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Overlord II review

AT A GLANCE
  • Some hilarious dialogue
  • Chilling in the Netherworld
  • Genuinely original
  • The framerate murders your eyes
  • Minions with minds of their own
  • Navigating levels is fiddly

Though it admittedly doffs its cap to Nintendo’s wonderful Pikmin, Overlord II is precisely the kind of inventive title we should be crying out for in this sometimes derivative day and age.

This sequel has opted to consolidate rather than innovate though, with most of the facets that made the first game such a lark simply emboldened upon here. Minions, basically nameless cannon fodder in the original, now have more of a pronounced personality – right down to their own gruesome names! The Brown minions specialize in pinning down enemies and riding cool-looking wolves. The Blue minions can heal, resurrect, and swim, but unfortunately arrive too late in the game. The Red minions shoot fireballs and can get past burning obstacles. Finally, the Green minions can turn invisible, allowing them to use a nasty back-stab.

A welcome antidote to the many grey and brown levels we so often see today, Overlord’s various islands are also bursting with so much color they’re liable to melt your eyeballs. Rough ’n’ ready it may be, but it’s undeniably charming in its own garish way as you conquer the Roman-esque ‘Glorious Empire’ in the name of all that is evil and depraved.

So you see when Overlord II works, it’s a bundle of fun. Though more advanced commands can be fiddlesome (admittedly mostly due to the dire pathfinding AI), the sheer sadistic pleasure of cackling as your demonic army swarms across the landscape clubbing seals, razing buildings to the ground and wiping out legions of haughty do-gooders is palpable. Likewise, the charming Fable-esque world and genuinely rib-tickling dialogue rarely miss their mark.

When you’re not involved in the main quest, fun little sidelines include gnome genocide, the forging of powerful new weapons and armor for your minions, the resurrection of well-loved servants and even the opportunity to curry favor with your peasant trollop girlfriend by kitting out your Netherworld pad with decor fit for a tyrant!

So why such an average score then? Put simply, the shoddy programming annoyances that plagued the original Overlord return in triplicate here. Whether it’s the terrible AI of your minions (a couple of which are always getting stuck or dying somewhere they shouldn’t), the constant frame-rate and clipping issues or the infuriating pathfinding there’s always some kind of mechanical problem to sour your fun. And it’s such a shame, because under the manifold bugs lies a devilishly original and charming game. Maybe next time, eh?

Jun 24, 2009

More Info

Release date: Jun 23 2009 - Xbox 360, PS3, PC (US)
Jun 26 2009 - Xbox 360, PS3, PC (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Genre: Adventure
Published by: Codemasters
Developed by: Triumph Studios
Franchise: Overlord
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Alcohol Reference, Crude Humor, Suggestive Themes, Violence
PEGI Rating:
16+

10 comments

  • erreip199 - June 24, 2009 11:09 p.m.

    Pity that game had promise... they should of realeased it a few months later to fix those bugs... maybe a patch?
  • UncagedDavid - June 25, 2009 12:48 a.m.

    bugs that bad
  • Garglimesh - June 29, 2009 3:22 a.m.

    It's a good game. Little buggy but it didn't deserve a 6. Personally I would give it a 8 or on a good day 9 this is from someone who has never given anything a 10. Nothing.
  • Logan2911 - July 2, 2009 2:29 p.m.

    rent it, it's a good game to play. I liked the first one better. but I give Overlord 2, an 6 out of 10.
  • Shane1403 - July 6, 2009 12:19 p.m.

    I think that I'll have to rent this first but the first one was good so we'll see recaptcha: annoy Altor
  • Stabby_Joe - June 25, 2009 1:49 a.m.

    I'll still be getting since I enjoyed the first and many other reviews are giving much higher reviews. Plus this is a FAIR score.
  • Bloodstorm - June 25, 2009 2:31 p.m.

    Loved the first one. if the bugs are the same, I think they are being to critical because they didn't ruin the first for me, and probably wont ruin the second either. Will definantly get this if I can afford it (if not I will have to get it via gamefly.)
  • Defguru7777 - June 25, 2009 8:26 p.m.

    If it has the same problems, then that means I'll enjoy it as much as the first one, right? Good, cause I loved the first one.
  • oryandymackie - June 25, 2009 8:57 p.m.

    Ouch. This game got an 8 average on other sites, and I still haven't forgiven GR for their review of Call Of Juarez (Even though, throwing a wine bottle from a second floor building still isn't enough to make it shatter/bounce and/or make AN ACTUAL EFFORT TO DO WHAT GLASS SHOULD!
  • x165 - June 29, 2009 6:24 a.m.

    iam gonna give it a try so i"ll atlest rent it

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