by Jamie Fletcher on July 31, 2012 in Gaming
The killing and bloodshed never ends, and why should it!? An incursion of ghastly Orcs, Trolls, Ogres, Kobalds and just about every other kind of hideous incarnation are breaking through the rifts, and it’s your job to stop them… again. This time with help! Read on as we review Orcs Must Die! 2. There can never be enough traps.
Much like the original game, new trap types are given to you after each successful zone. Unlike the original though, you can now buy specific traps whenever you want using skulls. These skulls are a secondary currency used to buy and upgrade equipment and traps, and are given from a number of sources. Every 1000 kills, random drops, completing zones efficiently and completing certain challenges. This is where Orcs Must Die! 2 really begins to differentiate from its predecessor. Some gear is unlocked via story progression and can not be bought though – you have to earn your right to kill faster.
All traps and equipment can be upgraded in multiple ways and tuned to your play style. Do you go with faster reset timers, more damage, longer distance, bigger arcs, wall-mountable, throw further, stun tougher opponents; there is a great deal of customization available.
Speaking of challenges, there are 3 play modes with different difficulties for each. There is the standard Story mode – the main campaign, Endless – which is a survival type mode, and Classic – a gift to owners of the original game that lets you play through levels from the first game but with co-op enabled.
As you continue to progress, unlock more equipment, upgrade and generally improve, you can revisit previous levels with all your new kit and try new strategies, get bigger scores, kill more Orcs.
The addition of a new character doesn’t change much to the core gameplay, as it’s mainly a new skin and voice for multiplayer. The War-Mage is the not-so-bright, headstrong protagonist from the original, this time wielding a blunderbus instead of a crossbow and large sword. The Sorceress is just as much a narcissist but with a few more social skills, preferring a wand that can commit both violent acts of genocide and charm targets to fight each other, allowing her to stay at range. As you progress, you can purchase new weapons with a variety of effects, such as chain lightning, freeze, push-back and so forth. These additional weapons consume mana, so are not something you can rely on indefinitely through a fight.
In addition to weapons, there is now the equivalent of jewelry, providing a passive boost to various metrics, but with an active skill that can be called on – again consuming mana. These can perform a variety of functions such as reduce trap reset timers, increase/regenerate mana, provide more health, increase the number of rift points available, allow all opponents to randomly drop coin and so on.
Co-op is strictly done on an invite-only basis, so you need friends with the game rather than just joining in with the thousands of people online. This is a bit of a shame, but maybe something that can be added on later – preferably not as a DLC pack.
There is not much of a story, nor does there need to be. Chronic sadism permeates through a veil of humor from the lead characters, a pleasure taken in the destruction of their foes and the misfortune of associates; in other words, fun for the whole family.
All the sounds are in the right place, satisfaction from every wallop, crunch, scream and cry from a fallen adversary. Jingles and warnings galore are a feast for the ears. Numbers that continue to climb, scratching away at that arcade style itch. Self motivation as you glare away at the leaderboard, steadily watching your rank climb as you replay areas.
Orcs Must Die! 2 is a cacophony of death. A requiem to Orcs of all shapes and sizes. Reflexive tactics and an engaging strategy system make a very compelling game, even if you aren’t into the tower defense genre. The addition of multiplayer and an extensive retrofit of the upgrade system make this an excellent sequel to the original, even if it does feel more like an expansion. If you never played the original, don’t fret, this second game is just as good a place to start. An easy Editor’s Choice. Now go forth and kill everything in sight!
Orcs Must Die! 2
All this killing, uhhh, I’m such a horrible, horrible person. Better kill some more to make myself feel better.
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