Plano, Texas developer Robot Entertainment announced that the closed beta testing of their newest game, Orcs Must Die! Unchained is set to begin June 27. The upcoming title will be the third in the series, which began in 2011 when the first Orcs Must Die! was released for the Xbox Live Arcade.
The Orcs Must Die! series is comprised of third-person action real-time-strategy games. The first two entries in the franchise were single-player or cooperative tower defense games, where players were given the ability to construct various defenses to protect fortresses from waves of oncoming orcs. Orcs Must Die: Unchained is adding a competitive multiplayer component to the mix, allowing players to team up against one another to fight on the battlefield alongside their armies while simulanteously constructing traps and defenses as in previous Orcs Must Die! games, blending elements of a traditional tower defense with MOBA-style combat popularized by games such as DotA and League of Legends.
Orcs Must Die! Unchained plans to bring back classic characters from the franchise as playable heroes, including the War Mage and Sorceress, while adding a host of new champions to the mix, “like Blackpaw, Midnight, Stinkeye, and Bloodspike” according to the game’s official website. Unchained also gives the player control over the army laying siege to their enemy’s fortress, giving them the ability to customize it with a number of different units and upgrades, which are constructed through a traditional RTS-style technology tree. Player heroes themselves will also be able to purchase weapons and upgrades, as well as build defensive structures and traps for enemy forces as in previous entries in the Orcs Must Die! series.
Interested players are able to sign up for an opportunity to beta test the game on its official website. Alternatively, Robot Entertainment is offering several pre-purchase options ranging in cost from $20 to $150 for those willing to part with some money in order to get guaranteed early access to the upcoming game. The pre-purchase packages also include unique skins, in-game badges, instant access to additional heroes, and access codes to the previous Orcs Must Die! games as well as Unchained to give to friends. At the extreme upper end of the spectrum, the $150 package also includes access to the developer’s private web forum, giving purchasers a chance to watch the game’s development in action and weigh in on design decisions. No official release date for Orcs Must Die! Unchained has yet been set.