Overlord: Dark Legend
Overlord, the game that brings people with bad intentions to game, was a big success at the retail stores. The game was perfect for PC gaming, but on consoles the point&click nature was a bit of a hassle. Pointing with the Wiimote seemed perfect to deal with this but a Wii version didn’t get released. Now Overlord 2 appears on PC, X360 and PS3, Codemasters found it the ideal time to release some more minions and send them to Nintendo’s console as well.
Overlord: Dark Legend tells the story of a 16 year old that’s teased by his older brother and sister and has an absent dad who can’t protect him. During dad’s latest absence some halflings attack the castle. By accident the boy finds a secret passage that sends him to a deep dungeon below the castle where he meets Gnarl, an old minion who likes nothing more than to put the boy in the armor of the previous Overlord. By means of this, the boy hopes to rescue the castle and get out of the shadow of his brother and sister. Then several missions follow that have little to nothing to add to the story but luckily everything gets better towards the end. Thanks to the high level of humour, it never gets boring.
Most time in this game is spent with controlling your minions. These come in four colors and each have their own capabilities. Brown is the type that loves chopping off the heads of enemies, red is resistant to fire, green has no problems with poison and are deadly silent, and finally blue have healing powers and don’t mind water. Throughout the game you’ll use them to overcome obstacles and make life miserable for hostiles. Your ugly companions die? No problem, just call out for some more.
Next to the minions that main character also has the necessary moves to do some decent hack&slash work, but controlling your little monsters is so easy that you rarely need the Overlord to help. The minions AI isn’t always perfect when it comes to picking up treasures or other life powers, but it seldom threatens the gameplay. Everything is a bit on the easy side, after finishing the first two missions you can already get the best armor and improve your critters. Also the minions never fall short as the lifeforce to call them is plenty available. A way too easy difficulty degree makes that in about eight hours you’ve finished the entire game.
Graphically the game is a beauty and one of the better Wii games. Only when too much is going on on the screen you’ll experience issues with the framerate but this hardly ever happens. What did make my hair stand up straight was the black blocks on the side of the screen. Isn’t widescreen standard these days?
Overlord: Dark Legend isn’t a bad game but seems more a light version of the first title. The difficulty degree is way too low – even my younger nephew who isn’t so great with games could easily finish – and the missions are a bit monotone. Getting over an obstacle and having your minions do some work is about all there is to it but thanks to the funny presentation you keep going forward. The feeling of evil is a bit missing also but for a game that you put in the white knight amongst consoles this is understandable. Not an Overlord as expected but definitely a suggestion.