Xbox 360 Review: Overlord 2 - Should You Check It Out?
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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The time I have waited for Overlord 2 has come to an end. The game I had been looking forward to all year long is finally in my hands, and here is my review on the newest hit title.
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Overlord 2: Xbox 360's Star Sequel
I was one of the few lucky souls who pre-ordered a copy of Overlord 2. I had such a wicked evil time rampaging through the villages in the original Overlord game, that when news spread a second version was releasing I knew I had to have it.
You're probably wondering what the point of Overlord 2 is though right?
Well imagine being given the keys to an evil empire; the empire unfortunately is in despair, it is up to you the Overlord to destroy and plunder in an attempt to re-build your evil empire. But alas, you are not alone, as in the original game you have a herd of evil little minion's that do most of your biddings. You control their every move, and doing so is what makes Overlord 2 so deliciously fun. You see these minions are hilarious, as they destroy everything in their path you will hear quirky one liners such as 'oh treasure', 'for me', 'for the Overlord', or other quirky quotes.
What makes them so appealing in Overlord 2 is their appearances. They take on a Golum like look, and even have vocals that sound like the Lord of the Ring goblin. Watching them run around destroying everything, slaughtering innocent animals, and killing people never grows old.
As in the original, all of our different color minions are available to scoop up along the way in Overlord 2. Like in the original, you will have to find their hive though before you can actually summon these minions of Overlord 2 from their nests in order to add them to your army.
The minions of Overlord 2 have abilities that are all relatively the same; your brown minions are excellent fighters in battle, while the reds are weaker in battle, but they do a hell of a job at bombarding enemies with their fire balls from a distance. Greens also still have the same killer ability, which include jumping on the backs of the enemy and taking them down from behind. They can also become invisible allowing easy unannounced kills from behind. The blue minions have the same abilities as in the original as well. They can resurrect dead minions who died in battle if they are able to get to them quickly enough, and they can walk through water.
The game started off a little bit quirky and unexpected. Instead of featuring my huge dark Overlord, I was instead controlling a small midget like creature with a wooden club. I am the original Overlord's son, which puts a whole new spin on the Overlord 2 game overall.
This small section had me running through a wonderful snowy environment where my goal was to disguise my minion's as children in order to make it into the gated off village. No person is going to let a herd of goblins into their village after all. I believe this area of Overlord 2 was a micro tutorial as it taught me how to use the controls. The way it all started though was a little strange. Thankfully after a few moments, I was dubbed the Overlord, and grew into a large evil looking son of a gun.
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Something Old, Something New in Overlord 2
Although no new color coded minions of Overlord 2 have been added to the mix, there are tons of new goodies that fans of the original will adore. First, of course, is the incorporation of wolves. If you happen to stumble upon a herd of wolves, your evil little minions of Overlord 2 can instantly train them to work with them in battle. You will watch as your minions of Overlord 2 hop on the backs of these razor toothed wolves and use them to fight along side them in battle. What makes the wolves really useful though, besides just killing, is the fact that they can jump over certain areas of water. For instance, if there is a small island of ice in the distance, that your minions cannot reach, the minions of Overlord 2 who have wolves will glide through the air and land on the island being able to reach whatever it is you couldn't get before. There are other creatures in the game as well, in which your minions can use in battle.
Besides taking rides on the backs of other creatures, Overlord 2 thankfully added a map! I can't even tell you how frustrating the original game was without a map. With a world so large getting lost often led the game to become frustrating. While you should be out killing and destroying, instead you'd be lost in a winding forest. Without a good memory of where everything was, it gets annoying. Overlord 2 added a small map which you will find on the lower left hand side of the screen. This map also will highlight areas in which you need to go.
Another new addition to gaming is the way the Overlords castle is set up. Although it has a somewhat similar appearance, getting to different spots in the castle are sort of annoying. In the original game I simply had to walk around the castle in order to explore it. I could go downstairs to sacrifice minions for upgrades, or I could go upstairs to check out my mistress. In Overlord 2 all of these areas seem to be in place, only getting to them is slightly annoying...wait, it's actually very annoying.
In order to get to certain spots of the castle, I take a weird ride on a floating rock over to other sections. There are load up screens though, and the load up screens are slightly longer than one would expect. It would have been nice to just move about my castle without load screens.
Another newbie addition is the naming of minions of Overlord 2. I have not figured out how to name minions myself, but it was rumored before the game released that you could name your minions.
It appears though that they already come with a name given to them. Frankly I don't care if I can name them or not, giving names would likely take too much time anyway.
Anyhow, besides names, the minions of Overlord 2 can be upgraded. The down side though is that these upgraded minions can die, leaving behind weaker newborn minions. As you play the game your minions will pick up items, and use things as armor and weapons. Once these upgraded minions die though, you can resurrect them in a minion graveyard, which is really neat, but tiresome, and it requires the sacrifice of other minions.
In the original game, even though you were supposed to be this big bad dark Overlord, it still felt like you were forced into doing good things, such as freeing slaves, and so on. In Overlord 2, there are two paths you can take. Neither are good though. You can take over the land by dominating, or destroying. The feeling of actually being evil is finally put in to play, and it's a nice addition.
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Controls in Overlord 2
Many complained about the weird and complex controls in the original Overlord, frankly though for me the controls were simple and didn't require the knowledge of a brain surgeon. In Overlord 2, the controls are set up in a familiar manner, however they are quirked.
Sweeping your herd of minions through the environment is still done using the right analog stick, but what makes it so frustrating at times is that this same control stick is also the control to use in order to mover your camera angles around. Sometimes it would get stuck, and unless the minions were all back by my feet, I could not rotate the camera. You cannot adjust the angles when they are out destroying things, which is just a pain in the butt.
The Overlord himself uses the A button in order to perform his simple actions of slamming down his iron axe on enemies.
Controlling colored minions is done up in the same way, and its all really simple. You can control all of the herd, or you can command only browns to move ahead and kill, while positioning reds up on a distant hill in order to rain down fire balls on the enemy.
Everything seems to work really well and is responsive; everything, except for the camera angles.
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Graphics in Overlord 2
There is a huge pop out at you wowfactor when it comes to Overlord 2, and that is the games stellar graphics. The original game had really sweet graphics as well, but Overlord 2 really stepped it up a few notches and details will be noticed immediately. My HDTV is 1080p, and Overlord 2 is 1080p capable.
Environments are lush, colorful, bright and filled with stunning details. There were areas in the game where I would actually catch myself saying 'wow' out loud due to the gorgeous graphics that were added into this game. Cut scenes are also quite beautiful. Some sections in the game actually reminded me a lot of my garden in Viva Piñata when it came the bold bright colors.
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Overlord 2: Sounds
The sounds heard in Overlord 2 will range with each environment. Really hypnotic music will play in the background in certain magical looking forests, while stronger beats of battle will take place during more hardcore game play.
I usually do not notice music all too much in games, but I noticed it in Overlord 2, and I really liked it. Everything was fitting for the environments I roamed through, and some of the music played actually added to mood of the particular scene I was in.
Nothing will disappoint or annoy you. It's done very nicely.
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The Re-Play Value of Overlord 2
Re-play value of Overlord 2 in my opinion is standard. I figure once I beat the game, I will want to go back again with my minions to look for small things I missed the first time around. However once that is done, I don't imagine I will go back for a start to finish session again.
What really adds to the re-play value is the fact that you can play with another player, either local (someone in the home with you), or live.
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Multi-Player Options in Overlord 2
There are 4 different mini games that are Incorporated into multi-player games in Overlord 2. You can play with another person either in your home, or online. Offline, the screen gets split. Two of the games allow you to work together to defeat enemies, while the other two games have you working against one another.
The games are all really fun offline, and online. They could have been more elaborate, but they are still pretty decent for what they are.
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Overlord 2 is a really fun game, with deliciously addicting game play, sweet graphics, excellent vocals, and music. There are a few quirks that I think should have been tweaked before the release of the game, but I can live with them. I've been enjoying foraging through villages, destroying everything in my path, and killing a few innocent bystanders here and there.
Is the game worth buying?
If you are looking to play a game that will offer you the keys to a evil dark empire, and a herd of minions who will do anything to impress you, then for sure, the game is worth buying.