Oct 24, 2007
They say you don’t know a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes, and the same holds true for an Orcish horde. No matter how well you think you know combat in the world of Heroes of Might and Magic V, a quick run through the first mission in Tribes of the East makes it obvious that you still have much to learn.
Playing as the Orcs changes the strategy of battle in a fundamental way due in no small part to the new Blood Rage racial ability. Blood Rage is designed to encourage aggressive play and drive melee combat. Every time an Orc warrior attacks an opponent, his rage meter increases. Once the meter reaches a benchmark level a combat bonus is awarded for the rest of the fight. The rage meter can also absorb damage, effectively serving as a shield. The one thing an Orc army doesn’t want to do is turtle. Standing still actually causes the rage level to decrease which lowers your defenses.
Sadly the Orc appearance in Tribes of the East is something of a teaser, because after the first mission is completed it is back to playing with knights and necromancers as the story continues from the previous expansion's outing. Sure, you eventually get back to the Orcs, but not until the latter half of the game. Given that the new race is one of the main draws we would have appreciated a bit more Orc face time.