Indie

PAX East – Orcs Must Die! Unchained Hands-On Impressions

There’s something especially satisfying about tower defense games as you watch your fortress grow and your enemies fall. Orcs Must Die! from Robot Entertainment made its debut as a single-player game pitting you against hordes of orcs armed with your own weapon and an arsenal traps to lure and ensnare your enemies. Naturally, the game has dwelt into multiplayer territory to have players from around the world to test their fortress siege skills against each other. As anticipated, the core gameplay translates splendidly into the MOBA format in Orcs Must Die! Unchained.

In my time with the game, I was set up as a type of mage archer class. Each class had character-specific abilities, but every player had the same loadout of traps to set. Aside from the standard weapon combat, however, the game adopts a card element with characters receiving a deck of cards throughout the game. Each card contains a type of minion that can be unleashed, and with the points you obtain after defeating other enemies in-battle, you may contribute to slowly unlocking new bases.


Disappointed that the fern on the side isn't playable, though.

Disappointed that the fern on the side isn’t playable, though.

Similar to League of Legends, your own horde of minions will spawn periodically and follow a set path to assist you in the other team’s destruction. While in LoL your minions grow in strength when you’re closest to winning, it’s especially satisfying to level up your manually level up your minions up to 3 times.

The rewards for your actions in combat feel tangible and satisfying, and it’s exactly what most MOBAs strive for. The fortress siege combat of Orcs Must Die! fits perfectly in Unchained, and the best of it all is that you’ll be able to enter the action for the fabulous price of free. Although, as a free-to-play game, there ‘s always the danger of an imbalance in gameplay when comparing the players who purchase in-game content and characters as opposed to those who earn them over time. We’ll just have to see how it all works out when the game is available for everyone to play.

You can have a bear on your team. GOTY.

You can have a bear on your team. GOTY.

However, it should be noted that if you really can’t wait, you can actually get in the action and play the Alpha build today with the Master Founder’s Pack, priced at $150, through their Founders Program. Personally, that sounds very steep to me, but it’s entirely up to you, of course.

In addition to its core gameplay mechanics though, the visuals are stellar. Player characters move excellently with solid controls and splendid animations to really bring the world of Orcs Must Die! to life. It’s nice to see that a lot of effort has gone into this title so far, mechanically and aesthetically. We’ll be sure to update you with more information on Orcs Must Die! Unchained as it’s unveiled through the year.

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