Review by MattDark
"Sometimes its fun to play the badguy"
Overlord makes a different approach to the fantasy action games and comes out as a decent and quite fun game.
The overlords tower is in ruins after a number of hero's looted it and killed the previous overlord. You play the newly awakened overlord who must rebuild his tower and regain his power over the lands around him by killing, maiming, looting and helping out those that may become your slaves.
The story is pretty basic, but sets itself up nicely for the game, although you do have to wonder why a soon-to-be ruler of darkness would have to complete quests for others on his way to evilness.
Think something along the lines of pikmin turned bad, and you have a basic idea of what to expect when you play this game.
As overlord, you have control over various goblin-like creatures known as your minions. You will use the minions throughout the game and are what you will rely on to do your dirty work most of the time. There are four types of minions, but you only start off with browns, who are the back-bone of your fighting force. You control your minions with the right analogue stick, allowing you to freely move them about the the place. By pressing the right trigger you can send your minions to charge at whatever is ahead of you, most likely breaking any destructible objects in their path unless you target something specifically. So save time getting your minions back to you from large distance, pressing or holding B will call them back to you. Once you get other types of minions, holding the right bumper and pressing either A, B, X or Y will let you select a single type of minion for it you want to do a specific job.
But your not limited to just using your minions. The overlord has a few simple attacks he can use by tapping the A button, and he also has access to a number of spells that you can earn by finding certain items in the game.
The controls are pretty simple, but they do the job quite well, and your minions are quite smart. They wont simply run into water when following you or when being guided along by you. They will try to fine the best way along, most likely taking paths that are too small for you if it means they can follow you. They will also pick up items when they get close enough to them, whether its souls and gold for you, weapons and armour for themselves or quest items and special items that will allow you to become stronger or progress further into the game.
The controls could be a little more refined, but they are good enough for what they are trying to do.
While the graphics aren't the best out there compared to some big games, they fit the fantasy setting quite well. While the people may not look the best (more ugly then badly made), the surrounding areas that you go through looks quite outstanding.
It also loads up fairly large areas in one go, allowing you to travel quite far in some places without a loading screen coming up all of a sudden like in Oblivion, then only time it needs to load is when you travel between areas or dungeons.
There isn't really anything to speak of in music, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on it your someone who prefer listening to their own music while playing games or not. But the sound effects fit the game nicely, the large scuffle of feet as your minions follow you, the sounds of their attacks connecting sound like what you'd expect, and fire that actually sounds like its burning something when launched into a field of hay.
Some gentle music like in the lord of the rings movies would be nice, but music aside, the sound is quite good.
The game has some possible replayability, as certain choices can affect things, like returning food to villagers or not, depending on if you want to become corrupt or not. There are also plenty of artifacts to find in the game that should keep people busy for a while if they want to get absolutely everything.
While some may see Overlord as a hit-or-miss title, its definitely something worth renting at least if you aren't sure about it. If you liked the way you play pikmin, but like more action then puzzles, then Overlord is probably what your looking for. It may not be something for everyone, but has enough to keep you playing to the end if you can get into it.
Its something you should try out at least before deciding whether to buy it or not.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/02/07
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