Overlord PDF Print E-mail
Written by Silver Sorrow   
Thursday, 23 August 2007 15:44
Article Index
An Aside About The Minions
Did you say... Mistress?
There's a catch, I just know it
Ha-Ha! How Hard Can It Be
Would someone tell me...
All Pages

Ha-Ha! How Hard Can It Be?
There are no difficulty settings or a save-anywhere system, so you know what that means: autosaves and lots of repeating certain drawn-out scenarios. There were times that I quit in disgust at the seeming unfairness of a situation; usually it turned out that I wasn't paying attention to the clues given to help me, or my tactics weren't imaginative enough, or I didn't use the obvious tools provided by the [s]evil twisted freak who designed the quest[/s] devs.

However, I will say that the game isn't really all *that* difficult; the worst part for me was trying to assimilate all of this information concerning spells, minions, the controls, etc. and trying not to die at the same time. On my second playthrough, I found that the areas of the game that gave me so much trouble in the beginning were easier...that didn't entirely save me from some of the more confounding areas, but it helped, sort of.

With that said, there are a couple of dirty tricks perpetrated upon the player...such as being ambushed from behind when I'd already cleared out an area -- one bitter experience in particular concerned a flamethrower-wielding Dwarf -- or being hemmed into a corner by circumstances, and so on. On rare occasions, things happened so quickly that there was little room for thought and the day was saved (or not) by improvisation. I don't mind that at all, but I'm still a little ticked off about that flamethrower Dwarf.

I'd like to entreat the designers to think about save-anywhere for future installments: I know we PC gamers are just so much dog dirt caked in your shoe tread, but if you keep pissing us off with this antiquated checkpoint thing, we will not be held responsible for the consequences. Dark maledictions follow, and the clouds darken.

So What Are We Looking At Here? Vicious Kittens? Killer Wombats?
Ah, the enemies. The things you'll face are wonderously varied and deadly, from birds to human raiders to giant serpents, you'll never be at a loss for something to hurt or be hurt by. There's always fun to be had in...in...uh...wherever the hell this is!

Readings Indicate A Slightly Pixellated Landscape, Captain
It looks pretty good, for a console port. The textures may be slightly blurry in places, but that's okay. The engine-driven cutscenes fit seamlessly into the gameplay so there isn't any weird crap going on.

For the most part, it's an attractive game. Thanks to the third-person camera, I often experienced the unparalleled joy of having the visuals blocked by foliage, but that's what you get when you go third-person.

Humanoid character animations, however...well. Hit and *some* miss, but mostly hit. The minions were a delight to watch (especially the little foot-clutching hop one would do when something fell on its foot), but some of the humans' movements were a little on the odd side. The Overlord, for example, runs strangely. Otherwise, it's fine.

Strap Your Hands Across My Engine
I'm running a mid-range system. There's no denying it: I am not cutting edge. I don't really care, because being cutting edge means having either a rich benefactor or a good job...and as I have neither, it does no good to cry about what I lack. (The other options include being rich, being a thief, or working at Best Buy...again, these things elude me.)

Anyway, the game runs pretty well on my system; there are moments of low framerates and some stuttering, especially in NPC-intensive areas such as Heaven's Peak (one area in particular turned to a slideshow for no discernible reason), but that's no huge surprise. I'm just pleased that having 30+ minions at my command doesn't really hamper performance very much.

I'll skip the obvious innuendo.

Okay, maybe just one:

SHE: "What are all those things??"
ME: "My audience. Gimme some sugar, baby."

Sounds Like..."I'll Kill You Kill You Dead DIE DIE DIE"?
The audio smorgasbord is a delight: the music is excellent, the minions' chuckling is hilarious, the voice acting is wonderful (although one of my fellow inmates complained that the minion jester's Dungeon Arena announcing was "irritating")...no real complaints from me. I especially liked the minions ("For you!") and mistress Rose's voice was particularly pleasant (love the accent), when she wasn't nagging me. The accents of the NPCs varied wildly at times, from the crap-caked Midwestern farmer to the amusing (but fundamentally annoying) pseudo-English accent like that affected by Ren-Fest** fans: it's all in good fun.
[** That's "Renaissance Festival" for those of you who are wondering. They infest this great nation of ours...like crotch lice...and are alternately called Medieval Fairs, Renaissance Faires (note the redundant tagging of the "e" in the otherwise workable "Fair"), Six Flags Over Nerdopolis, and so on.]

I think a good (i.e., "spite-based") plan would be to go to one of those geek-fest things dressed head to toe in black with glowy goggles and carrying a plastic ray gun. When asked, just explain that you're representing the aliens who came to earth during the time being celebrated, giving the gift of literacy to the masses. Then look your questioner up and down and sneer, "Hell of a lot of good it did you," and walk away. Just be prepared to make a hasty exit eventually, as some of those people really get into the thing. Don't worry about being caught on foot, though; engineering students and chunky girls claiming to be Celtic "singers" don't have the stamina for a long chase.


The only problem I had was that there aren't that many lines, so everytime I ran by a group of NPCs in the village of Spree (for example), they'd have the same lines. It got a little monotonous. Still, it was nice to be asked by one peasant lass if that was a pumpkin in my pocket or was I glad to see her.


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