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Orcs Must Die! 3 marks the return of a quintessential co-op series to Steam

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What does the perfect Steam co-op experience look like? It’d be nice if it was a good game, of course, but that’s a secondary factor. Above all, it’s got to be convenient: downloadable in the space between a lunchtime WhatsApp exchange and an 8pm start time. It should require coordination, but not so much that you can’t have a chat about Loki. And ideally, it should already be sitting there in your Steam library—having presumably gone cheap in a previous sale, though you have no memory of buying it.

About a decade ago, Orcs Must Die! 2 ticked all those boxes (swapping out WhatsApp for Facebook Messenger and Loki for Breaking Bad, in accordance with the cultural zeitgeist of the time). The trashy fantasy look and action-tower-defence premise made it easy to parse, and easy to enjoy. Nobody cared what your gear level was—only that you were trying your damnedest to keep the horde out of the rift.

(Image credit: Robot Entertainment)

After that, the series dropped off the radar of most PC gamers. Lured by the likes of League of Legends, its developer reimagined Orcs Must Die! as a live service built around competitive multiplayer. As you’ve probably guessed, it didn’t work out—with no playerbase to speak of, Orcs Must Die! Unchained shut down in 2019.

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