Overlord: Raising Hell
Why does Aladdin always win from Jafaar? Why does Cruella De Villa carry the nametag of a villain? Why does good always prevail over evil? Why are we sick and tired of the “and they lived happily ever after”-endings? This is what Triumph Studios wondered and they developed a game that gives you the choice between evil and even more evil. With Overlord: Raising Hell for the PS3 you get the full package so this includes the Raising Hell expansion.
In the past the world was ruled by evil force but at a given moment seven heroes came together to fight the Overlord’s army and unfortunately succeeded in winning and casting out evil from the earth’s surface. Now it’s up to you as new Overlord to spread evil again. With the help of your servant Gnarl and your army of minions you need to cover the world with a purple black glow filled with revenge and greed.
The objectives are clear, repair your castle and spread evil! In the game you don’t go working alone but get help of your slaves, the Minions. These are goblin-like creatures that love following your orders. There are four different types that can be recognised by their color. The brown ones can best be compared with an army of muscles and are hard to defeat. The red minions are surrounded by fireballs that can be fired off towards hostiles. Further on you’ve got the blue ones that can bring others back to life and the green critters get rid of poisonous fumes. By adding different minions an extra tactical depth is given. As player you need to find a good balance between the different Minions.
As Overlord you of course have some other tricks up your sleave next to the Minions. Weapons like a sword, mace or axe have no secrets to you and also the art of magic is fully mastered. You can stand your ground, but the Minions do remain essential to the game. If you’ve lost some life, you can easily sacrifice a minion to replenish your strengths and the little critter will even be happy to be of service!
Constantly doing the same missions brings along a somewhat monotonous feeling. You teleport from one place to the other to bring back a part of the “castle” and as Overlord you’ll often stand on the side during combat while your minions do the dirty work.
The game controls feel very clumsy. Controlling the Overlord is done with the left joystick while the Minions are steered by the other one. It takes a lot of practise to have the minions perform the correct task and the camera often doesn’t follow which makes it hard and irritating to guide your Overlord and an army of fifty Minions through a level.
When Overlord appeared on the Xbox360 last year the graphics were more than adequate. By now we’ve gotten used to more and the looks are a bit outdated. There is a lot of eye for detail though and almost all objects in the environment can be broken. A lot of pots and crates contain different items which are taken and used by your minions to increase their attack force. The diverse surroundings luckily bring the necessary variation so that we sometimes can spend some time looking around, enjoying the scenery. Further on there’s little to say about the music. The comedy from the characters is quite good and makes for a fun atmosphere.
This game leaves me with mixed feelings. On one side the controls aren’t good, the graphics outdated and the storyline is monotone. On the other side, however, it’s an original game, has tactical depth and you’ve got the possibility to unite with your dark side. If you don’t mind the negative points, then run to the store and start spreading evil!