Developer: Triumph Studios
N Amer - 06/26/2007
- Also available on:
With games like Grand Theft Auto, Manhunt, Saints Row and more letting you play as some of the more seedy elements of society, a game like Overlord seems like a sure thing. Set in a robust fantasy universe, Overlord gives you the ability to play as a Sauron-like evil king as he sets his minions across the countryside to loot, plunder, and lay waste. The gameplay is a unique blend of action-RPG gaming with a real-time strategy element in the mix as well as a clever and funny storyline. While the game does have a few flaws here and there, it still offers a fun and unique campaign that strategy fans and RPG fans should enjoy.
Overlord starts you out as a corpse being dug out of the ground by a group of little troll creatures. As their leader, they bring you back to life to restore your evil kingdom and terrorize the countryside. However, in order to do so, you must utilize your loyal minions, sending them off to cause disarray in ways that you couldn’t on your own. The game’s storyline is done with a very wry sense of humor, much like the Dungeon Keeper or MediEvil series of games. This gives the “evil” aspect of the game a very tongue-in-cheek and lighthearted feel to it, but is still pretty funny.
Whereas you are a huge and intimidating force, you won’t be the one doing most of the plundering. While you will be able to upgrade your character RPG-style with new weapons, armor, and spell-sets, he still won’t much of the wanton destruction in the game. Fortunately, that’s why you have minions to do the dirty work.
The use of minions feels a lot like Pikmin, as you can sweep them around your person, and they can usually react to many situations without your help. They will destroy targets and enemies when you send them in that direction, and will even bring back the spoils of battle, like gold and special items. It’s no biggie if your minions die, as they can be easily replaced by collecting special life essence that you gain by killing enemies.
Another way that the game feels like Pikmin is the fact that you have a few distinct minions at your disposal. You have the red fire minions, blue minions who can travel through water (and resuscitate dead minions), and green minions capable of withstanding poison. While they all won’t come into play until a bit later on in the game’s progress, you will need to use each of them at certain points of the game to solve some elementary puzzles.
The game does stumble a bit though when it comes to the controls. Sometimes, the action moves a little too fast for it’s own good, and the RTS controls become a bit unwieldy. Whereas the PC version benefits from having the keyboard and mouse configuration, the thumbstick controls aren’t very intuitive when the game’s action begins to speed up.
Graphically, Overlord is a very nice looking game. The environments are bright and colorful, and the character models look detailed. The game utilizes some nice bloom lighting effects and the framerate stays pretty solid even in very intense situations.
The game’s score is pretty decent, not adding much to the game experience but not taking anything away at the same time. The voice acting is great, though, working with the game’s humorous script and being a joy to listen to.
Overlord is a fun game that offers a unique take to both the action-RPG and RTS genres, while offering a darkly humorous storyline. Plus, the game’s evil edge makes for an added incentive for those of you out there with secret desires for destruction.
Review Scoring Details for Overlord
Overlord’s blend of real-time strategy and action-RPG elements are fun to play, and the game’s evil edge is done well. The controls can be a bit of a pain during more intense sequences, however.
The graphics are very polished, with great-looking environments and detailed character models. The lighting effects are also very nice, and the framerate stays pretty smooth throughout.
The music is merely decent, but the voice acting is great.
The game offers a two-player co-op mode and a versus mode, both over Live.
The game’s dark humor is great, done in the same vein as other games like Dungeon Keeper and MediEvil.
Overlord is a fun and original title that takes some great elements across a spectrum of genres and applies them very well together. While not without its flaws, Overlord is worth a look for fantasy and strategy fans.
Sometimes it’s good to be the evil king.
Reviewer: Steven Hopper
Review Date: 07/02/2007