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Overlord is not a typical game of one specific genre. It could be described as an RPG with strategic elements. Thematically, you play the role of The Overlord, an evil ruler who seeks world domination. This all takes place in a fantasy world, featuring elves and dwarves and monsters. In order to gain domination of lands, one at the time, you will need to carry out a variety of mission, and to help you, you have your horde of minions who you will command around (this is where the strategic element comes into place). I've mentioned an evil Overlord and demon like minions, however the game is not dark and brooding. It has great humour, hilarious voice acting, and several jokes in the script.
The game has a third person camera view, and the controls themselves are fairly standard for games these days. The WASD buttons are used for moving the Overlord in specific directions, while the mouse is used to move the camera. Basically, for anyone who has played a game like the later GTA games, the controls are the same. I mentioned minions in the introduction. They are small demons that can be commanded around, either in groups or separately. The `-key (to the left of your 1-key) attracts the attention of all minions. The keys 1, 2, 3, 4 select each type of minions, as there are four types. You can then use the left and right mouse buttons to command them around and to adjust the amount, or to call all the minions back to you.
So it has been established a major part of gameplay will be based on the use of minions. Throughout the worlds you go adventuring in, there will be occasional spawn points that look like small volcanoes, and from these you can summon your minions. There are four minion types, brown, green, red and blue. The brown ones are like soldiers, good in close combat. The red ones are for ranged combat, throwing fireballs, but withstands very little in close combat. The red ones can also put out fires. The green ones can jump on top of the enemy as an attack routine, and they can also disinfect toxic gass. The blue ones can resurrect any dead minion, as long as they are put to the task within seconds of their death. They are horrible in combat, and die very quickly. However the blue minions are the only type of minion that can combat spirits. In the beginning of the game you'll be able to summon 10 minions at a time, but as you progress through the game you'll be able to summon an increasing amount of minions at the same time. There are areas of the game where you won't be able to walk yourself because the path is too narrow, so you have to command your minions to solve the issue. This can be a bit of strategic puzzle fun, as you have to figure out what type of minions to use to solve the puzzle and how to go about it. The actual Overlord character is, compared to his minions, much much stronger in close combat and mush more resistant to attacks. Soemtimes the trick is to figure out the best combination of minions and how much and in what way to involve the Overlord in battle. In the beginning of the game you might want to send the minions to do all your fighting for you, but you might reach a point of the game where you might for instance want to summon only red minions to do ranged attack while you enter close combat with a boss. In some levels you will find smelters that you can bring back to your castle, which will allow you to forge better armor and weapons for yourself. As a fun detail, you may also encounter women during your quests that you may bring to your castle to be your mistress, although you can only have on mistress at any given time. Some of them will offer you convenient options such as being able to upgrade your minions.
The quest types are fairly varied, and interestingly, although you are an evil Overlord, you find yourself completing a lot of quests for people, such as simple peasents and elves. This might include retrieving things that have been stolen, freeing prisoners and killing their enemies. After all, the evil Overlord does need someone to worship him. It's also quite funny that on several occasions you will be presented with an ethical choice, such as return the stolen goods you've retreived, or keep them for yourself. I tend to be quite nice and good natured. Every time you make an evil choice or kill someone innocent, your corruption rating increases. Apparently there will be some visual differences if you become very corrupt, as you and your castle will appear more sinister, although I don't know if there are any other differences. Either way it does add an extra element to the game to get the choice between doing the right and the wrong thing, and sometimes it can be very tempting to be bad. It is a game after all. Still, the good natured voice inside of me tends to make me do the right thing.
Overlord is, despite the dark elements, not a dark spirited game. It's more like a light hearted cartoon. The minions are cute and the voice acting is really funny. There is nothing too serious about this game. For instance, every minion you summon needs to have a soul, and in order to collect a soul for a brown minion, for instance, you have to kill a sheep, as brown minions use the souls of sheep. While that can sound dark and twisted if you think about it, it's portrayed in a very funny and cartoony way in the game. Overlord never takes itself too seriously, and it is clear one of the prime objectives when developing the game was to create and maintain a fun atmosphere.
When I first heared about Overlord, I had a look at a Youtube video, and I didn't really understand the gameplay, and it didn't entice me. Half a year later, I decided to have another look on Youtube, and decided I wanted to give it a go after all. Within the first week I had spent more than 30 hours with it. I got really sucked into the gameplay. It's cute and unique, and it has great humour! I find most the games I've been playing are fairly serious, bordering somewhere between crime thriller atmosphere and horror film atmosphere. It was such a breath of fresh air to play sucha light hearted game with a unique gameplay idea. As far as I know, the RPG/Strategy type of gameplay presented in Overlord is unique, and I think good humour is a very seldom thing to encounter in games these days. You can get the game as a digital download on Steam for £3.50.
Overlord, as action games go, is pretty unique and offers an original experience. It is not necessarily totally innovative but it is a novelty and is not bad without ever being spectacular.
You are master to a set of minions who you can control reasonably well and get them to tear things up and getting things for you that you are too lazy to go over and get. The minions and goblins are pretty funny within themselves. There are four different types who have their own different abilities and weaknesses. You have a fair amount to play with and that number increases as you along in the game.
There are few issues when you try to control too many at the same time. The controls are pretty easy to pick up but quite hard to master. Sometimes it can be quite a mission in stopping minions drowning themselves by mistake in the middle of a fight.
The actual fighting itself is handled very well. Most of the fights are not impossible but it can be challenging to get by the big boss at times. Usually you can use a certain type of minion to defeat the creature or placement of minions. There is always some way to defeat them.
There are also many challenges that don't involve combat or fighting. So you can enjoy a lightly paced challenge instead of all action all the time. New areas on the map are exposed after a while too for harder risks and rewards.
The story of the game revolves round you being evil in your castle and becoming the new Overlord. You find that after a while you enjoy beating up other characters in the game like humans who are selfish, halflings who are greedy and elves who are whining, self-righteous characters. They need to be kept in line and you are the one who has the power to do that.
There are other things that are okay in the game but sometimes become negative. You can decorate the castle which is quite fun. You can pratice fighting in the dungeon too but the loss of your minions makes this seem a little pointless.
Overall the game is okay but nothing spectacular by any means. If you can get it very cheap then might be worth considering but otherwise no.