Orcs Must Die! Unchained Alpha Review
TBD Overall Score
Fast combat, very fun and lots of characters
A few Alpha bugs still need ironing out (being able to shoot Guardians when they dont have a direct line of sight)
We got the chance to check out the currently unreleased Alpha version of Orcs Must Die! Unchained, the new competitive Fortress Siege game from Robot Entertainment, an interesting MOBA meets tower defense meets PVP type game that will be released as free to play.
The premise of the game is players can choose from ten different hero characters, each with their own class abilities and skills and fight in team based PvP or PvE alongside their waves of minions with the goal of pushing through the enemies defences as the minions patrol a direct path leading to the enemies portal inconveniently placed in their base at the other side of the map. The first to get 20 minions into the enemy’s portal is the winner!
As seen in many MOBA type games players must dash around the map, switching between various lanes and trying to wipe out enemy minions (which appear automatically every few minutes ) from both destroying your own defences, including gates, Guardian AI NPC’s and a score of different traps as placed by the players themselves. Whilst all this is happening you also need to fight other players (providing you are playing in PvP mode) who are trying to do exactly same thing resulting in much blood, sweat and cursing.
As players destroy defences and kill off enemy players and minions they gain an in game currency that they can use to either place down a variety of different traps, purchase new types of enemy waves and upgrade the strength of the minions that they can spawn. We didn’t quite get to grips with how to change up the different minions, but upgrading them was simple enough and players simply click a button to keep adding their currency/funds until enough has been added to upgrade, meaning players on a team need to pool together their resources. Similarly players start with only one minion gate active and must pay to unlock the second gate to have two waves attacking simultaneously.
Players need to balance this currency spending with the traps that they can place within their own territory, used to hold back the minion forces and greatly hinder players. The traps that each player has access to, as well as their items, is determined by the players deck/load out that they can manage prior to entering a game, players can acquire/unlock different cards that give them access to different traps that they can choose for themselves. With organised groups that regularly work together a wide selection of traps will open up a lot more strategy, however as we were a newbie group we all only had access to the normal starting traps anyway. Different traps cost a different amount of in game currency, the more powerful the trap the more expensive it is to place.
From the available classes we decided to try out Smolder, a fire mage that we were given access to from the beginning (whether this is just for the Alpha build and for testing purposes we don’t know) but there are a variety of ranged and melee characters covering popular classes. Players can attack using the left and right mouse button as well as the Q and E for their cooldown attacks, whereas the number keys are used to switch between placing down traps. We joined a team based PvP match and it would appear that players are only able to choose each hero once per team (with the exception of any hero that the AI Bot Team member has chosen, ie. for our game both teams had a bot playing the War Mage, but we could still have one of our players taking the same class).
As ever with these type of games around group can be very hit or miss as to whether you win or work well together or if everybody goes off and does their own thing without communicating to each other. It was an exciting battle and for a long time had to call, but if you want to know what happened then I suggest checking out our video gameplay in action and find out just how we did in our first play test and first look video.
Very soon we'll be publishing a detailed profile of Orcs Must Die! Unchained, so stay tuned!