ORC: Vengeance by Chillingo is a rich RPG adventure with a scope that will make any mobile gamer’s head spin. For those familiar with the Elder Scrolls and Fable franchises, this game comes as a pleasant surprise for the on-the-go iOS gaming realm. For those that prefer a more action-oriented character story, it falls a little short.
Before my critique, I’ll attempt to summarize the game controls and storyline—way easier said than done. The game follows an Orc warrior by the name of Rok who has been captured and thrown in a dungeon. He sets off on a revenge quest killing skeletons, creatures and guards trying to fight his way through to lead his band of Orc followers to victory. Players control the character by tapping on the screen where they want him to walk, tapping enemies they want him to fight or swiping in various patterns to string together combat powers and combos. As with every RPG game, there’s an element of character upgrade that allows you to get new equipment, learn new skills and powers and ultimately become a stronger warrior.
I’ll end the synopsis here because going on would entail pages and pages of discussion. It’s this fact that impressed me the most. I think the game’s longevity is pretty unbelievable considering it was developed for iOS. The game allows for hours and hours of rich story and challenging combat. But, that’s about as far as my appreciation went. The tap-to-move control scheme was very sluggish, and I often hoped for a more hands-on method for great movement control. It reminded me a lot of Age of Empires, but with a touchscreen at your disposal, why not create a better system? I also found the upgrade and save options to be pretty dated. I usually like to save a lot more often than a games’ allotted checkpoints, and Orc didn’t allow for that.
All-in-all, at $2.99, the game finds itself just above the $1 pricepoint, but below the more daunting $7-10 range. So it’s affordable yet high quality. I think there’s a definite market for it, especially for those who don’t mind less active character control. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll just wait for Fable IV to come out on 360.