Overlord Reviews

128,838 (80,780)
TA Score for this game: 2,331
Posted on 30 April 09 at 01:27
This review has 50 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Overlord is a cult classic, largely overlooked by the mainstream community. I would equate Overlord's reputation to that of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Almost everyone has heard of it, most people know what it's about, quite a few people have seen it, but only a few people ever really got into the game. Those that did get into the game, really got into the game. This reputation is well deserved, considering how truly unique Overlord is.

For those that aren't aware of the game it follows the rise and rule of an evil Overlord. The game puts a heavy emphasis on its evilness, which adds even more comic relief to an already fun game. The game is by no means actually evil. You may play as the self-proclaimed anti-hero, but with your concert of unquestioningly loyal minions you will feel more like the straigth man in a comic show. This is by no means a bad thing, offering a unique sense of humor not really seen in most games. While the humor is different, I would equate the game to the same humorous atmosphere as the Penny Arcade games.

The gameplay may sound a little overwhelming, but goes very smoothly. You are in control of a horde of minions. As you progress through the game you gain new spells, new types of minions and even an evil(or not so evil) queen to help rule your empire and upgrade two of your minion types. Commanding the minions can take a little while to get used to, but after fifteen minutes of gameplay most anyone should get a good idea of how to orchestrate combat, instead of fighting it yourself. You can, of course, fight for yourself in all but a few special areas of the game if you chose. However, whacking away with your weapon of choice is not nearly as fun or useful as an overwhelming horde of minions grabbing onto and taking down larger opponents like a group of Lilliputians on Gulliver's back. You will run into different circumstances that will lead to you needing to learn to manage your minions well for the different enviornments they were meant to thrive in.

Whether intentional or not grinding is a part of Overlord, probably the worst part of the game. In order to upgrade your weapons you will need certain amounts of life force, which are harvested from anything you kill. Along will replacing casaulties that are lost in battle you may find yourself spending an hour or two in the dungeon farming beatles for their life force, or if you're going for the 10k life force achievement more than two hours. This is the main downside to the game.

The graphics are ok, not great. A little dated today, they were good for their time, and are still decent today. The enviornments are cartoony, which works well with the entire feel of the game. The sound is very well done, especially voice acting, from the cries of the helpless you slaughter to the advice of Gnarl, head minion, the game sounds great. There are no big explosions or exciting weapon noises, it's not that kind of game. What sound effects it does aim for it does very well.

This games label as an RPG I think is misleading. While there are a lot of moral choices to be made, they are mostly black(really evil) or white(kinda helpful to humanity) and isolated from one another so most of the choices will do little to effect other parts of the game. I would label this game an adventure game. It has free-roaming enviornments once you can unlock the areas, but almost nothing in terms of leveling up outside in game upgrades and enchanted weapons.

If ravaging a fantasy world as the master of a minion army sounds like fun, it is. It is really fun. If you're looking for something fast paced, or a one man army kind of game this game probably isn't up your alley. If even a medium level of micromanagement frustrates you this game is definitely not up your alley. If you like to comman, and are up for a comical experience Overlord is worth it. Considering the current price of the game, even if you're on the fence it might just be worth the risk of putting yourself back a tenner and trying it out. I went into this game not knowing what I was going to find, and ended up falling in love. I would rate this in my personal top five for the Xbox 360.
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299,304 (156,080)
TA Score for this game: 2,340
Posted on 05 November 09 at 08:26, Edited on 05 November 09 at 08:30
This review has 20 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
This is for the Raising Hell expansion - I posted it as a DLC review but something prevented it from being shown, so here goes...

Overlord is one of those games you either love or hate. Many people were able to see past the control flaws, the average graphics and the cheesy humour and grew to adore the style, atmosphere and general chaos that comes with commanding their own armies of minions. Even so, with the trend nowadays that we should be expected to pay 800 points for a two hours piece of unimaginitive DLC, many people are right to be cautious about buying Raising Hell. Furthermore, there’s not a lot of information about it out there on the Internet, so despite it being out for quite some time, I thought I’d try reviewing it.

The premise is that five abyssal gates have emerged throughout your conquered world and it’s your job to prevent losing your followers or allowing your enemies to escape into them. The first four levels can be completed in any order and each one is based on one of the areas you had to conquer the first time around. Each level has its own appearance and method of getting through it and many will be glad to learn that they are much more puzzle orientated than the majority of the original game. Highlights for me were the Elvish play that is stuck in a loop until your minions make an appearance as the Terror of Evernight and the Golden Abyss which forces you to harness the Dwarves' adoration of… well… gold.

Raising Hell will take you a quality 6-7 hours to run through the main levels, and a couple more to find the unique items, beetle-grind to afford them and play through the new dungeon creatures so that you’ve seen everything. It comes with 140 points worth of new achievements which are pretty straightforward to get, awarded for completing each level and clearing the new dungeon challenges – an achievement for forging all of the uniques is unfortunately lacking, and although the new items are worth getting just to make your Overlord look awesome, they sometimes fall short in performance compared to an Arcanium set.

It wouldn’t be Overlord without the childish humour, the narration by Gnarl, and sadly the control and technical issues – all of which are present in this package. Among the laugh-out-loud moments, the ridiculous scenarios and the general killing of everything you see, a couple of times I experienced framerate slowdown and minions getting stuck on scenery. The new levels look fantastic however, and although they all have a similar hellish appearance, they’re distinctive enough to be told apart.

Triumph Studios describe Raising Hell as an expansion pack, not simply DLC, and I think that they’re right in doing so. Anyone who enjoyed Overlord will definitely get value for their 800 points, although I doubt there much here to entice those who disliked the original.

Now, I suppose I ought to get Overlord II……
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