Orcs must die. They’re invented for the purpose, bred for slaughter, and anyway there’s no time to argue their case in Orcs Must Die! Unchained – which transforms Robot Entertainment’s hands-on wave defence game into hectic five-versus-five multiplayer.
The sort-of-sequel is now entering its second phase of closed beta. Which means what? Well: the implementation of ideas gleaned from early player feedback, plus a new MOBA-ish levelling system.
The tempo of Orcs Must Die! Unchained has changed ever so slightly, slowing from a Charleston to a foxtrot. Revamped environments allow players to set up their battles in a more tactical manner, and short animations accompany player-triggered hero skills – giving opponents time to dodge or counter once they’ve learned the signs.
In the interest of clarity, heroes are newly categorised as attackers or defenders, though they won’t be prevented from fighting outside their comfort zones – a new Trait Builder lets those with access to the beta build personalise heroes by playstyle.
How will players build up traits gradually without a levelling system? They won’t need to – Robot have introduced one of those too. It’s a MOBA-style affair that sees heroes gain XP during battles, opening up enhancements, buffs and skills as they go.
There’s always been the whiff of LoL about Unchained: players send minions and powerful boss monsters along paths towards an enemy Rift, the map’s objective. They can now pick which friendly camp the hordes are unleashed from and help clear their way as they go.
Does any of this tickle your conflict glands?