Doom 2 when it comes to sequels. Its level design isn’t quite as good as the first, it doesn’t take any bold strides in storytelling -- though the dialogue is consistently laugh-out-loud funny -- but it perfects the original’s formula while adding some welcome additions to the series. Whether you are playing the story solo or going up against the never-ending horde in Endless mode, it’s easy to lose many hours to Orcs 2, especially when it offers so many incentives to keep playing.

A year ago, I couldn’t imagine another game mixing tower defense and third-person action as well as Orcs Must Die! Clearly, I was wrong.



THE VERDICT - Orcs Must Die! 2

Reviewed by Allistair Pinsof

9 /10
Superb: A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title. Check out more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.








Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.





timeline following:
Orcs Must Die! 2



7:00 PM on 07.12.2013
Orcs Must Die! 2 adds Steam Workshop support

While I didn't stick around with Orcs Must Die! 2 like I did with its predecessor, it still provided some decent action/tower defense gameplay. In a move that will hopefully breathe new life into the title on PC, developer Ro...more



10:00 AM on 07.08.2012
RTX: Killing orcs with a buddy in Orcs Must Die! 2

[This weekend Destructoid is reporting live from RTX in Austin, Texas, the community based gaming expo for Rooster Teeth fans and everyone else.] Sometimes the right game comes at the wrong time in your life. For me that was...more



5:00 PM on 06.20.2012
Orcs Must Die! 2 is preparing for release late next month

Robot Entertainment has announced that Orcs Must Die! 2 will be releasing on July 30, 2012. That's fairly soon, which ought to be cause for celebration. If you're unsure why people generally seem to dig the original, there's ...more



1:00 PM on 04.02.2012
Robot Entertainment announces Orcs Must Die 2

Apparently, 3.4 billion orc deaths are insufficient for the folks at Robot Entertainment, who have announced the impending sequel to their wave defense game. Orcs Must Die! 2 will add new enemies and traps and features a new...more




PAX

2:15 PM on 09.11.2014
Titan Souls is my PAX Prime 2014 game of show

Confession time: I'm pretty out of the loop when it comes to the indie game scene. I love me some Nidhogg, Samurai Gunn, and Crawl, but it's not uncommon for me to have only heard about these games just before release or late...more



5:30 PM on 09.10.2014
Nicalis kicked my ass again with Castle in the Darkness

After checking out The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth at PAX Prime, I spent a decent chunk of time with another upcoming Nicalis project, Castle in the Darkness. It's a challenging platform-adventure PC game that feels all too app...more



4:00 PM on 09.10.2014
After two straight hours of Fortnite, I'm a fan

When Epic first announced Fortnite, I was on board based on the premise of defending player-made forts from monsters. But that was a couple of years ago. Things change. My interest had been waning up until recently, when I go...more



View all PAX






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more