Review: Overlord

If being good is getting you down then being evil in Overlord might just be the thing to brighten your day.

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.

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.

DeveloperTriumph Studios
PublisherCodemasters
Classification– M
Formats– Xbox 360, PC
URLOverlord

Reviewed by Leigh D. Stark



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