Of Orcs and Men
E3 2012 Hands-On
"Decisions have consequences in Of Orcs and Men, so choose wisely."

Of Orcs and Men is the latest Action RPG from developers Cyanide Studios and Spiders, the latter of whom created the engine upon which this game runs.  Their aim was to create an RPG with familiar races like orcs and goblins, but with more mature and adult sensibilities.  This is quite evident in the plotlines and dialogue, which have quite a bit of cursing in them. 

The story consists of 5 chapters and stars an orc and a goblin, two of the last remaining members of their respective races, which were the victims of genocide after the humans bested them in a great war.  These two anti-heroes join forces to kill the human emperor.  This is the extent of the plot that we were told, but Cyanide Studios promise plenty of twists and turns in this branching RPG. 

From what I played of the game, it is heavily plot-driven and has lots of dialogue and cutscenes.  The dialogue often presents players with choices, and these influence the game's outcome.  There are even moments where players must choose whether the orc or the goblin responds, and the choice will influence the outcome.  Decisions have consequences in Of Orcs and Men, so choose wisely. 

Of Orcs and Men is a single-player game where the player controls both characters and switches between them at will to overcome obstacles.  The orc is obviously the muscle of the duo, and the goblin is more sneaky.  The goblin has a unique ability to go into stealth mode and stab enemies from behind without them knowing.  In the spirit of teamplay, the orc has a unique ability where he throws the goblin, which is useful to get him behind enemy lines.

When engaging enemies in combat, players can engage a "bullet time" mode where they select one of two stances for the characters and the desired skills to use.  The orc has offensive and defensive stances, and the goblin has close-quarters or ranged stances.  Much like The Lost Vikings, strategic use of the orc and goblin can mean the difference between victory and defeat in combat. 

The game promises a 20 hour main quest, but the sidequests and replayability will keep players busy far longer than that.  Each of the five chapters has a main quest and several sidequests, the completion of which can affect story progression. 

The game looks great, with cameras close to the playable characters and great detailing on the rough skin of both orc and goblin.  Unfortunately, there was no voice acting during cutscenes, and I did not hear the music as well as I'd have liked to.

Of Orcs and Men is aiming for a Fall 2012 release on PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3.

© 2012 Focus Home Interactive, Cyanide, Spiders. All rights reserved.

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