Overlord: Dark Legend review

  • A handsome looking Wii game
  • Well designed gameplay with decent controls
  • Richly imagined world
  • Core concepts feel under-explored
  • Too short
  • Some of the cutscenes lack flair

On the internationally recognized scale o’ evil Overlord Dark Legend is more Walt Disney than Pol Pot. The central premise might suggest it’s a game for megalomaniacs in waiting but the contrived plot actually has you thwarting baddies rather than stealing children’s lollipops. That said, there’s still much to recommend this Wii exclusive prequel.

In the imposing iron boots of an underage overlord you are charged with the task of building an evil empire by thwarting the even more evil plans of your moronic siblings. As such you’ll travel across the kingdom freeing multiple minions, smashing more crates than Crash Bandicoot and doing the odd yokel a favor.

It’s all very Fable with a dash of Pikmin: an odd concoction perhaps but a compelling one. The distinctive stages are well structured and the combat and puzzles easily handled by your minions using the new pointer-based commands. It all trundles along quite nicely.

But ‘nice’ isn’t quite the word that Overlord is reaching for. Where there should be blood, chaos and screams, there are regional accents, cuddly looking baddies and simplistic strategy. The different skills of each minion type for instance are under-explored, the puzzles simplistic and the main story can be polished off in around five hours. Now that really is evil.

As a game designed to exploit your moral compass, Overlord’s ambitions are foiled by a lack of reach. It’s a fairly generic adventure whose core mechanics of exploration and puzzling have both been done better elsewhere. But as a colorful, undemanding and fun action game it’s still worth practicing your evil laugh for.

Jun 23, 2009

More Info

Release date: Jun 23 2009 - Wii (US)
Jun 23 2009 - Wii (UK)
Available Platforms: Wii
Genre: Adventure
Published by: Codemasters
Developed by: Climax
Franchise: Overlord
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence
PEGI Rating:


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