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Overlord review


Release your evil side and squash the drunken halflings!


Explore the dark path of true evil with Triumph Studios' and Codemasters' Overlord. After having been uncovered by the minions who inhabit the Overlord's Dark Tower, you find yourself inheriting the Tower and the title of Overlord. You learn that your mentor, the previous Overlord, was defeated by a band to do-gooder heroes, resulting in the looting and near destruction of the Dark Tower. Now it is up to you to reclaim your lost tower artifacts of power and to spread your dark influence over the land, showing everyone that you are the only true Overlord!

The Nefarious Plan

Overlord is a RTS/RPG title that puts you on the dark path of evil. It is up to you however, to figure out exactly how evil evil is. The cinematic opening explains everything in a nutshell. A band of heroes came, conquered and looted, which left you nearly dead. You did survive, however, which is more than you can say about your predecessor. With your mentor down for the count, your minions turn to you to reclaim their lost legacy.

Equipped with you Axe, Dark Lord Helm and Nefarious Armor, you are ready to take on the first challenge facing the fledgling Overlord: Fields of sheep and butterflies. No, they are not man-eating sheep or diabolical butterflies, but they do however provide you with something very important: Life Force. As you cut your way through local living beings, they will drop globes of Life Force. This is used to summon up your army of dark minions. At first, your army resembles nothing more than a handful of misguided rabble dreaming of mugging a pumpkin farmer, or at least his pumpkins. This may or may not change over time, but for right now, they are still your minions to command.

Minions and puzzles

Your minions are your primary weapon and overall tool. They are used for everything from beating down a Halfling resistance to scavenging a dining room for food, drink, and useful items. Your minions and devoutly loyal to you and will never consider for a moment keeping the gold that they have found in their masters presence. Items useful to the minion however, such as weapons and armor, will be immediately equipped, regardless on how tasteless it may look. Aside from combat, minions are also used to manipulate the playing environment around the Overlord. For whatever reason, the Overlord is incapable of walking down makeshift stairs, ladders, or plain wooden ramps. So with much of a room or area out of reach, you have to send in the minions to do your bidding under your watchful eye.

Overlord has its share of minor puzzles. They tend to be pretty straightforward, though, such as 'Find the parts to fix this wheel' and so on. When you do come across an item that requires interaction, once again, your minions step up to the challenge. If it is a hand wheel, they will quickly jump on it and start turning it, or if you discover a Tower Artifact, you can assign the minions to carry it. Once the minions have the object on their shoulders, they will immediately head to the nearest Tower Portal to send the valuable object back to the safety of the Dark Tower.

To be evil or not to be evil?

Throughout your journey to reclaim your lost power, you will be faced with many questions and choices. You are, in fact, an evil overlord, so why would you want to help the distressed farmer who has had his farm overrun with drunken Halflings? Well, most evil Overlords wouldnt bother, but, who says you cant completely destroy the farm during the attempt to clear out the drunken squatters? Your actions do have minor consequences, though. You can be evil and then you can be really evil. Sometimes, it just doesnt feel evil enough, though. Sure you can lay siege to the Halfling homestead, but why the heck would you want to return goods that were stolen from a human village not far away. "More for me and less for you I say." Decisions like this will make you more popular with your minions but considerably less popular among the villagers which you are spreading your influence over. You could just take the truly diabolical route and simply mow down every living being you come across, but if you did that, who would be left to be oppressed with your evil greatness?


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