Previews// PAX Round-Up: Orcs Must Die: Unchained and Party Hard

Posted 5 Oct 2015 17:20 by
Chris O'Regan, host of The Sausage Factory podcast (which takes a deep dive into the development process with games studios, you should listen to it), has travelled to the future to sample the games that will be interfering with your older brain. When we say the future, we mean PAX Prime. When we say 'interfering with your older brain', that is exactly what we mean. Read on for what he found...

Orcs Must Die: Unchained
Developer: Robot Entertainment
Format(s): Windows PC and PS4

Tower defence games have a lot in common with MOBAs, so it shouldn't come as much surprise that a much-celebrated game from the aforementioned genre has made its way into MOBA land in the form of Orcs Must Die: Unchained.

A free-to-play game, players are put into teams and pitted against one another by placing installations and traps while trying to support their own troops, or 'creeps' as they are known, and thus winning the battle. Like all MOBAs, there is a set map that players use to see where everyone else is in the world and where the greater threat lies. There are also jungle sections that allow players to upgrade their units to make for a more efficient fighting force.

Player vs. player combat can and does happen in of Orcs Must Die: Unchained, but it is not encouraged as it normally ends in mutually assured destruction, at least that was my experience with the demo I played at PAX Prime 2015.

The major difference between Orcs Must Die: Unchained and other MOBAs is the presence of traps, which is a legacy from the previous two games in the Orcs Must Die franchise. In order to succeed in Orcs Must Die: Unchained players must strategically deploy traps around their base to impede and, in most cases, kill the creep and player units from the opposing side.

Sadly those who I was playing with didn't actually understand that terribly well and tried to play Orcs Must Die: Unchained as if it were SMITE as both games share the same over-the-shoulder third-person viewpoint. This resulted in our side loosing quite comprehensively thanks to the opposing side using traps very effectively.

I do enjoy a good MOBA and Orcs Must Die: Unchained, from what I played of it, fits the bill extremely well as it brings with it humour, lush graphics and sound and the unique aspect of traps and installations. Once players understand this aspect of Orcs Must Die: Unchained I can see it becoming very successful as it leaves the closed beta it is currently in.

Orcs Must Die: Unchained is due to appear in 2016 for Windows PC and PS4.

Party Hard
Developer: Pinokl Games
Format(s): Windows PC

There are few games that earn the title of Most Disturbing Game I Have Ever Played and I wasn't expecting to encounter it within a bright orange booth at PAX Prime 2015 on the 6th floor. But encounter it I did, and I'm still reeling from the experience. Party Hard is a very odd game that at a cursory glance looks like some kind of party simulator, but upon closer inspection turns out to be something very different indeed, for all the wrong reasons...

The player takes on the role of a decidedly annoyed person who has been woken up by a neighbour's party at 3am. You have work tomorrow and you need to put an end to this nightmare. Now, most people call the police to get them to shut it down. But this is the fourth night in a row and you just can't stand it anymore!

All sense of sanity has left you due mostly to lack of sleep. So it's their fault that they have to die. Yes that's right: every single person in that party has to die a horrible death so that finally, finally you can get some sleep.

Gameplay in Party Hard revolves around the murdering of party guests while not being discovered. People can be killed while alone and the bodies can be put into a nearby dumpster. Electrical fires can be started, causing mass destruction and death, all of which are the overall aim of Party Hard. Other methods of killing include pushing people into fires, out of windows, drowning them, poisoning them, stabbing them while poisoning them, setting them on fire while pushing them out of the window. You get the gist.

As I played Party Hard I couldn't help but be mesmerised by the destruction I wrought upon the world that I found myself in. I knew I was being psychotic by killing these people, yet I got an incredible thrill when I managed to off someone while not being discovered.

It exposed a dark side of me that I wasn't particularly comfortable with and that made Party Hard the winner of the Most Disturbing Game I Have Ever Played award. Despite this I actually found Party Hard terrifically fun to play and very addictive, too.

Party Hard is disturbingly out now on Windows PC, Mac and Linux.

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Rimmon 8 Oct 2015 10:36
"Player vs. player combat can and does happen in of Orcs Must Die: Unchained, but it is not encouraged"

This is straight up incorrect. Player vs Player combat is augmented by the presence of minions and traps, but it still makes up the majority of Orcs Must Die! Unchained gameplay, and is highly encouraged.
Each team has players dedicated to assaulting the enemies defense, the enemies defenders fight the attackers off as they try to escort minions through the traps, this is where most of the PVP action is.
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