Where to begin with Orcs Must Die 2? Well for starters what we have in front of us is surely what the original game should have been in the first place. But nevermind, it's a bloody cracking game anyways.
So as you have gathered Orcs Must Die 2 is the sequel to the game that came out last year and took our PC's by brute Orcish force. The mix of third person combat with tower defense-esque trap placement provides a unique challenge for all players.
The premise is simple, you have spawn points on the map where the dastardly Orcs will traverse from and lumber down set paths which you have to defend in order to prevent the Orcs from reaching the goal. However the practical application of this is so much more chaotic than what you have read on paper, with Orcs of varying in strength and size, flying creatures, Ogres and powerful elemental beings; the task of defending the exit points is quite the frantic task indeed.
The addition of co-op play with the introduction of the prequels antagonist, the Sorceress, as a playable character, doubles the fun of this once solitary experience. Teaming up with someone to deliver the old "one-two" on a pack of bloodthirsty Orcs is very satisfying indeed. There are differences in primary weapons and traps available/purchasable for both the War Mage and Sorceress, for instance the War Mage starts with a Blunderbuss as a primary weapon, with a grenade launching capability as a secondary fire.
Switch to the Sorceress and your primary weapon is a wand, which has an extremely useful secondary fire and is more desirable than what the War Mage starts out with. You get the ability to charm one of your invaders via your right mouse button, which uses up some of your mana pool, this can be a God send at times when things get overwhelming as you can turn that huge lumbering Orc into an ally for a short period of time, halting the progression of the pack as he turns to dish out some pain, giving you some valuable time to regroup and plan a new attack.
You'll also encounter environmental hazards which you may use to your advantage, like mine carts that barrel down tracks knocking Orcs into mush or hanging bombs which when shot, drop into a pack of disgruntled enemies. These new hazards have a key role in your success as switching a mine cart track at the key moment could save you from impending failure.
Just like the previous title, you're rewarded skulls based upon how well you performed in the level, while Apprentice difficulty limits you to two skulls maximum, War Mage and Nightmare allow access to all 5 skulls max per level though outstanding play plus picking up some dropped bonus skulls could mean you generate a few more for your balance.
Again, these skulls may be used to purchase new traps, upgrade your existing arsenal and more importantly pimp out your player with new threads to slaughter your foes. Nothing is more important than murdering Orcs while remaining stylish with your attire. The main difference here is that you're able to gain a refund on all the skulls you have spent, revoking your purchases and letting you try out something completely different, as many times as you wish, without limit.
Now both the War Mage and Sorceress have access to the same traps which are unlocked as you progress through the game, but they do also have access to unique traps which the other cannot use, however their functions remain pretty similar. For example the War Mage has Arrow Walls while Sorceress will have an Acid Thrower, while cosmetically they look different, their purpose remains the same, to damage the Orcs.
There's plenty of content to keep you entertained through this title, while the main campaign spans two chapters, the higher difficulty levels will mean you're playing for quite some time before defeating it. Additionally we have classic levels from Orcs Must Die making a return to this title for some fan service while endless and survival modes gives you the biggest challenges in this title. Fighting off wave upon wave of Orc and other unholy creature will seem like an impossible task however it will grant you the greatest rewards in terms of skull generation for purchasing more elaborate traps.
Visually nothing has really changed since the last game, which is a good thing as the previous title was damn fine looking indeed. The glorious exploding bodies of the Orcs as you obliterate them from the face of the planet is as satisfying as ever.
The level design and setting is awesome, beginning in the dark and earthy Dwarven mines, you're greeted with pointy croppings, boulders and everything else mine-esque. Then moving to the more familiar territory of the scenarios as seen in the first game before taking the fight back to the Orcs themselves.
The banter between the two protagonists is humorous and keeps the mood light hearted in the frenzy of the later levels. You can't really fault this game at all, while it feels more like how Orcs Must Die 1 should have been, the low price point of the title and enormous amounts of enjoyment you'll get from the game makes you quickly forget that negative point.