I read a review for Overlord: Raising Hell (PS3) a few weeks ago because it was just there to read. But after reading what the game was about and what you could do, I really wanted to play it and so glad that I have.
Imagine a mix between Pikmin, The Lord of the Rings and Fable and you have Overlord!
The point of the game is to use your ‘minions’ to accomplish certain tasks such as opening gates, collecting treasure or killing great big fat Halflings. If you want to kill some innocent villagers and become an evil overlord, then so be it.
There are points where you have the option to do this in order to create good morale within your minions. Also, if you’re low on health, there are ‘Wells’ situated around the world where you can send you minions on suicide jumps into the well to regain your health, and the same goes for your magic power. But don’t worry about how many minions you’ve got left after that, just go to a portal and summon more of the little evil things to create more carnage.
You can tell The Lord of the Rings has inspired a lot of the game, what with there being lots of halflings that you have to kill and rummage through all the ‘halfling houses’ (hobbit holes).
The graphics for the scenery are brilliant and looks really smooth, but sometimes the characters aren’t as good as they could be. They’re like a slightly upgraded version of the ones used in the first Fable on the Xbox. The animation on the characters is very similar to Fable as well, in the way they can turn on the spot in the blink of an eye to run away, or when they stop its like they’ve hit a brick wall, which annoyed me a little.
This doesn’t take anything away from the fact that this game is loads of fun to play. When I first started playing it I completely lost myself in this gorgeous fantasy world with a huge smile on my face. The voice acting is charming and there’s a decent fantasy fairytale soundtrack to go with it which really adds to the feel of the game.
You can dive straight into the game with no hassle whatsoever. The controls are really easy to get used to, with your left analog controlling the overlord and the right controlling whichever minions you want to control.
One of the main problems I’ve had with the game is the use of the camera. It can sometimes get a bit awkward when you need to look somewhere to send your minions and you can’t see because of the camera controls. Most games allow you to control the camera using the right analog stick, but if Overlord, you have to press L1 to centre the camera behind you, so no traversing around your character.
Another thing would be the frame rate, which is very poor to say that this is meant to be a PS3 game. If you stand still, it looks really nice, with the trees blowing and the water rippling and then you start moving and it looks like your PS3 is struggling. This isn’t down to the PS3, but the game itself.
There’s a lot of daft dark humour that you’d kind of expect from a game like this and it’s had me chuckling a couple of times. Things like when you send your minions to smash up a patch of pumpkins, some of them think it would be a nice fashion accessory and they sport it by wearing them as helmets, which is fun to see. Evil minions attacking people and causing chaos whilst wearing a pumpkin helmet! Priceless!
There’s also the option of going online where you can either go head to head or go into a co-operative pillaging mode. It’s great fun but there doesn’t seem to be that many fights online (at least not when I’ve gone on).
You’ve also got your advisor on hand talking you through things who doesn’t shy away from the odd smarmy comment and saying something that you’ll find funny. Then there’s the jester who resides in your castle! Fancy just beating something up for the hell of it, then your jester is on hand to give him a good kicking and he never dies….I think he likes the pain.
Overall, Overlord: Raising Hell is a fun game that should have you giggling like a little girl. But there will be times when you get a little frustrated from time to time.
3 out of 5