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Overlord - hands-on

You%26rsquo;re limited to the starter brown minion fighters at the game%26rsquo;s beginning. They%26rsquo;re feisty brawlers, plain and simple. But as you progress further, you%26rsquo;ll be able to recruit other minions with different powers. They level up, grow stronger, and their varying special moves range from slinging fire to healing wounds. Minions are great for everything from bum rushing the natives to solving puzzles as you hack 'n slash your way towards world domination. And that brings us full circle back to the gloomiest aspects of the game: gameplay and level design. Controlling the game's camera demands as much attention as your minions when wading through enemies in areas you already cleared. Did you miss a door? Did you remember to bring red minions so you can get past the fire ahead? Why am I walking directly into the camera? These are the questions we started asking ourselves while playing Overlord.

But once one of our minions picked up a pitchfork and shouted "For me," before arming himself with it, while another fetched us a mana potion and said "For you," as he handed it to us, we knew we'd found man's new best friend and forgot our frustrations.

Even though they're rather derivative of the Gremlins movies with a mean streak a mile long, the minions grow on you quickly and smooth out the spots where Overlord feels a bit rough. Improved path-finding for minions and a reward system that will add more gloom to your home base, the Dark Tower are on the developer's to do list as the game's upcoming release draws nearer. But improving the camera control and ramping up the pace in the sometimes tedious dungeons will go a long way toward making what looks like a decent title into a great one. Overlord is expected to storm store shelves this summer. In the meantime, click on the Images and Movies tab above for an advanced look at the meddlesome minions that are heading your way.