Reviews// Overlord (Xbox 360)

Attack, my minions of evil, attack!

Posted 2 Jul 2007 12:00 by
Who hasn't imagined themselves at the head of an unstoppable army of evil, intent on the subjugation of the world? In Overlord from Triumph Studios and Codemasters, you are given a chance to try that little fantasy out, just to see if it suits you. The game begins with your character being discovered by a pack of Goblin-like creatures, you are quickly introduced to Gnarl, the minion master, who explains that seven heroes have killed the former Overlord and ransacked his tower of evil. Of course, now that you are here, all of that is over with; you must take up the title of Overlord and re-establish a rule of evil across the land.

In true action-RPG form, you start out with very little in the way of armour, weapons or skills, but you do have an edge over adventurers on the side of good; you have minions. Minions resemble the "fed after midnight" version of Gremlins and are yours to command as you wish. They will follow your orders, no matter how deadly the consequences, and will sacrifice themselves in order to give you back your health or mana; or even just to power up your weapons.

You can almost always get more minions by accessing the minion gates that are spread throughout the lands you visit. Most creatures you or your minions kill on your journeys will drop life-force when they die, which you can pick up yourself or have your minions bring to you. This life-force is used to spawn new minions back at the tower. The colour of the life-force determines the type of minion that is available to you.

Minions come in four types: Browns who are the fighters, Reds who are aligned with fire, Greens who are experts with poisons and Blues who are slightly magical and also aquatic.

To start with you will only have access to Brown minions, in order to spawn the other types you will have to find their hives and return them to the tower's spawning room.

Minions will kill anything you send them after (especially sheep) and will smash anything inanimate that looks like it may contain something interesting. If they find weapons or armour, they will equip them and boost their fighting prowess; treasure and power-ups will be brought back to you to use in your own fiendish ways.

You will have to learn to use the different types of minions and their abilities to best further your evil ends. For example, the Reds are really bad at close combat fighting, but have a ranged attack that can set enemies on fire, they can also extinguish fires so that you and the rest of your horde can pass safely.

The other major role that minions serve is as beasts of burden, they will carry artefacts back to the tower by way of your evil teleportation network. These artefacts will grant you new powers or boost your existing ones. For example, some of them can be used to restore your tower to its former glory - opening up new rooms such as the armoury, forge and dungeon - while others will allow you to summon more minions at once up to a maximum of 50 of the evil little things.
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