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Orcs Must Die! Review
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by Mario Figueiredo on October 24, 2011 in Gaming

There seems to be a major emphasis on killing an innumerable number of zombies in gaming today, but it’s important that we don’t ignore another threat: orcs. In Orcs Must Die!, you’re provided with the right tools to kill hundreds, if not thousands, of these grunting annoyances. Go ahead, paint the town green.

Writing; Game Performance; Final Thoughts

Where Robot Entertainment seems to have really missed the mark was with writing. The game tries too hard to be humorous. It delivers it through non-effective one-line jokes and no attempt was made to introduce humor in other way, either through the game art or plot.

This result varies between being boring to drawing the occasional smile or the rare snicker, but fails entirely to activate the more important facial muscles. And yet Orcs Must Die! is a perfect setting for smart and powerful humor that could make the game even more enjoyable to play. A very good opportunity was missed here.

Orcs Must Die! uses the Vision game engine, by Trinigy. The engine renders a pretty and fast 3D environment that can run in excess of 200 FPS on my NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti with maximum settings at a 1440×900 resolution. Game video settings are what you would expect from a budget game; from lowest to highest settings we can control anti-aliasing only.

The game engine is good enough and the polygon count easy enough on our systems, with the highest settings to be accessible to most anyone sporting even a competent 3-year-old video card. Of an interesting note the fact we can change the camera angle of our viewport to left, center (the default), and right. It’s a nice touch, even if not very useful.

Orcs Must Die!

Orcs Must Die! is a pretty looking game with good enough voice acting and just about writing skills for these artistic elements to not get in the way of our enjoyment. Its great strength lies on game design, and the artistic teams did a great job at keeping up with the pace and not bring about wanton degradation. We could expect more, but that would certainly not match with the game current price. If I’m requested to highlight one team in particular, that has to be the sound team who did a great job.

Final Thoughts

Orcs Must Die! is a gem of a game; an action-driven variation of the tower defense genre that very successfully pairs strategy with tactical thinking. During the best moments, dozens of orcs are filling the screen and being killed at the same time by elaborate combinations of traps, guardians, environmental hazards, and the player character himself, all in a very satisfying sense of utter deafening carnage.

Orcs Must Die!

The game is available on Steam for $14.99 USD. It has an ESRB rating of Teen and is available in 9 different full-audio support languages. Why do you need to know this? If you wanted an excuse not to perform your duty and do your part in patriotic orc genocide, you won’t find it in this game. This is an obligatory buy!…

… Unless perhaps you are missing fingers, are left handed, or otherwise don’t feel comfortable playing with a WASD keyboard setup (shame, Robot Entertainment!).

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Page List:
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1. Introduction; Gameplay
2. Gameplay Continued; Audio; Graphics
3. Writing; Game Performance; Final Thoughts