Review: Overlord

Review: Overlord
Review: Overlord

It's quirky, tongue-in-cheek, and features a character that looks like a mutated Gremlin Yoda, and yet the charm from Overlord helps to save it from its own shortcomings.

When the game starts, imp-looking minions will be digging you out to awaken from a slumber where you will be made the Overlord. You see evil doesn't seem to be doing too well lately and the minions of evil need someone to take control and be bad… very bad.

The whole moral choice thing in games isn't exactly new. We see it in Fable and Knights Of The Old Republic, but you won't get to be good in this game. In fact, don't even think about "nice" as that will just kill the experience. You want to be an evil, sinister, freakishly bad Overlord and that's what the minions want. Well, that and to spread their minion forces and their evil ideas across the land.

">The game plays like a cross between Dungeon Keeper and Fable. In fact, that's really what the game is. Half of the time you'll be setting up your lair and the other half you'll be fighting in an action-adventure game while you loosely control a squad of stupid little impish things. The stupid little impish things will also happily do your bidding in actions that you would normally have to do yourself in other games. For instance, if you need to move an object or open a door, you can send your impish things to do the work for you. Perhaps you might want to clear an area filled with trolls, you can send your minions to do your work for you. And when they die, there's more waiting that you can summon from any of the entry points located around the map, provided you've accumulated enough of the life-force credits necessary.

The game is actually really funny. While the script is mediocre, the art works well with the scripts' playfulness and ends up giving you this quirky sense of humour that translates well in the video game. Killing innocent bouncy sheep is especially fun.

The graphics are lush, vibrant and are overall quite nice for a game like this. The sound is clear and the voice acting is actually very good which was nice to hear.

">Overlord has a lot of breakable items. When you play the game, you'll even have the urge to feel that everything is breakable. Sadly, most of it isn't and you'll end up finding obstacles that you'd rather go after but are unable to because a great hunkering bench is in your way that you can't break (even though you just tore up some massive boxes a few seconds prior).

You can't even jump. The controls aren't bad, but not only can you not jump, there are a whole bunch of unused controls and yet you still can't jump. That's one thing I'd have thought developers would have gotten over by now, but you also have really lousy camera control to go with the lack of jumping. Camera control is there, but you'll struggle to get it working well since it uses similar gamepad controls as the ones needed to control your minions. Even when you do get the camera angles working, it's ugly to find that it's not a fluid camera and finding a preferred viewing angle is almost an impossible task.

">While I'm not sure if the combination of Dungeon Keeper styled gameplay and an action-adventure game works, it can still be quite a lot of fun. There's also a multiplayer system which while small is sure to allow you some fun to beat the living hell out of your friends. And sure, Overlord's controls need work and the camera makes some old game cameras seem intelligent, but with a few types of minions to torment the world and a quirky script, it's not a bad way to live out all of your evil dreams.

Developer- Triumph Studios
Publisher- Codemasters
Classification- M
Formats- Xbox 360, PC
URL- Overlord

Reviewed by Leigh D. Stark

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