Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Overlord! Ruler of all that is Evil, as well as...

So I just finished playing Overlord for Xbox 360, and I have to say I am surprisingly pleased with it. My initial reaction upon playing it for the first hour or so was kind of neutral, and I really wasn't too sure if it was a game I would like, but as I played more and more, it started to have faint similarities to the Fable series, which, while not exactly always great, is a series that I still enjoyed overall. The main similarities between Fable and Overlord is the humour and the sometimes over-the-top stereotypes used for the peasants, elves, and dwarves of the land. The peasants are somewhat idiotic, but not so much as to be annoying. The elves, on the other hand, were incredibly annoying with their pretentiousness, which in a way is fitting with the stereotype. Of course, the dwarves of the game are obsessed with, what else, beer and gold.

The Overlord himself is, in this case, the silent anti-hero/villain. You aren't really forced into make good or evil decisions, leaving it open to personal preference upon whether or not you want to be a badass Overlord who reigns through terror, or you can just sorta be a somewhat neutral/kinda good guy by just killing off the main enemies of the story, who, ironically enough, are fallen heroes who killed off your character's predecessor. So in a way, you are killing these guys for revenge of a sorts, but you are also doing the world a service by ridding the land of them. Hence why my title is as it is. And for the first time in a long time, I was actually satisfied with the ending of the game. I'll have to play it a couple of times to see if there are various endings depending upon how good or evil you are (I would actually be a bit surprised if there weren't).

The game play itself is rather straight-forward after the short tutorial, and it's relatively easy to remember the few spells that you get. There is an upgrade system in terms of your armor and weapons, but it's also fairly simple, giving you the option of using a sword, axe or mace as your weapon, along with being able to upgrade your weapon, armor and helmet to give various effects. Upgrading your items with effects does cost you, but it actually becomes fairly easy about halfway through the game to be able to come up with the cost to do multiple upgrades at once. The use of Minions, what amounts to a small army of what look like halfling-sized imps, makes combat fairly simple as well, especially once you learn how to use each of the four types of Minions to maximize their effects.

Overall, I thought the game was well done. It did feel a little low budget at times with the graphics and the fact that most of the characters are voiced by about 4-5 people in total, but that really didn't take away too much from the experience of playing the game itself. To summarize my thoughts on it, it has the Fable feel with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour to it, with some elements of hack and slash games, mixed in with a touch of an RPG element. In the end, it was a fun game to play, and I would definitely recommend someone to play this if they wanted to play something that was easy to get in to and had good humour in it.

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