gaming since 1997


Although Overlord was often compared with the game Dungeon Keeper, I can’t really agree with this. Ok, you have the minions to command, but that’s where the resemblance stops if you ask me. Overlord is a game apart from all others and on top of that it’s great fun to play. Are you the extremely bad ruler or rather the soft badass? Find out in thie Action-RPG by Truimph Studios and Codemasters!

In Overlord you play the ruler of evil in a wonderful medieval fairytale land full of farmer-villages, woods packed with elves and holes filled with Hobbits. Don’t compare the latter to the sweet, little, bare-footed (except for the hair that is) people you know from the Lord of the Rings. In Overlord they’re a pack of bloodthirsty, plundering rascals looking for supplies they need to keep on partying. Where do they plunder? In the human villages. Now, back to the story. You’re the Overlord, some sort of ‘master of evil’. Your predecessor was beaten and banished from these lands by some party of heroes. While overthrowing the previous overlord, they couldn’t just leave his tower untouched. They destroyed the entire building except for the outer walls.

Because the previous Overlord was banished from the planet, his remaining minions started searching for someone to replace him and avenge evil. Guess what, you’re that new Overlord. At the start of the game you’re being dug up and get some acid in your eyes (it’s a matter of helping you see a bit clearer which isn’t very easy when you’ve been buried in the dark soil of a dungeon for a couple of thousand years). From now on you’re in charge of the empire of evil. This task involves rebuilding the tower, killing heroes and smiting villagers… Aaaah, the wonderful life of an Overlord.

However, don’t even think about doing all this smiting, killing and rebuilding yourself. You’ve got minions to do that for you so get your ass over in a chair, baking in the sun with a tequila in one hand and you’re mega-axe in the other. Send your goblins out on quests to steal the life-juice of living creatures. You need that to obtain more units. At the start of the game you’re stuck with a unit-cap of 5, but near the end you’ll be able to command an entire battalion of 50, all ready to demolish, kill and wreak havoc at your command.

Next to collecting juices it’s not a bad idea to grab those much wanted ‘Tower Objects’ to rebuild your mighty fortress of darkness. Every item gives you more potential as an Overlord since it makes you stronger. For example, some objects give you more manna while others provide you with an addition in HP. How to get those things back to the tower? Easy, command your minions to carry it for you!

A small detail, you’ve got four kinds of minions: browns (these are capable of inflicting some serious damage to your enemies, but that’s it), blues (the medics of you squad, they can revive fallen goblins and walk through water), greens (these are capable of turning invisible and backstabbing enemies as they pass, on top of that they can also absorb any poisonous fumes released by flowers spread all over the land) and last but not least there are the reds (these little crackers shoot fireballs at the opposing forces, setting them ablaze and incapable of fighting, next to that they can also absorb fire, clearing passages which were previously unreachable). Do mind: tactical positioning of each type of unit is vital to successfully winning a battle (with few casualties on your behalf). For example, don’t put your blues at the front lines because they absolutely suck at fighting and will go down with the first strike of a hammer.

To control your troops you need controls and these are truly perfect. No difficult combinations, just push the button and you can perfectly do whatever you want. On the other hand it does take some time to get the hang of it, but I guess that’s called the ‘learning curve’. For example, you can easily select only browns by pressing the RB and Y button. Real easy if you ask me…

Overlord is also supplied with a healthy amount of humor (going from slapstick to practical jokes). Things like putting pumpkins on minions heads to use them as helmets or dead rats as weaponry. I can’t really explain it, but you’ll play this game with a big smile on your face.

Although the single player is the most important part of this game, there’s also a multiplayer mode to satisfy your evil needs. There are two styles to play: co-op and versus. In co-op you’ll team up with another player to fight a list of enemies with each stronger than the previous. Versus will set you out on a missions to kill more enemies than the opposing player. Nothing to fancy, but with a couple of friends this can be quite fun. Ow yeah, you can’t play this in split-screen, only on Xbox Live.

The world in which you play looks great. You can roam in sewers of a big city, go through densely grown forests filled with emo-elves, those farmer-villages, the disgusting Hobbit towns. Every one of those locations is actually worth taking a close look at. In graphical terms this game looks lovely, causing a somewhat dreamy feeling (a contradictory to the Overlord idea?). Contributing to that feeling of floating in a fairy-land is the music. Yet again an example of games getting very movie-like, involving drama, humor, piece by piece beautiful locations and great classical symphonies.

Enough of the bla bla, Overlord might be a RPG, but not one as we know them (I might even dare to state that his game eves takes the genre on a wild spin through ridiculous-ville). No over-serious storyline, no main character with a hero status, … Humor is the card played here and that’s very refreshing. Overlord is truly worth playing!

Our Score:
related game: Overlord
posted in: Codemasters, Reviews, X360
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