by Ingvi Snædal
reviewed on PC
These farts are on fire
This is a co-op game, let's get that straight from the start. Truly great offline co-op games are way too few and far between and that's a crying shame considering how much more fun it is playing with a friend sitting right next to you. It's called human interaction and I miss it dearly. Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion may not be the most intellectually stimulating co-op game to be released in the past few years. It may not even be a great game; but it sure is a lot of fun slamming your hammer into a crowd of men while your co-op partner is busy trying to light his farts on fire.
The story centres around four orc warriors who have been experiencing a lot of trouble lately. First their food starts giving them serious tummy issues and then they are chased out of their homes by humans who plan on settling in. After a counter attack by the orcs fails, the warriors try to hide in the swamps. Even through the foul odour emanating from the swamps, the smell emanating from the orcs themselves is unmistakably worse. The humans track the orcs into the swamps and that is where our four heroes must stand their ground.
How it works
The controls are quite simple and in the beginning of the game, you might be fooled into thinking the game itself is as well. I played the game with a gamepad and, as you may expect, the left analogue stick moves you around. The right analogue stick is supposed to move the camera, but I found that it more or less only sent subtle suggestions to the automatic camera, which was completely free to ignore those suggestions at its pleasure. Assuming you're also using an Xbox controller (which is a completely unfounded assumption, but I'm making it anyway) the A button jumps, the X button performs a light attack, the Y button a heavy one, and the B button allows you to pick up some items left by mini bosses and destructible objects, such as two-handed hammers, shields, and masks or helmets. These give you added protection and damage output for as long as you can keep them in your hands.
The bumpers (or shoulder buttons) allow you to roll on the ground in any direction, which is very handy for getting out of troublesome hoards. If you time the button presses correctly, you can roll as many times as you like, but if the button is pressed a little too soon, you'll fall flat on your ass, giving your enemies ample time to catch up. The triggers are another matter entirely. The right trigger sends a flaming burp out of your mouth and the left creates a flammable green cloud all around you as you void your bowls of excess gasses.
Throughout each level, you'll find bonfires lit with various cooking items hanging above. Running up to these and releasing a fart of epic proportions will create a powerful explosion, making it a good place to draw your enemies to when your mana bar is full (why they call it mana, don't ask). Another trick, if you're good at controlling your various skills, is to burp onto an enemy until he lies burning on the ground and then releasing an epic fart to create the explosion. Very possible to do, but you need to have enough mana to do both or have your co-op partner do the barbecuing and releasing the fart on cue.
Although the combat system starts out simple and takes a bit of time to get interesting, it soon introduces enough variety for each player to develop his or her own play style. The levels are relatively short, but that is a good thing in this case. Each level is full of enemies, trials, and stuff to break, so the shortness of the levels gives players some time to breathe between adventures. Each level also features a boss, some of whom are very difficult to beat, especially if you decide to take them on solo.
Play with a friend if possible
When playing alone, all of the game's faults become apparent. The jumping animation looks ridiculous, there is little enemy variety, the camera is useless in narrow spaces, and combat gets repetitive quite often. In addition to this, I had some technical issues, such as the game freezing between levels, crashing when opening the store, and simply refusing to launch. These only happened occasionally, so they're not major issues, but annoyances nonetheless.
As stated earlier, Orc Attack is a solid co-op game, and as such, a hell of a lot of fun to play with friends in the room with you. Solo, however, it is still fun, but an unbalanced, repetitive, almost lonely kind of fun. Get this game if you're looking for something to play at the next gamer get-together. Don't if you're looking for a solid single player experience.
Pros: Flatulent fun for a group of friends.
Weak solo experience, troublesome camera.