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'Of Orcs and Men' gives new perspective to an age-old fantasy conflict

A quest to stop orc genocide

Of Orcs and Men E3
Of Orcs and Men E3

Are you tired of humans always being the good guys in fantasy games? French teams Cyanide and Spiders certainly are.

At first glance, Of Orcs and Men, the upcoming RPG co-developed by French teams Cyanide and Spiders, may look like another generic fantasy game. It has the various races and locations, the tactical combat, and the loot fixation that you've seen in hundreds of games like it before. But something is just a little bit different here.

In the world of Of Orcs and Men, the war between the two titular enemies is already over. Humans won. Drunk on that victory, they have decided that the only way to safeguard the world from future conflict is to completely wipe out the orc and goblin races.

Cyanide says they are trying to rethink the role of traditional fantasy races like goblins, orcs, and elves with Of Orcs and Men. Players will step into the heavy boots of one of the few surviving orcs and his goblin companion as they quest across the land in hopes of assassinating the human emperor who is trying to bring genocide to their people.

Despite the unique plot setup, the orc and goblin break into the combat roles you might expect. The orc serves as a tank, while the goblin is more focused on rogue-style agility and damage in both melee and ranged stances. One unique twist: The much bigger orc can actually pick up the goblin and toss him at enemies to help take out foes from afar.

Like Cyanide's recently-released Game of Thrones, players can slow down time during battles in Of Orcs and Men to set abilities and swap between characters. If one of your unlikely heroes survives a battle that the other has fallen in, he'll resurrect at the end, which should help make combat scenarios less terrifying despite the small party.

Both Cyanide and Spiders are promising 20 to 30 hours of what they're calling an "adult" fantasy RPG. We'll find out just how adult it gets when Of Orcs and Men releases on PS3, 360, and PC in September.

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