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Being given the chance to be evil has never been so much fun in this mixed strategy game that allows you to rule the underworld and wreak havoc as the Evil yet calm and silent Overlord.
It's something of a theme in videogames, granting us permission to be as bad as we like. When you do something bad in real life you feel bad. Your stomach ties in knots and until you've apologised or put it right you don't feel right. But do something bad in a video game and there are no bad feelings to be had it seems. You can, shoot, maim, kill, control and even get encouraged by gremlin like minions. Being bad never felt so much fun.
Because of this Overlord 2 makes me feel like a naughty child again but a naughty child with no conscience. You even start the game off as a child overlord and get guided by your minions. As the game progresses you will earn your right to be the overlord of all the minions in the underworld. It was enough to make me wonder if it was wise to buy an Xbox with a loan.
Now, as for the minions I'm not saying that Steven Spielberg should sue but there is a massive resemblance between them and ‘Gremlins' both in look and attitude. The humorous banter that they give you all throughout the game adds a real dimension of entertainment to the game.
It's a great thing when a game can poke fun at itself and the conventions surrounding it.
I remember years ago watching a comedy sketch show called the Mary Whitehouse Experience and one of their sketches involved a parody of Mario on the Nintendo Gameboy. Well if they played overlord 2 the parodies are now well and truly in the mainstream. It's a great thing when a game can poke fun at itself and the conventions surrounding it.
The game itself incorporates a mix of straight forward hack and slash enemy removal and puzzles that you can solve using key minions. And this is a lot of fun although it does require a bit of time to play. You need a good couple of hours each time if you're going to make a dent in it at all.
As the game goes on you realise this is just as much a strategy as it is a fighting game. You find your living quarters where all manners of upgrades can be purchased. This is the only real down side to the game as it takes forever to wander to the various upgrade points and just gets plain boring. Twenty minutes to upgrade a character is not a productive use of my time, and makes me think back to the days of the old Commodore 64 where it took 20 minutes to load your game. This is the kind of nostalgia I could do without, also every time you enter a new part of the game the loading takes its sweet time to get you there.
Having said that, if that's the only down side then it's doing pretty well. What shines here though is that it reminded me of a game I had long since forgotten and it brought the memories flooding back. Way back in the Playstation 1 days a game came out called Blazing Dragons. It was a simple point and click adventure game that was written by the Monty Python team. The script was genius and had me laughing all the way through the game.
It has me chuckling at regular intervals and I appreciate that.
Overlord 2 is the same. It has me chuckling at regular intervals and I appreciate that. It feels like you're playing a carry on film, the accents of the creatures are also hysterically spot on dialects from the midlands, the north of England and even the south west. It's hard to make a game genuinely funny. Like some famous geezer once said 'Tragedy is easy Comedy is hard'. This game made me laugh and as such I am encouraged to like it, and like it I do.
But it's a sad note we have to end on. Because for all it's well groomed script and comedy timing, this is always going to be a niche game. It's never going to get a massive following, but with a sense of humour, fun game play and great dialogue it can't go wrong. But why not buck the trend of flocking to the big and the bad of gaming and sample the wares of this quietly confident game that reminds us all how much fun it can be to simply laugh and play.
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