We have rounded up another pair of reviews for Cyanide's recently-released action-RPG Of Orcs and Men, which puts you in the shoes of an orc and a goblin fighting to defend their races from the evil humans.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Jim Rossignol has one of their "Wot I Think" pieces, and he sounds fairly disappointed with the title.
So anyway, Cyanide have managed to deliver a story, and lots of combat. The full focus of this game is on those two pillars of the genre, but the consequence of that is that this is a game without any thing else going on. It feels reductive, and the elements it has been distilled to are lacking the proper potency to give them that RPG kick that we’re all looking for. It feels, in some ways, like an “on-rails” RPG. Echoing linear shooters with its lack of anything beyond strict modes of interaction.
It perhaps goes without me concluding, then, that Of Orcs & Men is disappointing. Cyanide could one day be capable of great things, and their tech and art is never in doubt. It is, again and again, design and production quality that troubles me: this game, like so much else from their door, never feels quite right, and overall the game simply lacks the kind of breadth of ideas and things to do that make RPGs worth engaging with. That lack of oversight and ambition leaves us with a fairly hollow game, and one I am not sure many people will feel satisfied with. One day, perhaps, Cyanide will deliver an RPG that we can unreservedly recommend, but now is not that time.
While GameSpy's piece feels a lot more positive despite its middling score, 3/5.
Keep in mind that this isn't an everyman's game -- its linear levels, the absence of bundles of loot, and even the quirks of its combat whittle down its potential audience -- but there's a lot to love about how this RPG sings the glories of the underdogs. For all of its blood and gore, it's a tale of dreams and friendship and hope and loss, and somehow, if only briefly, it thus manages to capture something of the same poignancy of the Steinbeck's parable of two misfits wandering about a broken world.