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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Codemasters
Developed By: Triumph Studios
Genre: Adventure
Players: 1-2 (2 online)
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: June 23, 2009
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

In games today, you never see the villain rise to the occasion to wreak havoc upon the innocent while ultimately bringing about fear and loyalty out of millions around the world. Realizing this, Codemasters sought to create a new gaming experience where being evil is good. While many looked at Overlord as a very solid title, it lacks some evil elements that keep it from fulfilling its ultimate goal. Codemasters returns with Triumph Studios to bring gamers Overlord II, a true sequel chalk full of destruction and humor. Does this title actually live up to expectations and provide a gaming experience worthy of the Overlord? Read on to find out.

For those new to the series, Overlord II picks up several years after the first installment. The events unfold during the Roman Empire as the minions are looking to secure a new master to reign supreme. The minions come about a young lad who was exiled from a town due to being “different”. Within the early stages of the game, the young Overlord is learning the ropes and his destiny, which is to rule the world. Once the young Overlord reaches adulthood, he learns how to fend for himself by utilizing big broad weapons, the ability to call upon minions to do his bidding, and casting evil magic which will come in handy for certain missions.

While the Overlord is the central character of the game, the minions that he commands actually have a more important role in leading him to success. There will be various missions that will require you to possess the body of a minion in order to enter and secure areas prior to the Overlord accessing them. There are also missions where the minions must hop on the backs of various animals in order to make them much more deadly in a fight, or access switches, which the Overlord himself can’t reach. These missions do a great job of diversifying the action within the game from the hack ‘n’ slash sections. Just for those worrying about being left out, you can partake in the destruction of towns and enemies by having the Overlord lay the smack down on his enemies.

A question I am sure is on everyone’s mind is “how can you be more evil in Overlord II?” You have the ability to beat baby seals to death. You have the ability to beat their parents to death. You pretty much have the ability to beat to death almost every single person and creature within the game. Simply raising your hand in the air strikes fear in the hearts of many. Killing is usually something someone is stopped from doing, where in Overlord II; it is an essential part of expanding your army of minions and rebuilding your Underworld kingdom.

Many of the enemies and animals you kill will give off a life seed, which come in varying colors. Depending on the colors you collect, the seeds act as fuel for creating more minions of the similar color. There are brown, red, green and blue life seeds, which aid in creating new minions of the similar color. Brown minions are your manual labor group; they do all the physical attacks on enemies. The red minions have the ability to throw fire balls at enemies. The green minions are stronger than the reds, utilizing stealth abilities, and being able to pass through and absorb poisonous gas. Finally, the blue minions are your medics, which can revive fallen minions as long as they are still in one piece. They also can walk through rivers of water, helping you access sections of terrains with some added mussel.

As you enter more intense battles, more and more of your minions will ultimately lose their lives. Losing one of your own can be frustrating, but thankfully there is a way of resurrecting them to fight once again. While some may opt not to use this method, it’s a good way of keeping the moral of your minions high, while also keeping your strongest minions on the battlefield. However, there is a cost to resurrecting your minions. Depending on which breed of minion you are bringing back to life, it will cost the lives of a certain amount of your minions to resurrect them. This is also a factor when forging new weapons. The more powerful the weapon and/or armor, the more minions are needed, alongside special gems, in order to create said weapon.

Overlord, from a visual standpoint, was a solid job from a studio that didn’t have any next-generation console experience. With Overlord II, the visuals are the more vivid and bright. The character models are even more detailed. You can tell that Triumph Studios spent a lot of time making sure that the body language of each character fit them, while also helping to flesh out the humor in several engaging sequences throughout the game. Landscapes are immersive, full of detail, obstacles, and destructible buildings. Working well with the visual presentation is the audio soundtrack. The musical score is befitting the title, while the voiceover work provided by the diverse roster of characters is very appealing. The highlight of the audio work is the dialog delivered by the minions. Depending on what’s going on in certain situations or if simply traversing the terrain; the minions always have some catchy phrase or humorous thoughts to deliver.

Overlord II is a definite improvement over the first installment. With co-op and online multiplayer added into the mix, Overlord II is an engaging experience that’s befitting all those who strive for evil supremacy. Though there are a few issues with gameplay mechanics and character A.I., nothing if it keeps you from enjoying every minute of this epic title.


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