If you have played Orcs Must Die, or have simply read Ken’s review of the original, you know that it’s an addicting twist on the Tower Defense genre. Blending the stylings of a light-hearted dungeon romp with the creative trap kills of the Kagero series (the last entry of which was simply called Trapt in the US), Orcs Must Die 2 promises to be everything that the original was and much more.
The biggest change to Orcs Must Die 2 is the co-op. Now, in addition to the returning main character from OMD, you’ll have a Sorceress at your disposal. The two play differently, with the War Mage still being an up-close fighter (now with a Blunderbuss on hand for shotgun fun), and the Sorceress focusing more on battlefield control. The two share most of the traps from the original game and some new ones, but are differentiated enough that they aren’t just reskins.
The Sorceress has access to abilities that charm enemy orcs (now in light, medium and heavy flavors) and, should the hapless foe be eliminated by his former friends, he’ll explode, stunning the crowd. She can also charge her shot for a larger effect. Shooting this into a stunned crowd will cause a wave of disintegrations. Strategy, my friends, is key.
The spellbook mechanic is back, but we couldn’t pry a number out of the team. We were simply told that there will be “a lot more.” Another improvement is that the Orcs now have mass regardless of the state they are in. One of the frustrations in the original was that a flopping, falling Orc might not properly trigger a trap until he stood. Now, with improved ragdolling, downed enemies will continue to trigger springs, acid showers, spikes and more.
In addition to spells, you’ll be able to equip trinkets that offer a free passive effect and a free active ability. These are different than traps, as the can effect the entire battlefield or you and your co-op partner. This will come in handy when you are swarmed by smaller, faster enemies or the large Greater Earth Elementals. When these die, they split into two Earth Elementals… and those further split into Earthlings. Yeah… those are bad news.
Orcs Must Die 2 is exclusively coming to PC this summer with special bonus content for those that own the original game. Unfortunately, no Mac version is planned and the game simply didn’t sell well enough to warrant focus on an Xbox Live Arcade release.