I like it, its funny, clever and most of all lots of fun. On a bad note Loot was a bit poor. we RPG nerds survive on Loot. Its where we get our powers.
Of Orcs and Men's few design issues don't prevent it from being a fun, table-turning take on the age-old conflict.
- Gorgeous environments and character design
- Lots of depth in the battle system
- Dual protagonists add an interesting dynamic to the story and combat.
- Maps are fairly linear and light on loot
- Minor technical glitches mar the vibe.
Often relegated to the background as evil fodder for the blades of do-gooder humans, orcs don't usually get a chance to shine on center stage. Of Orcs and Men changes that, instead painting greenskins in a very different light while tackling heady topics of genocide and oppression through the eyes of its dual protagonists: a brutish orc, Arkail, and his reluctant goblin sidekick, Styx. Their dynamic relationship is the central pillar holding aloft a fun-but-flawed adventure that packs impressive depth in some areas, yet struggles with shallow design in others.
Turning traditional fantasy tropes on their head, humans are the villains in this tale. War ignites across the continent when the power-hungry human empire shows its monstrous tendencies by imprisoning, torturing, and slaughtering the green-skinned inhabitants of the land. Brought together by a common foe, Arkail and Styx begrudgingly team up to push deep into the empire's territory and assassinate the emperor. Their quest sends the duo on a lot of wild tangents--one minute they're burning a church filled with inquisitor scum, the next they're rescuing an imprisoned wizardess to aid in their quest. Lines between good and evil are blurred constantly, often by the protagonists themselves. Despite their questionable methods, these fellows are oddly likeable, thanks to their strong personalities and enjoyable camaraderie.
The colorful interactions between the burly anger-prone orc and his witty comrade also provide some comic relief that helps counterbalance the somber tone of their bloody mission. Unfortunately, the humor seems forced and at times it misses the mark. Dialogue waffles between witty remarks and excessive F-bombs to the point where it feels juvenile and distracting. It's a shame, because their backstory and ongoing development throughout the adventure is genuinely interesting. They're compelling characters that hold up even as the pace of the story shifts gears--and it does so frequently. The ham-fisted attempt at extra edginess wasn't needed.
With an orc and a goblin walking around amidst a bunch of greenskin-hating humans, the vast majority of the encounters devolve into combat with ease, whether you intend them to or not. Of Orcs and Men's battle system blends action-heavy encounters and more thoughtful RPG strategy by letting you instantly dial down the excitement to a slow-motion crawl at the touch of a button. This gives you time to queue up different attack moves, change between offensive and defensive stances, and trigger abilities for both characters before letting loose again.
Since you can only directly control one character at a time, and the friendly A.I. isn't the most competent, a lot of micromanagement juggling comes into play. But instead of being tedious, it's actually fun to continually swap characters, switch up your strategy, and adapt to the flow of battle as it unfolds. It keeps encounters fluid and gives you a big strategic toolbox to pull from.
Both warriors' distinct personalities also play into their vastly different fighting styles, and it's these differences that make each one enjoyable to play when the need to swap them out arises. Arkail is a powerful but unpredictable melee fighter who wields giant blades and bludgeoning weapons. Every hefty blow he delivers or receives pushes him closer to flying into a berserk rage. When he does fly off the handle, all hell breaks loose. He's uncontrollable for a brief time, his damage is ramped up significantly, and he attacks anyone within range--friend and foe alike. Afterwards, Arkail is momentarily stunned, opening him up to attack, which is why managing his anger level so it peaks at just the right time is an important challenge.
7.0? thats how far i had to look to know you are tripping gamespot, this game deserves a 9. The only thing you can complain about is the fact that combos dont stop after the enemy is dead, you start a 3 hit combo ability and kill them on the first hit, then the sequence goes on as the character keeps hitting the air, and thats it, nothing else sucks or is wrong with the game, no bugs, no glitches, no nothing. And 7.0?
I bet the reason gamespot doesnt give good games good reviews and scores anymore is because its taking money under the table to hand out scores, reviews have been bullshit for the past few years.
Quite a few hasty generalizations going on in the comments section right now, no, America isn't led by a bunch of stupid people, and no its not just the evil democrats trying to take away our video games, right now it is a few people on both sides of the line, who are scared and angry. They are looking for anything to blame, seeking to vindicate anything that might unify the general populace into getting mad and doing something about it.
No, I'm not trying to defend this kind of legislation, on the contrary, I am against it 100%. Furthermore, I am offended by Mr. Yee telling gamers to quiet down, citing bloodthirst and avarice as reasons why gamers shouldn't be trusted. However, I do think that some understanding needs to be reached, and it isn't really helping anything for people to just get on here and rage about how stupid faceless politicians are.
Game is nice. Its also a little bit too simple, but I like story. Nowadays it is difficult to find the original story.
I'm very intrigued. Been a way since I played an RPG with a deep story and interesting characters. I'll definately be picking this up at some point.
Maybe the first time I've read a criticism of back-mounted weapons floating behind a character....pretty common problem actually, see Dragon Age (by far the worst offender), The Witcher, Skyrim.
The ever ongoing challenge of a good idea is always implementation. One could compare this to watching a tight rope walker with no net.
Well, this is exactly like the other game by Cyanide, Game of Thrones. It's a "linear RPG", if that's even possible. The gameplay is subpar in my opinion, but the graphics are cool and storyline is great. If only they could enhance the gameplay and work on the animations, their games would be awesome.
@leikeylosh I rather enjoyed Game of Thrones despite it's large array of flaws so certainly will give this a try. I feel Cyanide's games are a bit ambition over budget but the effort is there.
I'm a bit unsure about this one and would like to have a demo to be sure it was worth my time and money, but I've got lots of other games to play so this is merely a "might be good" game.
@Hurvl It is a nice game, but wait for a price drop cause it is really linear (even the leveling up). For 30 dollars or so its a nice worthy game (atm 45 euro's so that's 50 dollars or so?)
@dutchgamer83 I think so too, though I'm European or Swedish to be more precise, so I'll probably get it on Steam and pay in euros. I have a backlog that is so extreme that I consider five year old games to be new, so I'm not in a hurry to buy new games that might not be what I'm looking for.
I like how the " new " crappy CoD game gets a review instantly after being released, but a small developer game review takes forever...
And Kevin come at comments all self-righteous and bash a dude speaking the truth.
I miss the old 90's Gamespot....
It's a popular game, of course it's getting a reviews instantly and defending your job and co-workers is a bad thing now?
I don't think GameSpot is the problem anymore, I think it's the users who use it.
i liked the game it have its flaws and annoying moments but it was ok kevin reviews are my favorite to read or watch on GS
Better saying, this game is not for the action loving people, instead is for those who love games like baldur's gate, dragon age : origins and such rpgs where tactics while fighting are involved.
For me the bad is using such a bulky character and making him fight pathetic humans without making them fly with each punch, unfortunately that is a downside that made me consider the fact to do not play this game, STILL, this is a game that people who love classical rpgs should play.
@arganvain I LOVE!! BG games (mostly BG2:SoA) and Im eager to play the new Enhanced edition but if this one is too linear it sure wont feel like a Baldur's Gate eh
@GamerOuTLaWz thats why i was talking about the kind of tactical fight, not about all the game.
the game itself is not free as an rpg one, instead is quite linear as an action one.
This comment has been deleted
That hurt to read... I need to wash my poor brain out now.
Respectfully, while I agree that excessive swearing is indeed bad and in poor taste, I don't feel that the method by which you chose to deliver that point was really appropriate, or necissary for that matter.
And that, my friends, is the last time you will see me use the F-bomb in a comment. Why? Because I am not a savage, and I refuse to talk like one.
@starduke Swearing doesn't make you a savage, why does not conforming to arbitrary rules devised by control freaks make you a savage? I say, Fuck is a great word, the fact that people out there are offended by it makes it an even greater word. Fuck them! (and if you are offended by a word that is not directed at you, you should start questioning why it is so)
@ggregd I do hope your comment wasn't directed at me. If so, it's not a trailer, it's a murderizing metal gear, and it's not on fire, it fires nuclear warheads.
@dutchgamer83 @Lord_Python1049 The origins of the word are so obscure that there's no telling where it came from or what it meant originally. It might have come from that, or it might have come from a myriad of other sources. However, when you look at the context it is usually used in, in modern usage, it certainly doesn't mean anything good.
@Lord_Python1049 The F-bomb means rape. If you want to go around telling people that you want to rape them, or that they should be raped, or that inanimate objects should be raped, go right ahead...you savage!
This comment has been deleted
@Gelugon_baat That wasn't talking, that was text. And, after that comment, I also refuse to write like one.
@starduke A point well made i'd say :D
7 !!! for the love of god I saw many gameplays on youtube, the battle system is the worst thing I have ever saw !!!, game of thrones was better ;/
This one was on my watch list and now on my wish list. I was on the fence and I'm glad to see Gamespot liked it. With Cyanide games, you never know if it's just unrealized potential or an actual playable product.
Considering how poorly most of Cyanide studios outings have been, this sounds like a rousing success (I suspect that Spiders was the biggest contributor to the game, then, and so I'd keep an eye on them). I hope it does well for them. I await the inevitable Steam sale!
Tried this game, didn't like it. People who are considering this one, I VERY strongly urge you to watch some gameplay videos, particularly ones with a lot of combat. Personally I didn't enjoy having to babysit two greenskins, and I do mean babysit, you can't go a fight without switching between characters or one(if not both) will end up dead. The way the story is presented is another HUGE minus for me, all the dialog is flat, trying to make these orcs out as some sort of noble beast just doesn't work, especially when that orc just wants to smash faces. The early friendly orc conversation dialog literally made me grind my teeth, they sound so fluffy!
But the biggest flaw IMO is the combat system. They really should have taken a look at Dragon Age:Origins for the tactics system, either that or give the not active character at least half decent AI. Having to stop combat to cycle through three sets of moves for each character makes it feel like the combat is turn-based, slow, and generally not much fun.
Game sounds decent enough to give it a look. I'll still wait for the price to come down a bit, though.
Gamespot is really lazy with the stuff they review ... it's like one month old already? Duh.
Game is okay-ish I guess.
@tribalKELLERMAN I wouldn't say lazy, sadly none of the big game review sites has covered this game. A huge shame cause it is a nice budget rpg (don't buy it for the full price, even lving up is linear, but at a cheaper price there is a fun game waiting for you).
I can understand Kevin's frustration at being called lazy when they make so many hours. But @Kevin-V, most people don't know how much time is invested and how much staff there is for all the games. All people see is this game not getting a review while there are many many cover stories about Halo and CoD a couple of times per month "Today we look at map x, tomorrow map y and the day after we show you how the map editor looks like". Maybe spend a little less energy on games that sell like mad cause of their title alone, cause CoD comes out every year, and every year a lot of attention goes too it. If you are understaffed make priorities. And games like Of Orcs and Men really need review sites like GS to promote their game cause it doesn't get a bad score and is unknown title. Less time on Halo and CoD's extra coverages could create time to write a review about these kind of games. Cause frankly i don't have to read about the perks of CoD year after year, we know that already and if it has 2 new ones fine, mention it in the CoD review not a entire article about it in the upcoming days or who the covenants are in Halo.
I know my examples are exacurated but CoD and Halo get a lot attention trough out the year. Less time on them more time in unknown games so they some attention as well.
@tribalKELLERMAN Apart from what Kevin describes, personally i prefer when game reviews come out a few weeks after release.
At least there's a chance that the reviewer played the game for more than just a few hours and wasn't rushed by a deadline.
Then again i never preorder, so it doesn't matter that much to me.
YEAH! UP YOURS!
@tribalKELLERMAN We aren't lazy--we have limited staff members at a time when (you may have noticed?) a lot of major games are coming out. I am glad we were able to review this game at all. I invite you to come visit our offices and follow our staff members around. Their 70-80 hour weeks, the voraciousness and passion with which they do it all, the good attitudes they still have even when sacrificing personal happiness while doing it; you would never accuse any of these people of being lazy. In fact, you would wonder why they give so much, even if it means spending too little time with their loved ones.
@Kevin-V @tribalKELLERMAN No offense, but I don't really care for the whole "70-80 hour work week...sacrificing personal happiness" hero nonsense. No one told you to go work for GameSpot--that was your choice. Your argument is kind of like the NFL players blaming the NFL because they didn't know that football was a violent sport which could damage their health.
What you should have said was, "GameSpot is a free site that offers the gaming public a great service by offering free reviews without asking for anything in return." I would have had more respect for you than your whining retort.