Overlord II Preview
Last year's Overlord (well, it was last year for the PS3) was a solid and very enjoyable adventure game that the industry needs more of. In the world of infinite first-person shooters, games like Folklore, Fable, and Overlord are an unfortunate rarity. Their contrasts of dark and bright worlds, good and evil intentions are a breath of fresh air. Overlord took that concept and offered you the ability to take control of dozens of little minions.
Where Overlord differed was the fact that you were primarily evil, after all, if you wanted to build your army, you had to slaughter some farm-life in order to reincarnate them as your minions. Additionally, controlling your empire was also the ultimate goal of the game, but you didn't have to be terribly evil to accomplish that. And despite flaws, Overlord was still a solid game that was fairly overlooked. But there's a sequel on the way, and the story will once again be penned by Rhianna Pratchett.
The game follows the events of the first game, and this time around you take control of the previous Overlord's son, who, if you completed the first game, was kidnapped and taken away to Nordberg an empire that's bent on banishing any known magical species. All grown up, your character will now attempt to conquer the game's massive empire by utilizing the same minion-controlling concept of the first game, but with an improved game engine that boasts much better A.I., giving the minions more personality and diversity in their actions.
To add to the previous game's humor will be a cast of new species, Gnomes who are thieves by trade, and Elves who are environmental activists. These additions give the game an additional layer of subtlety where politics, modern day controversies, and the environment are to be parodied throughout the story.
Expect an even bigger game world that boasts various environments and cities. In addition to A.I. improvements, your minions also gain the ability to mount and ride around on wolves, spiders, and other species in the game to use them for battle. Furthermore, if you're fond of a particular guy, you can also name your minions and if your favorite minion ends up getting killed, he can be resurrected, so worry not.
Lastly, expect multiplayer to return, and expect to be able to control even more minions simultaneously. Also, with an improved game engine, Codemasters also promises improved visuals. And best of all, there is a demo planned for the game, so expect to see it sometime just before the game is released.
Overlord II is scheduled for a June 23rd, 2009 release.
5/1/2009 Arnold Katayev