orcs must die! Archive


XBLA Wednesday: October 5th

Four new XBLA titles hit the Xbox Live Marketplace today and lucky for you, we know what they are! First up is Orcs Must Die from Robot Entertainment. Coming up next is NBA Jam: On Fire Edition from EA which should give NBA fans a reason to smile in the midst of the on-going lockout. And rounding us out is a pair of games from Sega including Sega Bass Fishing and Space Channel 5 Part 2. Whether you're into dancing, sports, fishing, or slaughtering orcs there's something for everyone this week on Xbox Live Arcade!


XBLAFancast Special – Orcs Must Die! interview

Orcs have been a problem throughout the universe for all eternity. Well. Maybe not, but they still have to die! And so they will in Robot Entertainment's action tower defense strategy game Orcs Must Die! Justin Korthoff, Community Manager at Robot Ent, joins myself and John Laster to discuss the game's origin, some details about Robot Ent, and of course the awesome points of the game.

Justin goes over the bit of time following Ensemble Studios' collapse all the way up through the beginning of Orcs Must Die!, and how small the game started at first. On top of that is the birth of a lot of the game mechanics, how three traps turned into over 20, and how the crossbow and various other elements of the game were balanced to ensure that each of the game's levels played differently. This podcast is full of great insight into the processes regarding this game's development and the result of those design strategies.

Venture forth and listen!


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What we are playing: Week of October 2

What we are playing is a weekly column that appears each weekend. Various staff members let the world know what games had them hooked the past week and which ones they look forward to.

Todd Schlickbernd – I've been playing lots of Orcs Must Die! for our upcoming guide and recently picked up Worms: Ultimate Mayhem which I played with a couple friends. Pleasantly surprised with it so far, so that's nice. Other than that, Gears of War 3 and League of Legends.

Perry Jackson – Started up the Battlefield 3 Beta on the weekend and it's pretty fun. I've never really played much of the Battlefield games but I really enjoy the feel of it. Other than that, picked up Outland on sale and for 400 MSP, you can't go wrong. It's a neat little platformer that has some pretty cool action elements.

Ryan Reynolds – I'm still feasting on Gears of War 3 which has a metric ton of great content to offer. I've also got a few games of the Battlefield 3 Beta in.

James Heiger – Still playing Gears of War 3 and I picked up a lot of stuff on sale recently. Shank is alot of fun.

Jonathan Cole – I've been eating up a lot of time with Gears of War 3, mostly in the Horde and Beast modes. Aside from that, I've been trying to finally 100% Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes and not go crazy playing the buggy Battlefield 3 Beta.

Damon Fillman – I literally can't stop playing Gears of War 3, but I've also played Worms: Ultimate Mayhem which is surprisingly fun. I'm preparing myself for next week's onslaught of even more games. Bye bye cash!

John Drawdy – I have gotten a bunch of time in with Orcs Must Die!, but have gone back and worked on finishing up Red Bull X-Fighters and Crimson Alliance. I have played a little of the new MLB Bobblehead Battle game for a review and have purchased almost 10 XBLA games I have yet to play in the past week. Need more time to play games, bye bye sleep.

Ross Adams – Finished up Gears of War 3, as well as played a bunch of Horde and Versus. Been trying out the Battlefield 3 Beta, which is pretty cool although very buggy (it is a beta after all). Just picked up Section 8: Prejudice on sale and discovering I'm quite good at it and enjoying it a lot as a result.

Nathan Bowring – Impulse-bought Mercury HG, which is rather fun and is helping me memorize the periodic table. Also returned to the classic Assassin's Creed II and the amazing flying machine sequence. Hope my gaming experience is adding variety, I'm like the only one here who didn't play Gears of War 3!

Nicholas DePetris – I picked up Outland on sale and am really enjoying it so far. It's a pretty interesting game with a great art style. I'm going to be playing Gears of War 3 all day Sunday as well – pretty excited!

Christine Mitchell – I bought Portal in the recent sale so been playing through that and I finished the main story on Torchlight this week too.

Stephen Haberman – It has been mostly Gears of War 3 for me as well. I just finished Act 3 and played through 50 levels of Horde. I also happen to be one of the lucky ones in the Diablo lll Beta, which is fabulous.


Avatar Awards: Week of 9/25

Orcs Must Die! and Worms: Ultimate Mayhem will be the next games to feature avatar awards. To see more XBLA-based Avatar awards, check out this link. If you want the latest Avatar Award related news as it hits the scene, be sure to follow @AvatarAwards360 on Twitter.

Upcoming games: **Awards are the same for male and female unless specified


Ready for Orcs Must Die!? You will be after this!

Orcs Must Die! is only a week away, and both developer Robot Entertainment and fans of the game are gearing up for the launch by releasing content. In Robot Entertainment's corner, we have an excellent prequel comic and a gallery of art inspired by the game. Here's the description of this action packed tale:

Ages ago, parties of brave – or stupid – explorers stepped through a magical rift to explore an untapped source of magic. What they found was a ravaged world, a destroyed landscape populated by drooling, bloodthirsty monsters. The magic wielders of the land formed the Order to protect their realm from invading beasts. But how long can the order hold back the merciless orc mob?

On the fan side of things, chazamation is tearing it up with their fan video, which showcases some of the traps available to cut, spike, slam, and catapult orcs away from their goal. Take a look at the video above.

Whether or not you like comics or movies, there's one things we can all agree with: we're excited for Orcs Must Die!'s release. Stay tuned to XBLA Fans for more coverage as the game hits the market, but for now check out some of our other coverage here!


Orcs Must Die! Developer Diary brings us an overview of chaos

As we wait for the October 5 release date of Orcs Must Die!, Robot Entertainment recently put out a developer diary on the overview of the game. Not only do you get to peek into the development process but you also get to check out some neat concept art from the game, not to mention previously unseen enemy types. Robot Entertainment also divulge their favourite traps and skill trees in order to kill those pesky orcs. Keep a trap handy for when those orcs come in October.


Orcs Must Die! set to slaughter XBLA October 5

Robot Entertainment has announced that its upcoming action-strategy game Orcs Must Die! will be hitting Xbox Live Arcade on October 5. Players take control of a War Mage who is tasked with defending twenty four fortresses from an onslaught of orcs who are ready to pillage everything in their path. Players will have a variety of weapons and spells at their disposal as well as 17 different traps that will result in plenty of glorified orc death.

If you haven't yet seen the interactive Orcs Must Die! trailer Robot released last week, make sure you click here and do so. Expect more Orcs Must Die! coverage here at XBLAFans as its October 5 release date approaches!


New Orcs Must Die! trailer creates chaotic choices

Being indecisive never works when you're given a choice so when you have to decide between spring traps and spikes to kill orcs, it's difficult to choose how you want them taken out as seen here in Orcs Must Die! from Robot Entertainment. The game looks to be a fusion of action and strategy with emphasis on laying traps or using the skills at your hand and combining them for damage against the orcs. In the new trailer from the PC build, it plays like a walkthrough of the first five waves but as you're viewing the video you can go through and choose between what traps you want to see next. This looks to be a winner come this October so definitely watch out for this one and watch out for orcs, because they must die.


Orcs Must Dies: enemy list

Orc Warrior – Single-minded brute who heads for the rift: These guys are easily dispatched and distracted, if you stay close they will focus on you and not the rift.

Crossbow Orc – Shoots crossbow bolts at you and your minions: A little harder to kill then the normal orc, they will move forward attacking you until you are out of shots range and then turn and head straight for the rift

Kobold Runner – Fast Enemy who sprints for the rift: Distracted by nothing, it is best to use your sword at close range to handle these guys or they will get away quickly

Ogre – Takes lots of punishment; counts for 5 rift points: Large and slow these powerhouses take a lot to die, but can be tricked into following you around as long as you need. Be careful of his swing, it will daze you for a few seconds if it makes contacts.

Hellbat – Flying enemy that avoids floor traps: These enemies don't move fast and die easily, just make sure not to forget about them or they will kill your rift points

Gnoll Hunter – Tough; hunts down war mages: Fully armored, making your crossbow useless, just pull out the sword and swing away. These are not to be worried about until they reach you as they will not attack the rift. Be careful, their attacks can cause a slowing poison.

Fire Ogre – Hard to kill; immune to fire; counts for 5 rift points: These guys are just like ogres, but they're super susceptible to ice attacks.

Fire Babies – Smaller than the hellbats, but can be more of a problem if hit by their attacks all at once. Luckily, they're just as susceptible to ice.

Kobold Sapper – Fast enemy who tries to blow up warmages and guardians: They run straight for blockades, guardians, or the player in that order. If attacked before getting separated, they'll all blow up in a line.

Frost Ogre – Hard to kill; immune to ice, counts for 5 rift points: These guys are just like ogres, but they're super susceptible to fire attacks.

Hobgoblin Shaman – These guys will revive any fallen comrades around them (though they can't do it constantly). Be careful when they show up with Gnoll Hunters or Ogres, they can revive them too.

Armored Ogre – Takes ton of punishment; counts for 10 rift points: These guys are just like ogres, but they've got even more health, so wail on them twice as hard!


Orcs Must Die!: Tips & Tricks

These tips were submitted Evan Lieske, a tester on Orcs Must Die!

  • Brimstone will always hit Kobolds and Knolls (if it is not resetting), and it is the only trap that can kill orcs bearing a shield with one hit. Alternating rows of Brimstone and Tar (to slow the horde from running over the next row of Brimstone while already on fire) is my personal favorite.
  • Ice Amulet. Use it to save yourself if surrounded, stop an enemy near the rift, immobilize ogres for easy (or easier) headshots, tear through fliers, or use it to increase the damage of subsequent attacks (especially against ogres). It is worth bringing on every level.
  • Upgrade cautiously. Since there is not reset to upgrades using skulls, be certain to upgrade the better traps first. Spike traps, Push traps, and Boom Barrels would not be the best first. Instead go with Tar, Brimstone, and Decoys.
  • Tar. Cheap at only 300 coins, cheap to upgrade with skulls, never resets, slows enemies even more once upgraded with skulls, contributes to combinations, and can be used well in conjunction with many traps.
  • Barricades. They can make the difference between defeat and five-skulling, but be certain to not block every path to the rift. Close all but one path or snake the orcs along and you will find most levels simpler.
  • Shaman. If not distracted by Kobolds running by you or an ogre smashing your head, kill shaman first. They will resurrect individual orcs, ogres, and other shaman dead on the floor if they are not shattered by ice, incinerated by fire, or giblitized by a few select traps. Attempting to deal with four shaman resurrecting eachother is difficult without the Ice Amulet to keep the immobile and to shatter them.
  • Weavers. They are worth buying every single stage. Elemental weaver excels when traps are not enough to with a majority of the enemies or when two or more doors must be defended. Steel weaver supports traps and is essential if the trap setup emphasizes guardians or physics traps. Knowledge weaver can help in all situations with its various upgrades. Spending 1800 coins to earn double coins from spell kills and having those kills on an upgraded Coinforge (an extra 250%) will grant 52 coins instead of 15 per kill. Do this the first few waves when it is more likely to defeat an entire wave using only spells.
  • Leave some traps behind. In the beginning when options are few, use all that is available, but not far into the game it would be best to leave the Spike traps and Bladestaff behind. Everything can be good in the right circumstance, but those prime situations are not always common for every trap, weapon, or spell.
  • Check the enemy list before starting. If there are Forst ogres, consider bringing Flame Bracers (since Brimstone will not be enough). If there are Kobold Sappers, prepare to defend any Barricades set. Don't pick or set traps not knowing what you will encounter.
  • Experiment. There are many ways to five skull every level on Nightmare and even more for War Mage. Do not limit yourself to the same trap setup each game. There is much repaly value in changing trap composition, and you will discover successful setups.
  • Accept a loss. There will be some levels that take more than one try to conquer. I needed about seven attempts to beat Rebirth on Warmage for the first time. Use any environmental traps or modify or even completely change your strategy.
  • Kobolds are fast, as you will quickly find. They are too fast to be hit by some traps, such as Spike traps and sometimes Arrow Walls and Pounders. Use Brimstone or Wall Grinders to kill them or Tar to slow them down for easy shooting. Keep away from the Sappers, and keep them away from your Barricades.
  • Chandeliers. They are effective on groups of enemies or even a single ogre, but it can be hard to time shooting them down when the enemies are below. I like to set a grid of Tar under them so that when the horde reaches the middle of my three rows I know they are directly under it.
  • Don't just headshot. This is mostly for those who use the controller since you can hold the trigger to fire rapidly. Two great reasons to rapid fire are to remove the shields from many orcs and when you want to hit each enemy once before it dies to increase the combo on each of them by one.
  • Mushrooms. Try setting a mushroom under an ogre as it runs to convert it to your side. Doing so will leave you with less orcs chasing after the rift since many will engage the ogre, leaving you with the chance better defend the rift or to more easily defeat the wave. Converting ogres is excellent for offense and defense.
  • Decoys are a frequent rift saver. Use one to distract many enemies brielfy or a few enemies for a while. They are mostly useful against Orc Warriors and ogres, but are still worth upgrading immediately after unlocking.
  • Environmental traps. Keep watch for Boom Barrels that are given, acid and lava pots, chandeliers, and logs. Using them can pull you from defeat. The pots may even be used multiple times, so use them often.
  • Mix spells and traps. It would not be a good idea to bring only weapons and spells or only traps to a level unless you are looking for an added challenge. Typically, it is best to have two or three spells (Ice Amulet and Lightning Ring are my usual) and have the rest for traps, once you are able to have about six or more weapons or traps in a level. When you can only bring less it would be best to stick to one spell in most cases.
  • Trap compliments. Some traps are simply not very good alone, such as the Swinging Mace and Wall Grinder. But if Tar is set under the Mace and both Tar is set next to the Grinder (adjacent to it) and Barricades are next to the Tar (so that the Tar is between the Grinder and Barricade) to force the horde along the walls, you have a powerful setup that can work well on many levels.
  • Ogres. If not converting them with a Mushroom (since it is expensive), freezing them with the Ice Amulet then head-shotting the next simplest option. If the ogre is frost, consider the Flame Bracers (of course it is very effective) or use the Crossbow secondary to stun then headshot.
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