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E3 '11: Of Orcs And Men

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I was told that my appointment with Focus Home Interactive was going to be to check out Of Orcs and Men and the Game of Thrones game, but when I arrived, I was told it was just Of Orcs and Men. Those PR people... they'll say anything to get you to attend a presentation. Still, while one of the other journalists seemed rather put out that he wasn't going to see a Game of Thrones game, I politely listened as their other RPG was presented.

Of Orcs and Men
is an RPG featuring an orc and a goblin that's due out on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC in 2012. And while you might think this would be a natural for co-op play, you'd be wrong. The developers believe RPGs are solo experiences, so you will swap between both of them yourself. It's like a buddy movie featuring the big strong tank and the sneaky little weasel. You'll switch between characters during combat, but can also slow time so it doesn't get overwhelming. It's also important to choose the right character to answer during dialogue sequences, because the orc and the goblin are obviously going to have different responses!

The orc has a rage bar that fills up and when it's activated, he'll go nuts and tear the place down. But while he's super-strong, you actually lose control of the character while he's in that state, and afterwards he's weak as a kitten, so be careful when you use it. The goblin is the sneaky one and has a stealth mode. So it's the best of both worlds!

They're promising about 20-30 hours of gameplay, which seems a bit short for an RPG, but I actually think it's a good amount of time to spend on a game. Who has time for 40-50 hour games anymore? Okay, you might, but I certainly don't! Oh, and while there are going to be sidequests to extend gameplay, I was told that they're not going to be extra quests that are just there to fill time. They're promising that all sidequests will have something to connect them directly to the main plot, which is that the orc and goblin are trying to assassinate the human emperor. Although this was a very early build, the graphics are already looking quite stunning. So it's basically going to come down to gameplay and story in the end.

(PS: While I wasn't shown Game Of Thrones: Genesis at E3, the information I found on their site reveals that it's a real-time strategy game for PC that acts as a prequel to the series of books. Oh, and there's multiplayer for up to 8 players.)

4 Comments

Nexus said:

Really interested in this.
I love the more 'bad' races in fantasy.
I much prefer orcs, goblins, trolls and the like over humans, elves and dwarves.
So playing as them for a change would be great. Especially if the enemies are humans rather than other monster races.
I don't really care if the protagonists are made to be vilains or if the humans in this story are evil. Either way is fine by me.

And I'm not a huge fan of co-op, so the solo thing is right up my sleeve as well.

Shin Gallon said:

This sounds like a really interesting spin on the typical "fantasy RPG" genre, I'm really looking forward to it. Have they said anything about what the combat system will be like? I'm hoping for more of a Fallout/Elder Scrolls type than a Dragon Age style, but this sounds like a really cool idea nonetheless...

JTSpender said:

Did they actually say the words "we believe RPGs are solo experiences" or was that commentary?

Kind of desperately cranky about the lack of couch co-op RPG in the world but don't want to rage at these folks if they didn't actually believe that. ;)

Wootini said:

No, they actually said that they felt RPGs should be solo games, which is why they weren't going to include co-op, even though with the two leads, it would seem an obvious route to go.

As for the combat, unfortunately, from what I saw (I didn't get to play it), it's a third-person action RPG. So it looked more like Dragon Age to me. Sorry!

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Wootini on E3 '11: Of Orcs And Men: No, they actually said that they felt RPGs should be solo games, which is why they weren't going to include...

JTSpender on E3 '11: Of Orcs And Men: Did they actually say the words "we believe RPGs are solo experiences" or was that commentary? Kind of desperately cranky...

Shin Gallon on E3 '11: Of Orcs And Men: This sounds like a really interesting spin on the typical "fantasy RPG" genre, I'm really looking forward to it. Have...

Nexus on E3 '11: Of Orcs And Men: Really interested in this. I love the more 'bad' races in fantasy. I much prefer orcs, goblins, trolls and the...

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