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Orcs Must Die! Unchained Review (PC)

Robot Entertainment has released Orcs Must Die! Unchained for PC.

BioGamer Girl flew out on April 11th to try out the retail version of the upcoming title, Orcs Must Die! Unchained. Read on to see what we thought of the new game!

Orcs Must Die! Unchained
is an action-packed tower defense game that takes the Orcs Must Die! series to all new heights. Gamers can team up against hordes of vicious orcs in brand-new, 3-player team gameplay.

After a few minutes of playing Orcs Must Die! Unchained, I started to wonder why I have never played the series up until that moment. The last tower defense/strategy game that I played and really enjoyed was the Age of Empires series. Robot Entertainment is actually a company that was created by those who founded Ensemble Studios. Why does that name sound familiar? Well Ensemble Studios was actually the developer who made the real-time strategy series, Age of Empires! Ding, Ding, Ding!

Let's start from the beginning. The first thing journalists did when arriving at Robot Entertainment was meet the great team behind Orcs Must Die! Unchained. Several members set down and talked in-depth with us about the upcoming title and what we could expect. I have never met a more personable and passionate group of developers. It was evident right off the bat that they really cared about this title and put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it. The Robot Entertainment studio was immaculate with its very own German-style beer pub, a speakeasy, fully stocked kitchen and even an area to play tabletop games.

After touring the studio and speaking with the team, the attending journalists were able to get some hands on time with the upcoming title, Orcs Must Die! Unchained. The new release takes the stakes much higher this time around with deadlier traps, ballsier heroes and even more blood-thirsty invaders. Orcs Must Die! Unchained takes place in a world that will feel very familiar to fans of the series. The game is set a few years after the Orcs Must Die! 2 finale.

Following Orcs Must Die! 2, Gabriella and Maximillian have tried to rebuild everything that was lost in the Order and a war has started for control of the magical gateways. A new enemy has emerged with the Unchained full of fierce hordes led by their own heroes this time around. While the other titles in the series lacked a robust multiplayer experience, Orcs Must Die! Unchained changes that with an impeccable array of new enemies to annihilate with friends.

Your main goal in Orcs Must Die! Unchained is to set a selection of traps to stop incoming forces of ogres, orcs and other monsters from entering the rift. If too many enemies make their way into the rift, then its lights out friend! Orcs Must Die! Unchained is an easy pick up and play game that can be enjoyed for noobies and veterans alike. Some of the traps this time around are ridiculously fun and obscure. A gamer can literally spend hours just on their trap strategy and upgrades alone adding a ton of replayability. The traps in the game cost you gold and you can trade them out if you change your mind. Some of the traps that I personally used the most was the arrow wall, barricade, floor spikes, pounder and tar trap. You also have a wide array of Guardians to place on the map with each one having different abilities and skills. The monsters are actually divided into factions such as pirates, fire fiends, ice orcs and so forth. Some are even neutral. The type of characters, such as if it is a boss, counts as different point levels when entering the rift. Also, the traps and guardians you pick affect the various monsters differently, and that also has to be taken into account.

The coolest new additions to Orcs Must Die! Unchained is the Sabotage and Unchained modes. Sabotage mode is just as it sounds--you basically sabotage your opponents game with a slew of fun monsters and tricks. Gamers play their three-player game as usual but with an evil twist. In Sabotage mode, players are able to pick cards each round that has certain abilities and monsters that they can use on the other team. You only have one opportunity to unleash your chaotic torment per round and having the right strategy will make sure you do the most damage to the other team. You can see what players have used their powers and also plan for incoming sabotages. For example, if the other team sends a horde of powerful, fast Kobolds your way then you can trip up their sabotage with some cleverly placed tar traps. This is such a cleverly designed game mode and the developers deserve mad props for cooking up this batch of chaos for gamers to enjoy. The Unchained mode allows players to use a powerful turbo mode once their bar is full allowing for some insane fun and animations. However, once you use your Unchained ability then it takes much longer to refill over the subsequent battles. I had a blast playing this one mode alone and Orcs Must Die! Unchained is already shaping up to be one of the best multiplayer titles this year.

The developers made sure to give gamers aspects they are familiar with in the Orcs Must Die! series while creating a comfortable multiplayer experience for diehard fans. Most games are better with friends and this was a key aspect that the team focused on with Orcs Must Die! Unchained.

Orcs Must Die! Unchained
gives you a variety of trap configurations in order to create cooler setups. The new release is definitely a puzzle game with the puzzles varying between matches with the main focus being on survival. There are 16 heroes at launch with a hero to fit every gamer's playstyle rather it be Melee, Ranged, Healing or Crowd Control.

The tone and atmosphere of Orcs Must Die! Unchained is very laid back, colorful and fun. The game is almost like watching your favorite Saturday morning show with the outlandish cartoon effects and corny humor. The various game modes offers something for everyone, rather it be jumping into a quick game before work or battling for hours against hordes of monsters. Orcs Must Die! Unchained doesn't force you to play a certain way but encourages you to move freely about the game world playing on your own terms.

Orcs Must Die! Unchained is a free-to-play game, but with any F2P title, there is the ability to purchase enhancements without actually earning them in-game. So if you wanted all of the heroes right off the bat then you can do that by purchasing the Hero Bundle. However, you are not required to purchase anything ever, and can earn your loot and rewards by just playing the game. There are also daily deals available to help you as well.

In the end, Orcs Must Die! Unchained is a very balanced and fun multiplayer experience. You can play the game solo or with two other players. The decision is all yours. The controls felt very tight and complimented the game's robust mechanics. The audio and graphics were whimsical and spot on. Even the storyline and character progression were fantastic for a game that’s primarily focused on survival and multiplayer components. Most games of this nature put no thought into actually developing their characters and the world they live in, which is a big no-no in my book. You have to feel connected in some way to the virtual world and that is when good writing comes into play. There just wasn't much not to like in Orcs Must Die! Unchained, outside of dying, of course. However, I can testify that the more I played the better I understood what worked and didn't, which resulted in a lot less deaths on my part.

Do I recommend playing Orcs Must Die! Unchained? Hell yes! I could go on forever about the game, but the best way to experience it is to play it for yourself. My best advice for you is "watch out for the trap," since once you get pulled into Orcs Must Die! Unchained's gameplay, then you may never want to stop! If you want to learn more, visit the official Orcs Must Die! Unchained website.


  • Killin’ Orcs and Smashin’ Dorks Orcs Must Die!’s classic white-knuckle witch’s brew of action and strategy returns, letting you team up with your friends to lay waste to millions of new invading monsters! Build an impenetrable gauntlet of traps to hack, grind, flatten, gibletize and incinerate your foes before they charge into the heart of your rift!
  • It's Definitely a Trap – The only thing better than building traps for murdering minions is building more traps! Play to unlock traps, then upgrade them to be even deadlier. Cover your fortresses in gleeful torture devices and engineer a variety of hilarious and violent ends for invading minions. Customize your strategy for every battle. The hordes are no match for the powers of elements and physics!
  • Real Action Heroes – Are you mage enough to defend the rifts? A wide variety of unique and powerful heroes with deep gameplay options offer a plethora of painfully creative ways to stop orcs in their grimy tracks. Old friends Max and Gabriella return to fight alongside a cast of new heroes like Blackpaw, Hogarth, Stinkeye, and Bloodspike. Whether you prefer might and majesty or scum and villainy, there’s a hero for every type of orc-slayer around. 
  • Your Favorite Ways to Slay – Survival mode lets players murder their way to the top of the orc pile in 3-player co-op defense gameplay that every Orcs Must Die! fan will love. Weekly Challenges and Daily Quests give players the chance to unlock extra traps and upgrade parts. Long-time favorite Endless mode has returned in Orcs Must Die! Unchained with expanded 3-player co-op.

Score: 9.5 out of 10
Reviewed for PC

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