Despite a lack of originality in the settings (elven forests, dwarven mines, swampy caves… yawn), some good artistic design largely saves the day. The forest of the elves is a particular highlight, with its misty waters, pulsating roots, giant frogs and luminous toxic plants. Connecting these levels is open countryside, populated by inbred peasants (we assume by the fact that there’s only a handful of different character models that they’re all “well acquainted” with one another) and a lot of sheep. Strangely though, the game is devoid of a map, leading to a fair bit of aimless wandering - a real issue in a game where you’re free to go where you want.
The enemies are another highlight, especially the boss battles. From the halfling leader who’s eaten the entire village’s food supplies and now rolls around like a beach-ball (and who, rather disgustingly, has to be finished off by popping him), to super-violent unicorns, cackling succubae and aquatic serpentine menaces, some real thought has gone into creating these and the different methods required to defeat them.
Unsurprisingly though, even evil overlords have issues. For one, your main character is disappointingly weak. This is the guy meant to be the epitome of evil and yet, more than once, we found ourselves getting our butt handed to us by an insect. Evil overlords just aren’t what they used to be. Healing points often feel too far apart and there are times when you have the wrong mix of minions or not enough of a particular type, forcing you to trudge back through levels. Multiplayer proves to be a confusing affair, with nothing to differentiate between one player’s minions and another.