Orcs Must Die 2 Preview: Even More Orc Death

OK, I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for a good tower defense game. It’s a genre that’s made a solid comeback over the past few years, thanks to games like Dungeon Defenders, Sanctum and more. However, no game sums up the current state of tower defense for me better than Orcs Must Die. Jumping into the shoes of the Apprentice, setting traps, and then laying waste to some orcs is a great way to kill some down time. Heck you can kill a whole afternoon. Just about the only thing missing from the equation was the ability to play it cooperatively with your friends.

Enter Orcs Must Die 2. PAX East was my first chance to go hands-on with the newest game from Robot Entertainment, and I eagerly dove in. I’m happy to report that very little has changed from a gameplay perspective. There have been some minor tweaks and additions, but you don’t really notice any of them as you play.

Well, you might notice that other player running around. The cooperative play was simple to start up, and having a partner to rely on to watch your back when things get rough is reassuring. Of course, Robot made a few tweaks to keep things challenging. For example, there are now less ways to heal than in the first game. While we didn’t get any specifics on what was removed, we did see a new item that players can carry that continuously heals them, and allows them to heal their partner with its alt-fire.

Weapons have also changed a bit. The War Mage is packing a shotgun (although we were told that the crossbow from the first game does make an appearance), and the new co-op partner, the Sorceress, wields a staff with four different firing modes. My favorite of these was the charm spell, which the Sorceress could use to compel an enemy to fight for her for a short time.

One of the most talked about additions to Orcs Must Die 2 is the expanded trap leveling. Traps now have multiple upgrade levels to buy, so you can have more customization options in your orc murder. These extra levels did come at a price, though. The weavers, who served as the quasi-=leveling system in the first game, have been removed.

The great thing about Orcs Must Die 2 is that they didn’t monkey around with the formula or try to get too cute. They simply took what worked in the first game, tweaked a few things, added co-op, and called it good. Many games have gone astray in their sequel because they wer too far removed from what made the first game fun. You don’t have anything to worry about here. There’s not a set release date yet, but you can expect to be killing even more orcs by this summer.

Kill orcs for fun and profit with Game Front’s full text walkthrough for Orcs Must Die! 2.

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