STAFF REVIEW of Orcs Must Die (Xbox 360 Arcade)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011.
by Brent Roberts

Orcs Must Die Box art The ancient home of the orc mob, Dead World has been closed off to the other realms for their protection, but the fears of many have now become true as the orc mob is determined and hell bent on destroying the protective rifts and entering these other realms in hope of glory and plunder. Our only hope rests in the hands of the Order, a strong cadre of War Mages and their apprentices whose sole objective is to maintain the security of the rifts and to fend off any and all advancing orc forces. This task sounds immense and to add to the challenge all but one War Mage, myself, and apprentice has survived. Now the bad news, I was badly wounded in a battle defending a Rift, and I fear that my time is not long for this world. Now the really, really bad news, the apprentice of mine is way too impulsive, unintelligent, bold, and did I mention impulsive? Upon my demise this will be your guardian for any hope of opposing an onslaught of orc warriors set on one thing, destroy the Rifts. I fear for your safety because unless my apprentice can prove his worth and ability as a War Mage, you're all screwed.

The Rifts themselves are setup as strategic levels of tower defense where you will be armed with various traps, aids, and abilities to ensure the destruction of the rampaging orc mobs. Items such as spiked walls, burning hot coal pits, elven archers, paladin knights and more will help you overcome the challenges ahead and spells such as the wind belt and flaming gauntlets will easily disperse an angry charging mob of demented orcs. Each of your traps and aids can be upgraded to enhance their potential and even your War Mage himself can speak to the two weavers of steel and magic and upgrade the characteristics of either his traps or his elemental damage. Proper placement of your traps is critical and be wary War Mage, for once you lose a trap like an archer, they will be gone until the first break in the orc horde.

Every Rift is different so every strategy you use must adapt to the way the Rift castle is laid out. Since you will be slaughtering your way in a 3rd person perspective you must be mindful of your surroundings for falling to your death only increases your chance of failure and the doom of millions. There is some light though amongst the ravaging stream of orcs and that is the sound of the light hearted humor you will hear as you go through your bloodshed. Comments like "Don't crossbow me bro", "can I be the good guy now", and "can I get my parking validated" will echo through the halls of the Rift as your sword, arrow, and traps pierce through orcs one after another.

Orcs Must Die will let your inner devious side come out and play as you utilize various traps in combination with your own abilities to decimate every orc mob you can find. As far as tower defense style games go, Orcs Must Die is one of the best available and will find you literally glued to your seat trying to overcome the challenging story mode for hours upon end. The time has come, spend 1200 MS points and prove once and for all that the faith of millions rests in the capable hands of the last standing War Mage. I feel that Aragorn said it best when he said, "Let's hunt some orc", too bad he isn't here, I'd prefer him to this clumsy wanna-be War Mage and his dances of victory.

Overall: 8.1 / 10
Gameplay: 8.8 / 10
Visuals: 7.5 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10


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