Five Great Budget RPGs Worth Exploring

Of Orcs & Men -- PC, PS3, and Xbox 360

This time a collaborative effort between Cyanide Studios and Spiders, Of Orcs & Men is kind of amazing in that it's hard to believe it exists. It is a game heavily inspired by Knights of the Old RepublicWarhammer, and revisionist history. You play as both an orc and a goblin, controlling them through pause and play gameplay, whilst also partaking in a few brief stealth sections.

The big paradigm shift, if it wasn't clear already, is that the game puts humanity as the villains. It's not the elves or the dwarves causing problems, and the Orcs were just minding their business. Humanity is the aggressor, with the entire storyline framing a new sense of moral choice as you look at things from a greener point of view.

What's also great about this one is the dark sense of humor. Sometimes it gets more than a little much, but often the wit of your goblin character Styx outweighs the "too much" moments. The tactical combat also encourages a unique flow that most games don't push for -- you have to not be too aggressive. If Styx is too aggressive, he dies because he's a weak little goblin. If Arkail, your ork, gets too angry, he will go into a blind rage and leave your control temporarily.

Instead of this mechanic being a downside, it instead encourages clever strategy and throws in a new wrinkle to a subgenre of combat that rarely gets new ideas tossed in. Like with everything in its campaign, Of Orcs & Men isn't afraid to try new things and push the boundaries of what can be done in an otherwise traditional pause and play RPG.

While it normally runs for about $30, you can catch it on sale just as frequently as Mars: War Logs. If you want to face hard choices, hilarious quips, and a cynical fantasy universe, there are few places better to look than Of Orcs & Men.

Published May. 6th 2015

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