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Do you know all those video games where you play the role of the hero and save the world from Evil? Do you ever get tired of that old cliché? Have you ever wanted to take that overused premise and shove it up a unicorn's ass, right after breaking said unicorn's horn off to use it as a toothpick? Well there's a game where you can! No, today's Dark Humor Highlight is NOT Dungeon Keeper because THAT would be TOO easy. No, it's Overlord. And no, it's not about Normandy. It's about being Evil! With a capital E!
Overlord is a cross between a strategy game and an action RPG in which you control a single powerful unit and guide a swarm of small critters that act as your army. The game begins when you climb out of your grave, though not by your lonesome self. Led by Gnarl, a sneaky little freak who seems to know more than he lets on, your minions drag you out of your grave and give you the opportunity to take revenge and conquer the world. You must conquer numerous provinces and defeat the so-called heroes who rule them. During the game you will often face a choice. In each case you can either be Evil, or REALLY Evil. But seriously, if you sit down and play a game like Overlord, why on Earth would you ever choose anything but REALLY Evil? These choices do have consequences during the gameplay but nothing you can't handle, so you might as well go and be as big of an asshole as the game lets you.
As you progress you level up and even gain magical powers, becoming a quite formidable force on the battlefield, especially if you keep improving your gear. But don't forget that you are not just some Evil black knight that always wins, no... you are the Overlord, in command of an army of minions who are ready to die for you... or die trying. In order to summon them you must gather life essence first, though this is usually only an issue at the start of each area. You have four types of minions each with their own speciality ranging from melee attackers through fire throwing ranged units to backstabbing little critters and waterproof minions. They are the true stars of the game. They win you battles and keep you entertained throughout the game. You must maneuver them wisely in battle, especially when you face one of the aforementioned former heroes who are so corrupted you sometimes have to wonder what it's going to take for you to be hated more than they were. (See our previous point about being REALLY Evil.)
You also get a nice upgradeable stronghold and eventually a choice of two mistresses who can upgrade some of your minions and a court jester minion who you are free to kick around as much as you wish. (Again, see our previous point about being REALLY Evil.) This is also the place where you create new weapons and armor, imbuing them with magical power by sacrificing a certain number of your minions who happily jump to their deaths. (See our previous point... eh, you know the drill.)
At the end of the game you have big nasty final boss to take down though we will not spoil who the final obstacle is between you and world domination. Once you are victorious the realm is yours and you get a brilliant cutscene which depends on the choices you made throughout the game. If you're still not bored of being Evil and want more, there is an expansion pack called Raising Hell in which you literally end up conquering Hell... because conquering the realm just doesn't do it any more...
To summarize Overlord is a fun hybrid RPG strategy game which lets you be the bad guy for a change and enjoy every moment of it. Highly recommended if you want to step into the boots of an evil warlord. Overlord (including Raising Hell) was recently added to the game library of GOG.com so if you want to give it a go you can pick up there at a bargain price. Now go and enjoy being Evil. REALLY Evil, that is.
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