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Xbox 360 Review: Overlord II

July 2, 2009 by  

Beating baby seals to death? How evil…count me in!

Overlord II is the sequel to the hit warped fantasy action adventure that had players being delightfully despotic. In Overlord II, a new Overlord and a more powerful army of Minions take on an entire empire in a truly epic adventure, inspired by the rise of the Roman Empire. As the Glorious Empire conquers kingdoms and destroys any sign of magic it finds, it’s time to go Minion Maximus and send in the horde.

If you have been reading my Overlord reviews so far, you’ll know that I thoroughly enjoyed the original game and it was going to take quite a lot to topple it in my estimations. While the sequel is more of the same, it improves upon the original on a more technical level. Some might consider it to be Overlord 1.5 instead of a full-blown sequel, but I do tend to disagree. Overlord II nails the style of gameplay genres that it meshes together for another great adventure with your own Dark Knight.
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Overlord II begins with a prelude and puts you into the role of a tiny Overlord, essentially the son of the Overlord from the first game (or so I believe) and sets the tone for why you became the way you do, setting into the role of Overlord when you grow up. The game seems more of a linear experience than that of the original game and while it doesn’t change the gameplay up that much, it’s still a fun experience for fans and newcomers alike.

The classic humour of the series returns and Rhianna Pratchett has once again performed brilliantly with the script for Overlord II. While I preferred the setting of the original game to that of the Roman-esque era that Overlord II depicts, it still manages to impress me with great one-liners, a gripping story and twisted fantasy.

The gameplay for Overlord II remains more or less the same as the first game. You control a number of minions who can gather resources and attack enemies. Each has their own perk such as Browns are the main fighters, while Blues can swim and revive fallen minions, Reds can throw fire and walk through it without any problems. Finally, Greens are stealthy, jumping fighters who can get rid of gas clouds in certain areas.

The Overlord himself gets a few tricks up his sleeve including new magic spells and can still kick some serious arse if he has been upgraded properly. The game also requires you to still collect life-force from your foes to build your army of minions, a time consuming operation…but worth it in the long-run. There are a few new gameplay additions like being able to mount your minions on wolves and other large animals to jump borders for loot and being tougher to kill, you can also use them to capture a catapult to fire at blocked objects and finally you can use them to commandeer a ship to move you across a river.
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There are a few collectables to hunt down in Overlord II and plenty of tough achievements to get stuck into. Personal favourites include Seal Slayer “You have killed 100 baby seals” and Ladies Man “You and your Mistresses have found a way to get along splendidly”. There is also a new domination/destruction system which replaces the good/evil choices from the first game, which for achievement hunters will take about two playthroughs to earn.

Multiplayer returns to Overlord II, but it feels just as disappointing as that of the first game. The online community for the first game no longer exists (more or less) and this seems more of the same, which is a shame. The modes aren’t terrible, they just belong more to a single player experience than that of a multiplayer one.

Visually, Overlord II is a small improvement over the original. Character models and cutscenes look better, while the framerate tend to dip now and then. It is a pretty game to look at overall, it just lacks a bit of polish which holds it back. Voice-acting is superb as always, the series is starting to gain a reputation for this and Overlord II doesn’t disappoint.

The Verdict

Overlord II may feel like more of the same, but when the original was as good as it was…what is there to complain about? It provides more classic, twisted humour while maintaining an enjoyable adventure that is great from start to finish.

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Don’t forget you can win one of 5 PC copies of Overlord II. Details here

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