Reviewed by Phil Lunt
Orcs Must Die 2 is a fun and often frantic 3rd person tower defence game. You take control of either a War Mage or Sorceress and must stop the Orcs and their ilk from reaching the escape portals in each level. This is where it starts to get good as, in order to stop the baddies from hurling themselves through the caverns to their escape, you have to place traps of various shapes and sizes to stop (read: slaughter) them in their tracks.
I could intellectualise the deeper points of the game, point out the comparisons to contemporary games such as Monday Night Combat or past classics such as Dungeon Keeper, but that would probably cloud over the pure fun garnered from standing tall in front of an Earth Elemental, pointing your blunderbuss in itâ€™s face and then pulling the trigger. This might sound harsh but, then, Earth Elementals donâ€™t die immediately anyway, they split in two which causes more of a challenge to deal with!
Gameplay starts basically enough with each character possessing a hand-held weapon. The War Mage has a blunderbuss that also fires explosives and the Sorceress wields a magic Sceptre of Domination that can either kill enemies, or charm them into fighting for her, before dying a horrible, explosive, death. Each character can also purchase traps that have to be placed in level, such as tar pits to slow the baddies down or arrow and acid traps that fix to walls and shoot or melt any Orcs, Goblins or Kobolds who unwittingly stray too close.
Then it all goes mad as new traps, weapons and even costumes can be purchased via an upgrade system between levels. Arrow traps can be upgraded to shoot flaming arrows, for example, and mercenary Dwarf Guardians can be bought in to lob grenades at the oncoming horde. It doesnâ€™t end there, the list of traps goes onâ€¦ spike traps, auto-ballista, grinders, bear traps, burning brimstoneâ€¦ over 50 traps and weapons with more than 225 upgrades to unlock means thereâ€™s certainly plenty to do and this adds to the fun! Obviously, as you progress through the game the bad guys get tougher and increase in number too. AND there are expansion packs in the works to add to the stock of both traps and monsters. Robot Entertainment really know how to spoil us!
Who wouldnâ€™t want to see a group of Orcs set on fire, running aimlessly with their arms in the air, screaming? Or just stand in front of the marauding beasts and shoot ten shades of sushi out of them with your blunderbuss? Come on, itâ€™s hilarious and great stress relief! Throw online co-operative play into the mix, as well as multiple gameplay modes (the main two being a standard â€œstory modeâ€ and an â€œendlessâ€ mode which is great for levelling up your character) and this game is a steal at Â£11.99! Well worth checking out.