Review by StochasticLife
"More fun than a barrel full of minions"
Overlord is a unique and engaging Action-Rpg that enhances the traditional hack and cast game play of Action-RPG's by adding your own personal horde of minions at your beck and call. The level of detail given to your co-starts elevates them beyond a simple game-play mechanic into an endearing ally, albeit one of questionable intelligence (which is by design).
Game Play: Minions, minions, minions! Overlord is all about the minions, and learning the finer points of mob control will be fundamental to one's enjoyment, and success, in the game. The minion controls and simple and intuitive, and intentionally lack a level of finesse (it's a mob, being graceful isn't in the job description). Your minions will inexplicably get separated into smaller clusters, which can cause some amount of frustration when trying to orient them to a specific door mechanism or shiny bit of weaponry, but it's a minor issue ultimately. The controls for your character are nothing special, basic targeting, attack, etc. One issue I found was its difficult to switch to a specific target, as you basically look in a general direction, depress the left trigger, and hope for the best. In addition, the game is plagued by several glitches that speak of either poor product testing or rushed production, and at least one of them, if encountered, will require you to restart your game.
Story: Tired of always being 'the hero', or how about being limited to being Good or Evil, well this game is all about being Evil or Eviler (yes, that is a word). Gone are the ethical conflicts of prior Video Game generations, your in this business to rule the world. To further clarify things, Good is Evil (the "Heroes" are corrupt, and personally embody one of the 7 Deadly Sins), and Evil is Good (The World needs a leader, and not one that has silly delusions of ethical superiority). The overall effect is very humorous in its delivery and a ceaseless source of entertainment.
Graphics/Sound: This game doesn't disappoint when it comes to graphics, however, it doesn't exactly stand out either. The game is defiantly up to 'current gen' standards, but does not strive to rise the bar. The audio is fairly standard fair as well, with the one stand out asepct being the Minion's voices. While I would have preferred some more variety, I'm not entirely sure that a larger vocabulary would fit with their limited intelligence. The voices as they are prove to be very endearing however, as great attention was given to your minions on both a visual and auditory level, and every time you hear the words "For YOU!", a small smile of endearment will undoubtedly cross your face.
Length/Replayability: The main game is of more than adequate length. It isn't overwhelming long, nor is so short you feel completely unsatisfied, overall I'd say its of appropriate length, and once you've completed it at least one additional chapter has been announced for download via XBox Live, which I'm sure will provide many people a reason to revisit the game all over again once the main storyline has been completed. The replayability is not as high as I would expect: While there are ethical choices to make throughout the game, NOT being evil doesn't seem to have much of significant effect on the storyline, and the only real game play oriented elements relates to your final spells and which two types of minions you can power up. Fair replayability...but I was hoping for more.
Multiplayer: One word comes to mind: Afterthought. This is defiantly not something that is going to bring people to the game, but once you've played through the single player, it does give you several extra hours of enjoyment out of the title. You won't be spending too much time here, and in all likelihood you'll probably just play a few games with your friends that also have the game to hammer out a few achievements while you wait for the downloadable content to be released. The only bad thing I have to say about the multiplayer is that there is nothing really good to say about it.
Final Words: An excellent, if somewhat limited, Action-RPG, a sorely represented genre on the 360, that delivers a very unique experience with horde-controlling game play. We could have seen a lot more potential realized here however, and parts of the game suffer accordingly. I highly recommend this title to any fan of RPG's, but would recommend that anyone on the fence try it before they purchase it.
In terms of a final score, I give it a 7: An excellent entry into the genre, but there are no revolutions here, and some serious glitches that deride from the overall satisfaction from the game. RPG fans rejoice, but this title certainly won't be making many converts.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 07/05/07
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