I’ve never been much of a PC gamer—I blame a life of using nothing but Apple computers for that—but I still try to keep an eye out for interesting games both big and small that are coming to the platform.
One such release I gave a go recently is Orcs Must Die! Unchained, the third in Robot Entertainment’s series of real-time tower defense games. Orcs Must Die has been one of those franchises that I’ve long had in the back of my head, knowing it existed and hearing about it on a regular basis but never being sure exactly what it was. Thus my curiosity to finally learn the game behind the name.
Teaming up with a few of the Robot Entertainment staff, I jumped into a match, assured that I’d be able to pick things up pretty quick as the game went along. From the list of characters that were available in the build we were playing, there was really only one choice I could go with: Smolder, the red-haired “fireborn” sorceress with attacks as fiery as her temper. Once the level had loaded, we had a bit of a quiet period before the first of ten waves began, in which we’d be able to place traps or set AI-controlled guardians at key points.
From there, Orcs Must Die! Unchained really is a simple concept: bad guys come in trying to breach your defenses and reach and end goal you don’t want them to reach, and you’re trying to stop them. In my playtime with the game, though, that simple concept branched out in some interesting ways. Of course, there’s the characters themselves, each of which brings not only their own set of unique powers and abilities, but also the chance to get into the middle of the chaos without just letting your traps do all of the work. Those traps will be very important, however, and even in my short time with the game, I got a chance to check out the depth in form and function from what players will have at their disposal. Then, there’s the fact that heroes also exist on the enemy side, and when they crash the party, they’re a force to be reckoned with.
If, like me, you’re new to the series, then I offer up the gameplay video below, showcasing some of the highlights from my recent hands-on time with Orcs Must Die! Unchained. If it all looks interesting and you’re curious to play, then good news: the game will be free-to-play when it’s fully released later this year, and an open beta kicked off just a handful of days ago. Who knows, you might just love taking out hordes of orcs (and other foul creatures) as much as Smolder seemed to as I used her powers to set my enemies alight.
Try out the open beta for yourself at orcsmustdie.com.