The demo fails to impress GamingBolt’s Aaron Main.
Osrcs Must Die: Unchained from developers Robot Entertainment is a action-based, tower-defense simulator that doesn’t seem to be making much ground in the genre. From its lackluster play-style of protecting the level’s core, to laying out traps in nearly-predetermined locations, this is definitely a game for the hardcore tower-defense enthusiasts looking to score some fun on PlayStation 4.
I had a chance to play Orcs Must Die! Unchained at last year’s PlayStation Experience. Having never played a single Orcs game in the franchise before, I think I caught on rather quickly and got bored even quicker.
The playable character I was set up with was a big, burly man who carried a crossbow on his back and always had the face of a cartoon-ish warrior. In a rather limited-ranged demo, I was set up in a dungeon with three corridors. The walls were paved with gray stone as were the floors; two of the three paths were gated and had a door, while the corridor I was situated in held the core — a glowing light centered in what looked like a fireplace that the enemy team wants to destroy.
Before the round begins and the enemies pour in from the locked gates at the end of the farthest corridor, the game allows nearly a minute or two to lay out panel traps to slow down or stop the enemy flanks. Panels cost funds and you are allotted a certain amount of credits to spend on traps, and when you run out of your credits, simply replenish after the first completed round of enemies. Spike panel traps are allotted for placement along the ceiling and walls as well as more spikes and tar pads for the floor. The spikes obviously poke out and kills enemies as they run over the panel traps and tar gets them stuck forcing the enemies to slow down. I wasn’t shown other varieties while being guided with one of the developers, but I’m sure there are more traps within the game itself.
"Aside from traps, the game allows you to set up one guardian who stands at the center of all three paths and protects from either side the enemies emerge."
Aside from traps, the game allows you to set up one guardian who stands at the center of all three paths and protects from either side the enemies emerge. This guardian is similar to a trap panel and cannot move off of where it is placed which seems to be a predetermined location, very close to the core. The placement of the guardian wasn’t terrible because he’d pretty much be the last ditch effort in saving the core from doom. There is also a cauldron above head pre-placed within the level that can be shot with the crossbow, spewing lava down over the oncoming enemies.
I found placing the traps tedious and boring. There wasn’t much corridor space to begin with along the ceiling, walls, and floor which practically made where I placed the panel traps predetermined for me, not allowing much freedom to decide for myself. But when I placed my last panel after running out of funds it was time to manually deflate the clock and start the round.
Orcs flooded through the locked gate on the farthest end, both big and small began to set foot on the traps and came to their untimely demise. As the traps began to set-off and more enemies began to break through to the corridor’s fork, the guardian was there to help defend the core. My character was also equipped with a crossbow to shoot down enemies that got past the guardian. As swarms began to overload my guardian and take down my traps so too were their numbers dwindling. I finished off the last few with my crossbow and saved the core from certain doom.
"Sure, Orcs Must Die! Unchained was a demo, but for a demo it didn’t prove much and didn’t give me even an inkling of excitement. "
Cut-to a couple rounds later, I finished off the first swarm coming down the longest corridor by way of traps, guardian, and the cauldron of lava above head. Then the second corridor opens up and brings in a new batch of baddies. After learning the secret to alternate traps and lay them out in specific areas, the numbers of goblins tended to not be as overwhelming as before. Add to that the second gate opened only after I finished off the swarm from the first gate. After the second gate of enemies was destroyed, I won the day and the demo finished out.
Sure, Orcs Must Die! Unchained was a demo, but for a demo it didn’t prove much and didn’t give me even an inkling of excitement. There must be something hidden in the game that could make it more exciting, and if there is it wasn’t on display at PSX. Running down corridors, saving a core, and beating out the enemies flanks was definitely a flat experience for now.
This game was previewed on the PlayStation 4.