Review by Psalm51
"Now go away and make an adult version of Overlord."
I have just completed Overlord and want to have my say in a review. This is the way I put games "to bed", by reviewing them. This is my first Gamefaqs review, so bear with me as I adapt my review system to the one Gamefaqs uses.
Introduction - Triumph Studios brought us three Age of Wonders games and have now moved on to a fully 3D action game. This is a first for them, as the Age of Wonders games are 2D turn-based strategy games. With Overlord, they have stretched themselves. This is a good thing as the AoW series had got into a rut and the last game was rather stale. To a certain degree, Overlord defies description. I would say that it is an action-puzzler, with minions and your weapon/magic used to solve the combat and logical puzzles which come your way. It feels similar to Fable but ends up quite different.
Gameplay - 5 out of 10. For every plus, there is a minus. Innovative and fresh gameplay is set against crippling performance issues and too many boss battles. The game never crashed once in 40 hours of play, but the camera went walkabout at critical moments. For an evil game, there were no benefits or consequences for your actions. Magic is there, but you rarely use it. I could go on, but you get the message.
Story - 2 out of 10. No noticeable story AT ALL. The game sets you as an evil Overlord against other heroes. The heroes you take on are loose depictions of the 7 deadly sins, and that it that. An ex PC Zone reviewer advised Triumph Studios on story and content. What do industry games reviewers know!
Graphics/Sound - 9 out of 10. The best aspect of Overlord, by a long shot. Sound is perfect, with lovely lilting tunes for meadows, sombre tones for dungeons and the minion chatter never grates. Graphics are superb, although, by way of contrast, are not much better than those seen in Fable; a game released 3 years before Overlord. Later on in the game there are some "mushy" textures and your minions can get stuck and even spawned into inaccessible places.
Play Time/Replayability - 7 out of 10. This is a long game, by most standards. It took me nearly 40 hours to complete it, although I could see someone storming through it in 20 hours. The game encourages you to play in either a chaotic good or evil style and thus, you are encouraged to play it again. Having said that, the benefits system is not well thought out; thus you may well not want to play it again.
Final Recommendation - 7 out of 10 is my overall assessment. I happen to think that Overlord is an adolescent game, aimed at young teens, with the evil on display being minimal and mostly immature. As an adult, I would like Triumph Studios to go away and make an adult version of Overlord, with a superior story and more profound consequences for good or bad decisions. Saving the Elves in this Overlord has no consequences or benefits at all. Perhaps this kind of decision will have a real effect in an Overlord 2.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 06/10/08
Game Release: Overlord (EU, 06/29/07)
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