Monday, August 10, 2009

Overlord II

Developer: Triumph Studios
Publisher: Codemasters
Release Date: June 23, 2009
Systems: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PS3, PC
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Dennis the Menace meets Lord of the Rings.

0:00 I liked the first Overlord game just enough to never play it again after the first hour. Will this one hold up better?

0:01 A quick update download, a longish loading screen and a bunch of logos. The title appears in a flash of electricity as a bunch of little goblin-ish henchman dance to string-heavy sword-and-sorcery music. What sounds like a goblin chorus joins in with some chanting as I reach the menu. Cute.

0:03 Lots more loading before the new game starts. "Once upon a time there was an ending. And we minions searched high and low for a new Overlord. We were like fleas without a dog, maggots without a carcass, pimples without a face. And on Midwinter's eve, in the town of Nordberg, we found a beginning." Impressively decent writing...

0:04 My character is a tiny, misshapen, humanish thing completely ensconced in a thick winter coat. I'm brandishing a club and getting pelted with snowballs thrown by off-screen attackers. After them!

0:05 I knock down my child attackers' snowman defenses with my club and chase them down a snowy lane. The animation is kind of choppy -- I blame the overly detailed world. Everything is rendered with harsh edges and deep textures. A lot of random bits of speech from the kids are overlapping.

0:06 I use my lightning magic (I have lightning magic?!) to light some convenient rockets and destroy a house. Why? Because I'm eeeeevil, that's why.



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