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This fantasy rpg game from Cyanide Studios and Focus Entertainment is available for the PC, XBox360 and the PS3.

At first sight you might think this is just a basic fantasy adventure game with you controlling a hero off on a mission to save the world. In a way you’d be right, but there are a couple of exceptions.

The first is that instead of controlling some mighty human warrior as you may have expected you are playing a huge Orc, and yes you do have a mission which could change the course of history.

On your journey, very near the beginning of the game, you are joined by a Goblin, crafty, faster than you, sneaky and every bit as important as you. During play you get to switch control so that you have the Goblin’s powers and abilities at your fingertips.

I have the PS3 version and it is highly addictive. Choosing brain or brawn (okay so Goblins aren’t renowned for their brainpower but this one is a lot smarter than than any Orc) at each situation you can sneak and break your way through the back alleys and boardwalks of the Empire of Men on your way to kill the Emperor.

The humans, under direct command of the Emperor, are persecuting the green skinned peoples and forcing the world of the non-human into chaos and destruction.

As the Orc, a combat warrior veteran and member of the elite leguion of Bloodjaws, you are a Commander with combat skills of weapon and close-up hand to hand fighting. You can easily lift and toss humans or cut them down with axe or sword or just your giant fist.

As the Goblin you can sneak in a way that only an experienced and trained assassin can sneak. The pair of your characters are so different that they compliment each other brilliantly.

While playing you get the feeling that the designers have thought this through thoroughly and not just cobbled a fantasy adventure together. That’s one of the reasons that makes this game a step or two above most other fantasy rpg style games.

You can bring up a ring of icons around the characters to select special actions plus you can slow or freeze the action so you can stack up moves before returning to the fray.

Giving the players monsters to control rather than the predictable human, elf or dwarven hero isn’t a totally new revelation, but it rarely works. That is the difference, Of ORCS and MEN actually works very well on all levels. Sure there is more fighting than thinking, and very little in the way of puzzle solving, but it keeps on giving right to the end.

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015