Most developers, if not all, have a game in their back catalogue that was the one that they always wanted to create. It was their destiny to do so, if you will, or sometimes even the sole reason their studio was formed in the first place.
We’re talking about things like Bungie’s sci-fi opus Halo, which came after the likes of Myth and Marathon, or Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – the FPS that gave the genre a right old boot up the backside. For the French game weavers at Spiders, that game was cyberpunk RPG Mars: War Logs.
Spiders were so keen to deliver the definitive version of their vision, that they took on-board the criticisms aimed at the PC version when it was released back in April and aimed to fix them for the console iteration.
It was the voice acting and script which received the biggest overhauls, as when first translated from French to English a lot of the nuances from the language were lost, claimed Spiders CEO Jehanne Rousseau when speaking to Polygon. Over the space of just four weeks all side-quest dialogue, main storyline text and everything else they weren’t pleased with was redone. It must have been a task of herculean proportions, especially when considering that the script had over 90,000 lines.
Before Mars: War Logs though, Spiders developed Of Orcs and Men – a full price Xbox 360, PS3 and PC release published by Focus late last year. It’s a bit of a shame that the same treatment wasn’t given to this RPG-lite, as the script slightly lets down a game that undeniably more people should have played.
Like Dead Island and a few other European RPGs, unnecessary swear words have been haphazardly placed into almost every sentence. We’re yet to work out why developers feel the need to do this. Do they believe liberal use of the word ‘fuck’ will make their game edgier? Or could it possibly be they think it’ll make their title appeal more towards a larger demographic? It’s uncalled for, either way.
We aren’t speculating that not many people have played Of Orcs and Men – according to the stat-packed True Achievements website, only 531 tracked gamers have played it. That’s compared to the 100,383 registered gamers who have played Skyrim. Even the equally obscure Two Worlds RPGs have been slotted into more people’s Xbox 360s – 17,487 own the original and 11,262 the diabolically poor sequel.
What’s disheartening about this is that even with a potty mouth, Of Orcs and Men manages to fare immeasurably better than the likes of Two Worlds, Risen, Venetica and other European RPGs. With the summer release schedule looking patchy we thought now would be a good time to give it some limelight. It didn’t even gain that much press attention upon release, aside from a very glowing 8/10 review from Destructoid’s Jim Sterling.