The Scoop:Overlord 2; Genre: Third-person action-strategy; By: Triumph Studios; From: Codemasters; For: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360; Rating: Pending
Info: Lord of the Rings meets Mad Magazine in an action-strategy romp that lets you pillage bigger, badder, goofier kingdoms with hordes of evil minions.
Darren: Even though Overlord is all about being evil, this stuff is really hard to hate. First, for those who don’t know the deal, you control the titular evil Overlord in this twisted take on every fantasy game you’ve ever played (Exhibit A: killing rabid unicorns). However, the real stars here are your minions. Think the dopey, chaotic Gremlins from those ’80s movies, and multiply by 10. Get the picture? The Overlord sequel picks up right after the expansion to the original game, promising “smarter, deadlier (and funnier)” minions who will organize better in combat and find mounts in battle. The only thing that worries me is the potential dilution. Not only is the sequel hitting this June, but we’re also getting a separate game for the Wii, Overlord Dark Legend, as well as for the Nintendo DS, Overlord Minions. Don’t get me wrong, though–I’m going to try all three and hope that they play well together. I’m a huge fan of what Climax Studios (the developer) has done so far.
Matt: Like I said of the original, evil is as evil does in this clever, goofy action-strategy series with tongue (and teeth, and waggling tonsils) firmly in cheek. Remember Bullfrog’s Dungeon Keeper? In that real-time strategy tunneler, you excavated a palatial underground lair and pitted gibbering gofers against doughty parties of gleaming do-rights. Ditch the dungeon management, make the protagonist mobile, and post the action mostly outdoors, and you have the Overlord series, where doing good is heinous and dispensing evil is divine. Overlord 2 doesn’t break with that formula so much as grow it. Think more of everything. More enemy types (thieving gnomes, environmental-activist elves), more ability lists (your minions can ride mounts, commandeer war machines, and pilot warships), and more system versions. That’s right: Even though they’ll be separately plotted games, the series is finally reaching out with Wii and Nintendo DS iterations.