The sophomore jinx is a terrible affliction that claims the lives of many budding franchises. Gladly, that is not the case with Orcs Must Die! 2.
Orcs Must Die! 2 is the fantastic sequel to Robot Entertainment’s 2011 hit. Many may look at it, brush it off and simply say, “eh, not interested. It’s just more of the same.” But in this case, more of the same is a very good thing.
Picking up right where Orcs Must Die! left off, Orcs Must Die! 2 continues the story of the War Mage charged with defending the magical rifts from the countless horde. This time around, he is joined by the beautiful and twisted wayward Sorceress.
Playing out exactly like the original, Orcs Must Die! 2 is a budget-priced tower defense game with an emphasis on third person action. You gain money by slaying orcs which can then be spent on improving the environment’s defenses. Each subsequent wave of the horde increases in difficulty requiring you to not only get crafty with your tactics, but also to get down and dirty by eliminating a number of them with your own hands.
The single player portion of the game offers a great challenge, but simply completing it won’t be the main draw for many players. Perfection entices players to replay levels. The better rating you receive, the more skulls you collect which can then be spent between levels upgrading the stats of your booby traps, buying new ones, upgrading melee and magic weapons and special items. Gamers seeking to further improve their skills will spend dozens, if not hundreds of hours trying to purchase and upgrade every single booby trap, trinket and special outfit. Of course, completing the main game unlocks Nightmare mode. And then when you max everything out, you can do it all again with the other character, complete with a slight variety in booby traps.
We found a particular fondness toward Endless mode that becomes just as much of a game about endurance as it does about skill and tactics. But what we TRULY fell in love with was the brand new cooperative mode.
In coop, you can bring a friend in to play either the story mode or the endless mode for a whole new unique type of challenge. Both players have their own bank of money and resources, but they are limited to the number of spells they can bring into battle. Coordination and communication become paramount.
The game’s art style is similar to World of Warcraft, but due to the comical nature of the game, we feel the cartoony appearance fits perfectly. The challenge is steep, but not insurmountable. And of course, the gameplay is still just as addictive and satisfying as it was the first time around. We simply can’t get enough of killing orcs by catapult, acid showers, ceiling crushers, spinning blades, spike traps, steam vents and….. well… you get the idea.
If you’re new to the Orcs Must Die! franchise and you’re interested in what you see here but don’t have a buddy to play with, we completely recommend checking out the original. It is still definitely worth buying and the price tag is a little lower than Orcs Must Die! 2. If you loved the first and want more of this Orc-flinging goodness, then you simply shouldn’t hesitate to pick up this absolutely charming title.
- Name: Orcs Must Die! 2
- Available on: PC
- Price: $14.99
- Developed by: Robot Entertainment
- Published by: Microsoft Studios
- Release date: July 28, 2012
- Elder-Geek Score: 5 out of 5 / Worth Buying/Trying