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Overlord: Raising Hell review

Being evil isn't quite as much of a laugh as you'd think

Still, big scraps aren’t always as much of a headache as that, and using the differing skills of the minions to solve puzzles is satisfying. And the minions themselves are terrific personalities, whether collecting treasure and cooing “for you, for the Overlord”, shouting for blood or jumping on sheep and literally making mincemeat out of them. Keeping the number of minions up is a problem, mind – to replenish the spawn pits, you need lifeforce, and to get lifeforce you need to murder lots of enemies – except each enemy only gives a certain type of lifeforce, meaning if you run out of Blues, say, it’s a waste of time killing anything other than the aquatic animals around the Moist Hollows. It’s often way too laborious.

But there’s plenty to do beyond the main quest. You can simply terrorise townsfolk and go for the 100% Corruption award, or you can spend time decorating your tower until it’s the perfect place for a sadistic demon to wind down in. Then there are the various side-quests, and online and split-screen multi-player modes too, which see you rucking against other people. Overlord isn’t brilliant. Far from it – it’s fiddly sometimes, and positively archaic in some ways. Why can’t a demonic master jump? But it’s loaded with depth and character and, let’s face it, if you like RPGs you’re not exactly spoilt for choice until Fallout 3, FFXIII and White Knight Chronicles arrive. Once PS3 has the number of role-players it deserves you’ll never bother with Raising Hell again, but as a tasty morsel in the midst of a famine, you’d be daft not to think about trying it.

Jun 24, 2008

More info

DescriptionTake control of a pile of gremlin-like little maniacs in order to reign over the entire world.
Franchise nameOverlord
UK franchise nameOverlord
Platform"Xbox 360","PC","PS3"
US censor rating"Teen","Teen","Teen"
UK censor rating"16+","16+","16+"
Alternative names"Overlord: Raising Hell"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)