Before starting this game up, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. The cover suggests playing a fantasy hero who feels compelled to slaughter orcs for various,story-driven reasons. Apparently I was over-analyzing this. The game is about one thing: killing orcs. OK, so there is a little more to it than that, but essentially, they must die. It’s basically a Tower-Defense game… in the third person. So, instead of a top-down, overall view of the map, you play as a silly man who makes off-handed comments to himself about the situation, not unlike my buddy Drake from Uncharted. There is a story in this game, somewhere. But your main concern? Just kill those darn orcs.
Each level begins with some down time where you get to select the kinds of weapons/ traps you will be using this level and then laying them out. Once you hit select, you “unleash the horde.” They come in waves, and as the levels progress, there are different kinds of orcs making each level harder and harder. Not to mention, the maps get more complicated. For the most part, it’s just you defending the castle, so you do a lot of running. The thing I loved about this game was how it plays like a Tower-Defense, but there are times where you have to get out a melee weapon and start hacking and slashing. The animation on the characters is excellent and the comments from our hero and the orcs are hysterical. Each level is different enough to make it challenging and keep it interesting.
That said, the game is not without flaws. Each level you beat unlocks new traps, but you really don’t get a lot of new weapons (ranged or melee). Which is a big part of the game since it’s played in third-person. I get the feeling that the developers underestimated the ability of the player in combat. There is plenty of room for strategy where you can just sit back and watch the blood spill, but sometimes it’s fun to jump into the fray as well. There is also a system to purchase upgrades, but it’s a bit too hard to accrue the currency required to purchase upgrades for traps. Also, there aren’t enough options to upgrade your handheld weapons, another disappointment.
The Blast Factor: When it’s all said and done, though, it’s a really entertaining game. I loved the challenges on each map (some are really tough). The game wasn’t too easy, but it wasn’t impossible either. Not to mention, when you beat a map, our hero does a little jig, which brings me a silly amount of satisfaction. For 1200 Microsoft Points, I would say it’s worth it for seasoned Tower-Defense players and casual ones alike
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