There is no way to sugar coat this, Orc Slayer is a game that should be avoided by just about everyone. The simple fact that is somehow found it’s way onto the PSN leaves me thinking that there needs to be a higher level of filtering for what content actually slips through the cracks.
As usual I start with visuals. The graphics are downright poor, so poor that they register just one notch above the point of things resembling their intended targets, though a very blocky and simplistic version of them. So while you begrudgingly trot through the levels you will never have trouble telling the difference between a fence and a building. The highest possible praise I can bestow on this is that the developers mercifully kept the textures to a ‘child’s drawing on the fridge’ minimum so as to not exceed their capabilities.
It’s not just technical capability, the games appeal is also basement level due to a complete lack of creativity. Enemy design is laughable. You will fight orcs, flying pig shaman, spiders and some skeletons. Even cookie cutter medieval games that rely on the usual tropes boast a higher roster of enemy types.
While I could forgive the poor graphics, there is no stomaching the fact that I had to work through the game in multiple sessions due to motion sickness. The jagged movements and framerate slowdowns will probably get to even the most steadfast of gamers.
One of the few things that seem to work in the game is the controls and while they are fine it doesn’t mean the game is fun or even playable. You can get through the entirety of the adventure just by holding down the fire button and moving around the hordes of enemies until they stop spawning. There is no real variety or puzzle solving unless you count having to switch to your melee weapon to break down a fence. It’s laughable that there was an effort put into your melee weapon change visually as you progress through the campaign as if using it for more than clearing a path is actually an option. In case you want to kill an enemy with it, just don’t bother trying.
Hit detection is an insult. It’s not that it doesn’t register, it’s that it does so intermittently, so you are constantly playing a guessing game.
Did your arrow, which was dead center, hit the enemy?
If you saw a bit of green blood spurt out, then yes. If you didn’t see any blood, then still maybe yes.
Did your screen flash red and you take damage?
Look around as much as you like, you may or may not see anything near you that might have actually caused the harm.
Now onto the most positive things I can say about the game. Sound and music are the highlight of the experience simply because they can be described as just there and are in no way intrusive. Plus mute exists. Similarly, the story is tolerable. Not because it is particularly good but because it is presented in single screen write ups between levels and can be easily skipped.
If you are in it for the platinum trophy (which is the only conceivable reason anyone would be) all you have to do is beat the campaign on any difficulty while finding the two hidden areas that the developer actually bothered to put into the game. Talk about lazy.
A note of caution for the final boss; he will take upwards to 30 minutes of the games total 2 hour run time. There is no challenge or complexity, just a practice in tedium as you strafe around the arena peppering him with over a thousand arrows. So while the game is full of bugs and glitches, know that the fight is working as designed and you just have to persevere. Oh and hope it doesn’t choose that moment to crash, which you will inevitably experience at some point in the game, forcing you to start the drawn out fight all over again.
I cannot say this enough, Orc Slayer is a game that should be avoided by just about everyone. Even for the most dedicated of trophy hunters, this 4 dollar game is about 5 dollars overpriced.