Overlord (360) – Review

Overlord - CoverOverlord, developed by Trimuph Studios and distributed by Codemasters, is a game in the same vein of play like Pikmin, a mix of a third-person fantasy hack-and-slash and minimal RTS elements.  The game is pretty fun, offering puzzles and monsters that are just right in difficulty, an entertaining story, and plenty to do outside of the main plot with only minimal problems.

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Overlord (360) – Initial Impressions

(Ok, not quite initial, I’m about 1/2 through, but first time I posted on this).

Overlord is definitely an interesting game; its fashioned off of one of the best games ever, Pikmin, but adds a few twists.  Basically, you’re an evil being (read: somewhere around lawful evil to chaotic good in D&D terms) that needs to rebuild his castle, but to do this, you need to do good deeds to rid the world of nasty evil (chaotic evil!).  To do this, you can’t fight off those hordes yourself but you get access to minions.  Like Pikmin’s Pikmin, your minions come in 4 varierties: Browns are good fighters but otherwise have no special power; Reds can use fireballs from a range and can douse fires; Greens can withstand and neutralize poison and can perform nasty back-attacks; and Blues can attack magic beings, use magic and regenerate others, and can cross through water (the others can’t), but are the weakest fighters.  You “sweep” your minions around the levels as well as set vantage points; you can control all of them at once, or by color, or a small subgroup, and usually it’s a matter of puzzle solving: monsters are there, but it’s usually how you face them that is the puzzle.  For example, monsters wandering around in water need to be lured to land to allow the more powerful minions attack.  Minions themselves will wreck havoc on boxes and the like about, collecting the items for themselves to use as weapons and armor, while giving you money, life and magic potions they find.

Destroying monsters gives you life force for your minions (each color tracked separately), but you can use your minions to upgrade your armor as well.

The game has a decidedly twisted bent, reminding me much of the humor in the (newer) The Bard’s Tale.  E.g. in this game, halflings (read: hobbits) are evil, and their hero “Melvin” is so rotund as to make him a tricky boss.

The only major issue with it is the lack of camera controls: the left stick is used for movement, the right is used to sweep your minions; moving around will move the camera, but I found the easiest way is to turn in the direction you want to look and then tapping a shoulder button to make the camera jump that way.  Also, the game feels like it was built off the Fable engine, not so much in the gameplay, but just how the people respond to you, how the camera follows you around, etc… which is not the best engine, but so far, it hasn’t failed me yet in the game.