Orcs Must Die: Unchained Review

A F2P Tower Defense Shooter

I never played any of the previous two Orcs Must Die games. I really wasn’t sure what they were to be honest. After playing through and enjoying Fortified, I went on the hunt for more third person and tower defense combo games. I came across Orcs Must Die: Unchained, which is an online version for the series with a free to play model.

Orcs Must Die Unchained Breakdown

Orcs Must Die: Unchained is a tower defense game you play from the third person perspective. There are melee and ranged classes, with a multitude of different characters. As mentioned, it is a free to play game, but does let you pay for characters, skins, and so on. The basic gameplay of Orcs Must Die: Unchained has you setting up traps along the path of enemies storming your castle, mage tower, or other structure, with you helping thin the enemy ranks along the way. The enemies you kill fund your trap construction. You can form a group of three and coordinate laying down traps between and during waves of enemies. There is even a PvP mode where you compete with an opposing player team indirectly, to see who can stop the most enemies. There are also hard-modes for those looking for a little extra challenge.

What Makes It Fun

I like the stylized art of the game. It’s very reminiscent of World of Warcraft, which I am admittedly heavily biased towards. It could almost BE a World of Warcraft themed game with very little adjustment. I also like it being free, or more specifically, I like it’s monetization model. You pay to customize, not to win. Although, since there is no direct PvP in the game, the pay-to-win argument gets a little murky. Small shoutout for the variety of different characters. Especially in new games, having to use the same small group of classes/characters gets old. There are lots to choose from in Orcs Must Die: Unchained, though I was lucky enough to like one the free starting ones. What I like most about the game is it’s core gameplay. The combo of third person and tower defense is new to me, so it feels unlike anything I’ve played before. I feel like refreshing is an overused buzz word, but it fits here.

What Makes It…Not

Remember the variety of characters I mentioned earlier? Good luck unlocking one through in-game currency. I’ve played for over 11 hours and barely have enough to unlock the cheapest tier of hero. I’d have even less if I paid to upgrade my traps like I’m supposed to. Orcs Must Die: Unchained has such a disappointingly long grind to unlock new heroes. I feel like putting 11 hours into any free to play game should let me unlock one of anything the game has to offer. This is my only gripe about the game, but it’s also the reason I am not motivated to play it anymore. Hopefully they’ll adjust currency reward rates soon.

Stormwind? Or a castle in Orcs Must Die: Unchained?

The Bottom Line

Orcs Must Die: Unchained was popular with the stream viewers. Free has that effect sometimes. Still, I can’t quite recommend it because of the hefty grind. Even if I somehow managed to unlock a hero at 15 hours, that’s a pretty big investment. I may not even like the hero I just spent 15 hours working towards, which would likely increase the likelyhood of rage quitting. If it weren’t for the slow grind, I’d be playing more. I love the gameplay itself though, so if money isn’t an issue for you, this game may be great for you.

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