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Platform

Playstation 3

 

Genre

Action / Strategy

 

Publisher

Codemasters

 

Developer

Triumph Studios

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

June 23, 2009

 

 

- Can be really funny

- An improvement of the original

- A real-time strategy game that actually controls really well

- Multiplayer adds some more challenge

 

 

- Even with the min-map, I found myself going in circles sometimes

- Tower felt way too big

- Framerate issues in a lot of areas

 

 

Review: Overlord: Raising Hell (PS3)

Review: Overlord (360)

Review: Red Alert 3: Ultimate Edition (PS3)

 

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Overlord II

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

If you liked the original Overlord, it’s money and time well-spent to play its sequel because the conventions and control are instantly familiar and there are enough new things happening to mute the “been there, done that” response that so many sequels manage to ellicit.

 

overlord 2          overlord 2

 

You still control and command a legion of multi-colored and multi-talented minions through a number of “high fantasy” objectives like clubbing baby seals, defeating dryads, lighting gnomes on fire, and beating on members of the Glorious Empire while dealing damage more directly as the Overlord.

 

Like the first game, success comes down to using your minions (and occasionally the enslaved human populace) effectively, like putting the Red minions on high

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ground so they can rain flame on the enemy and sweeping the Blue minions to cross bodies of water to throw switches or resurrect nearly dead minions.  Once all the minions become available there’s definitely a puzzle aspect that comes into play – you’ll need to have the right minion type with you in order to overcome some of the obstacles. 

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Switching the “load out” of minions is a simple affair as is commanding and controlling them, moreso if you played a lot of the original game.

 

Not only does the strategy and action come from use of the minions, a lot of the game’s charm also comes from them.  Their responses and random comments are amusing, as are the ragtag collections of improvised armor and weapons that the Brown minions collect over time.  I also got quite attached to the minions, which I didn’t expect, and I spent time back at my tower reviving high level minions after they were killed on the battlefield.

 

At specific points you’ll directly control an individual minion – typically spots the Overlord just can’t traverse.  It’s a little wrinkle to the overall gameplay that creates a little bit of tension since minions are far more vulnerable than the Overlord.

 

overlord 2          overlord 2

 

Upgrade (and aesthetic) options for the Overlord’s tower and abilities remain intact from the original and, as before, there’s some planning involved when it comes to expending your resources (minions, gold, etc.) for the greater good, like bigger, better weapons.

 

Overlord II has some staying power beyond the single-player campaign with some good online competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes.  Ever since getting into Left 4 Dead’s cooperative play, that’s been my preferred style of play so I spent the bulk of my time with that part of Overlord II’s multiplayer.  Survival (defend) and Invasion (attack) is a very simple setup, but both are a lot of fun when playing with a real person – even better when they have a headset.  The only unfortunate thing is that there don’t appear to be that many people playing online, but that might simply be due to the fact it’s summer and maybe people are outside.

 

As much as Overlord II plays to the fans, I’d still recommend it to anyone that enjoys games or thinks games don’t need to take themselves so damn seriously when it comes to plot or narrative or story and instead has some fun with it.  There’s still some good strategy and action here and Triumph should be really proud of how they’ve improved the original.

 

- Aaron Simmer

(July 30, 2009)

 

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