Orcs Must Die! 2 is an impure tower defense, meaning in this context that player characters can actively take part in the slaying of orcs alongside their defenses. Third person murder! It doesn’t deviate terribly from the TD forumula; spawn points lead to end points, orcs getting to end points cost Rift Points, zero Rift Points means dead. The true quality of Orcs Must Die! 2 comes from its customization and protagonists.
The customization goes a long way. Using skulls earned from beating levels and reaching various milestones, players can purchase new weapons, towers, and upgrades from their spellbook. There are a whole crap-ton of murderous goodies you can acquire, ranging from grinder walls to spike traps to acid sprayers. Weapons? Can do. Dwarven missile launchers, rings of thunder, staves of domination, and other things that slash and explode and go pew pew pew!
There are several modes to choose from. War Mage mode is standard play, meaning limited waves with several occasional breaks, and a fair amount of time to set up your traps and steel yourself. Endless is obvious, but has less breaks and insane difficulty scaling. You only get the max five skull rating if you survive 40 waves, and by then you’ll be facing nothing but elite enemies. Nightmare mode is for truly hardcore (or masochistic) players. There are no breaks, and you can only sell traps when on breaks. Get it? If there are more game modes than that, I haven’t touched them.
The characters add much appreciated spunk into the game. The War Mage is a violent and enthusiastic retard while the Sorceress is literally Hitler. You get to know them when they intro each level and make quips about the traps they’re putting down. A few of my favorite Sorceress quotes, both when placing Acid Spray walls:
- “Step into my sprinkler, little orcs.”
- “Bath time, children.”
Bah, I forget the rest, but you get the point. She’s supposed to play the sexy sadist, but let’s be honest; both of their characters are far from original. Entertaining, but unoriginal.
I suppose that extends to the game itself. It has a few saving graces, but it isn’t anything truly new to the gaming world. It’s pretty damned amazing if you have a gaming buddy with which to engage in two-player jolly cooperation. Multiplayer is preferable to solo play, because it cuts the need to farm skulls in half. You really need a lot of different traps to protect your Rift in higher levels, and if you don’t want to grind for skulls, it’s best to partner up. Sorry solo players. The trend continues.
Luke Plunkett of Kotaku would like to inform players that Orcs Must Die! 2 came out nine months after the first, and is actually more of an expansion than a brand new game. Despite this, I’d still consider it pretty damned good, considering it’s cheap. $15 isn’t that bad considering the content. DLC’ll take it over 25, but that’s up to you. Check out this review to gauge its worth for yourself: http://kotaku.com/5929990/orcs-must-die-2-the-kotaku-review