Deus Ex: a game so good it gave us actual neuroses about its sequels. Invisible War, a shonky but interesting and sometimes hilarious shooter, became reviled as a crime against gaming for declaring itself to be Deus Ex 2. And when Human Revolution started looking seriously, seriously good, none of us could quite believe it.
But it happened. This third game has the wealth of alternate routes and versatile tools that made Deus Ex great, and expands it with huge city hubs, packed with more sidequests and background story than the original ever had. It reworks the system for augmenting yourself to give you trickier choices between more powerful abilities. And all of those abilities are more slickly designed and satisfying to use. It’s not better in every way, by any means, but nothing else comes this close.
It’s an action game, which our neuroses tell us is automatically bad, but most of the concessions to blockbuster accessibility are genuinely, and surprisingly positive. Melee was almost comically unconvincing in Deus Ex 1: now it’s jaw-droppingly brutal and consistently satisfying. A cover system seemed like a frightening departure, but it ended up making for a much more developed and complex stealth option.
Mainly, though, it’s just so good to have it back. It’s Deus Ex! But shinier! And we haven’t played it through 26 times yet! And DLC is coming out for it! And everyone’s sharing stories about the incredible things that happened to them, and all the ways the quests can play out, and all the people they punched in the face, and what aug builds they want next. Deus Ex 4 is bound to be shit, though.
Read our Deus Ex: Human Revolution review for more.
Orcs Must Die! was super cheap in the recent Steam Autumn Sale. If you missed it then, you've got another chance to pick it up for just £2.99 / $3.74 as part of this week's midweek deal on Steam. That's a quarter of the price you'd normally pay, for a game that scooped 90% in our Orcs Must Die! review. The deal lasts for another five hours or so.
It's a tower defence game with a twist. You play an arrogant wizard's apprentice tasked with holding back the green tide. The Orcs charge in huge hordes towards a portal that you must defend with inventive traps, deployable minions and your trusty rapid firing magical crossbow. Once you complete a level, your score is posted to a leaderboard automatically populated the scores your Steam friends earned. Things can get very competitive, very fast and the Orcs' enthusiasm for running headfirst into terrible danger never falters. We can't stop playing it.
The Daily Wishlist Giveaway continues today on Steam. Each day 10 people will win the top 10 games on their wishlist!
To enter, you must have a Steam account and a Wishlist with at least 10 games, and each day you will need to visit the gamepage of the featured daily deal. The Daily Wishlist Giveaway began December 1st and will continue into the holiday season.
Do you hear that faint wailing in the background? That's the sound of a thousand bank accounts going "noooo!" at the appearance of the Autumn Steam Sale. Thankfully for our wallets, it only lasts until Sunday, with dozens of new deals every day. Consider it a warm up for the monolithic Steam Christmas sale next month.
The sale kicked off yesterday, but you've still got six hours to grab some of the fantastic day one deals. The marvellous Orcs Must Die is just £2.99 / $3.74 (we gave it a score of 90 in our Orcs Must Die review). Portal 2 is selling for just £6.79 / $10.19. If you haven't played Mass Effect yet, the first game is £2.49 / $4.99, and Mass Effect 2 is 75% off at £4.99 / $12.49.
If you're more partial to an arcade explodathon starring Gordon Freeman, Renegade Ops is £4.99 / $7.49 (or you can grab a four pack for £9.99 / $14.99). All of Dejobaan's games are also on sale as well, including AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome.
These games are also on sale for the next few hours:
Call of Duty: Black Ops Duke Nukem Forever Test Drive Unlimited 2 Risen Sam & Max series Men of War series Oddworld series
These deals will switch out in 5 hours and 42 minutes from the time of writing. Keep an eye on the Steam front page for the next set of deals then.
Orcs Must Die! has done something I’d thought impossible: it’s a tower defense game that actually gets deeper and more rewarding the longer you play it. The joy comes not just from the sadistic delight of watching a wall-trap viciously fillet a crowd of almost lovable cartoon orcs with a series of spinning-blades, but also from the Portal-like cycle of running into a tricky problem, taking a break to ponder it, and then racing back to try a new solution.
With friends’ scores taunting me on my personalized leader board (my Sunday night was ruined by Dan Stapleton knocking me off the top of every single level), I’m constantly trying to design even better murdermazes on early levels. The first time through I only had a few tools, but in playing through the lengthy series of levels I’ve now unlocked at least a dozen different traps and special powers. Every time I got a new toy, my mind immediately ran wild with the possibilities of elegant abattoirs that I could create on some of the nettlesome early maps.
Spiked pressure plates on the floor are all well and good, but a spring trap that launches flailing orcs helplessly into pools of lava is more stylish. I also delighted in the cruel irony of a push trap that shoves surviving orcs back into the same gauntlet of traps they just escaped.
The traps are the most fun way to dispatch orcs and their allies (like fast-moving rat men and huge, hard-hitting ogres), but using my War Mage to personally slay, shoot, and fry them in third-person view can often be the difference between victory and defeat.
He’s basically Gandalf’s intern – a wizardly fratboy of dubious competence and limitless arrogance. I don’t like his attitude, but when he’s equipped with the awesomely powerful Flame Gauntlets, it’s hard to deny he’s an essential part of any defense. Still, you get more points for killing orcs with an elaborate combination of traps and minions (archers, for instance), so earning a high score is a gruesome balancing act of slaughtering the hordes by hand and feeding them into your machinery of death.
And even with its whimsical, World of Warcraft-derived art style, it certainly is gruesome. There are moments of eye-popping carnage as orcs are chopped into pieces, or sent catapulting through crowds of their fellows before plummeting into waiting acid pools.
Orcs Must Die!’s levels defy easy solutions, and that’s what sets it apart from other tower defense games. Solutions themselves change in hugely interesting ways as you bring more advanced items and powers back from the later levels, giving a challenge that not only doesn’t pale with experience, but actually grows richer. Not since Lemmings has a game so seamlessly mixed engaging mechanics, humor, cuteness, and gleeful cruelty.
Think youve killed enough orcs? Think again! Return to the dead world beyond the rifts and conquer a new series of challenging fortresses under siege by the orc mob. In Orcs Must Die! Lost Adventures youll travel from the depths of the Pit to the narrow passages high over the Great Gorge. The Lost Adventures are five of the most deadly rift assaults the War Mage has ever faced!
Updates to Orcs Must Die! have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:
• Added a user.cfg option to limit your frame rate forceFPS=X where X is what you do not want it to run faster than (for example: forceFPS=30). • Added custom keybinding using user.cfg • Fix for the Tenderized achievement. • Fix for the fireball achievement. • Switch to a hardware cursor to help people with slower machines. • Fixed up the cursor acceleration option slider to make it more useable. • Fixed up pathing near the doors on Twin Halls. • Fixed the bug where you could have both costumes on at the same time. • Fixed an issue where some levels, like Gateway, would crash the game. • Fixed the text for the costume weapons if you had a particular weaver set selected • Fixed "Oiled Gears" Weaver Upgrade • Fixed a bug in upgraded Swinging Mace. It wasn't doing what it was supposed to. It is now.
Orcs Must Die! is now available for Pre-purchase on Steam! Pre-purchase before October 12th and receive the Steam Exclusive "Knight of the Order" costume!
As a powerful War Mage with dozens of deadly weapons, spells, and traps at your fingertips, defend twenty-four fortresses from a rampaging mob of beastly enemies, including ogres, hellbats, and of course, a whole bunch of ugly orcs. Battle your enemies through a story-based campaign across multiple difficulty levels, including brutal Nightmare mode!