Review by hypersonic2000
"Not really that evil..."
Every preview on every critically acclaimed site (GameFAQs, Gamespot, etc.) made this game out to be a truly "evil" game.
But the fact of the matter is, it doesn't really show any depth to what its trying to achieve. Lets start with the Graphics.
Graphics: (9/10): Superb. There is really nothing to explain here because the environments and the Overlord (the character you control) looks smooth and clean. If you have a really good computer to take advantage of the game, the environments look great. The actual minions themselves, however, look very disoriented. And for the most part, you'll be spending time in dark forests, dark dungeons, and dark caves. So , really, the game only really shines when you're outside.
Gameplay (5/10): The actual Overlord himself isn't the main core of the gameplay. Throughout the game, you control minions and sweep them to attack your targets. While this may seem fun at first as you go through the game, you'll notice how frustrating it gets on later. For example: There is a type of minion in this game that has the ability to resurrect other minions. This might seem useful when you first hear about it, but it is very tiring to use. Not only can these types of minions barely attack, but they hardly even resurrect! In fact, you have to set way points for them to do so!
And whats worse, these way points are very clunky as well. If you set a way point for, lets say, the red minions. It will send ALL the red minions at that point instead of one or two. To have only one or two minions at the way point, you simply have to do it the hard and long way. Send ALL the red minions at that point and then recall them one by one until you reached a satisfactory number.
The Overlord himself gets to attack the enemies, but overall, he doesn't really get useful unless you sacrifice many of your minions to get the necessary upgrades. And even then, the only way you could do this is either grind for it, or wait until end-game.
If you wait until end-game, your Overlord is even more useless because you'll be facing enemies that are 2 to 3 times your own size, not to mention, having a ridiculous amount of HP (Bosses). There is no guard button, you simply have to move away with your slow movement speed.
The core functionality of this combat system relies too heavily on minion combat. To the point where you even wonder why they bothered to offer upgrades for your own character when you can just sweep your minions in and kill your enemies.
There is also no variation for attacking while you're the Overlord. Simply mash the space bar, and you get a three hit combo. Thats pretty much it. Wonderful isn't it?
Story (4/10):: You wanna know what really grinds my gears?
Every preview in this game stated that I can be as evil as I want to in this game. But let me tell you something right here. This will be the groundbreaking, one sentence summary of my entire review.
This game is not evil.
Now many players of this game might argue that the entire point to this game is to not kill everyone on sight and be a homicidal freak of nature, and I can agree to that to an extent
But when you're basically running around like a lapdog for the entire game and helping these poor villagers, and these elves, and these kingdoms, the whole premise of the game is entirely ruined.
You do not control any villages whatsoever. In fact, the only time you get to see yourself conquering everything is probably in the ending, when you're already done saving these ridiculous elves and humans. And its a cut scene!
But alas! There is hope! You don't actually need to help these elves and humans!
Lets take the first mission for example: Retrieve food for the villagers. Ok. So you go all the way over to the bandits hideout, steal the food, and you're now left at a decision. You can either keep the food or give the villagers the food.
Of course you'll keep the food, right?! RIGHT?!
But there is a critical flaw in that entire procedure itself. Why would you go out of your way to retrieve the food in the first place? Shouldn't I get the choice to not retrieve it at all and let the villagers suffer? Isn't THAT truly evil? Or is my knowledge of morals completely naive?
One of the characters in the very beginning of the game states that you shouldn't cause chaos and rampage, because its not good for a "long-term evil plan".
Now what the hell is that? Long-term evil plan? You mean to tell me that I have to save these races now?
Instead of this "long-term evil plan" crap, why can't I just send hordes of minions to the village and forcibly suppress it? Why do I have to go out of my way to do these meaningless side quests? There really is no sense to what this game is trying to tell me. Evil? Psh... I've seen more evil in KOTOR.
So basically, you still need to retrieve all these things for these pitiful races for the story to even continue. There are corruption levels as well, which increase by the amount of bad deeds that you do. There are two different endings depending on your corruption level. But the endings themselves are very cliche and not much different. You still achieve the exact same thing regardless of corruption.
The story itself is extremely linear. To the point where they tell you where to go and what to do. You have a limited amount of choices on how evil you want to be. And the actual ending to this game felt extremely rushed. The last boss literally comes up at the last second. No development whatsoever. The story lacks a lot of motivation to actually be compelling. Overall, a pretty mediocre story, toppled with a frustrating combat system, and linear missions.
Sound (8/10): I don't really have any complaints here, besides the sound that plays when you select your minions. Thats the only thing that really bothered me, but for the most part, it was substantial. There wasn't any groundbreaking pieces and I didn't really expect as much either.
Replay Value (2/10): Unless you want to see the two different endings (which are almost the same thing), I don't think you'd want to bother picking up this game a 2nd time.
Conclusion (5/10): Taking the average for all the scores, the score comes to 5.6/10, or in other words, a 5/10.
Now I may come off as a bit harsh in my reviewing but, quite frankly, when you advertise yourself as being a really "evil" game, you have to actually live up to that standpoint. And for me, it just didn't live up. In fact, it almost did the complete opposite. If it didn't have corruption levels in the game,the game would probably be just another cruddy action adventure with no real direction in story, combined with the fact that you're actually saving more people than you are killing.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 07/10/07
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