Posted: May 2
A Paladin’s Review: Overlord II. Evil Found A Way To Be FunRead the Full Review on A Paladin Without A Crusade[wp.me]
(These are the excerpts). In my review of Overlord I
, I took issue with the conflicted themes presented by the game. It constant insisted that I was an evil Overlord spreading evil across the land. But it was in stark contrast to the game mechanics and story that I largely felt made the Overlord more of an anti-hero than anything else. Overlord I failed at its objective of treating you like a Lord of Evil in my mind. However, Overlord II didn’t. Overall Story Thoughts
You are the new Overlord. The story starts with you being scouted and tested as a Overlad by Gnarl. Eventually, it leads to you being banished from the mountain village where you grew up, doing lots of damage to the town’s betrayal and going into The Netherworld. After you grow up, your job is to strike out from The Netherworld to the lands above. To set the lands in darkness and/or to conquer the minds of men. To find the one ring, to rule them all and in the darkness bind them.
rustles through paper...AHA! Here it is. Whoops. It uhh, hehe, isn’t this. My bad, back to the review of Overlord II.
Uhh...hold on one second, this explanation of the story sounds off. Let me grab the notes I have…
Ok, so there is no one ring and the overall plot is a bit odd. You go from town to town, dominating or destroying everything. Putting down a few rebellions and finding out what happened to The Tower Heart of the past game. All the while the Glorious Empire is constantly trying to stop you and/or take over the world. It then concludes in a rather long and drawn out siege of a castle. Culminating in a fight against a great, monstrous evil. Yeah, unfortunately the game doesn’t quite stick the landing with the ending. I would have rather fought a more “good-guy” bad guy such as some Holy Knight or a Julius Caesar character (to fit the Roman-esque theme they were going for). Someone who was actually trying to defend their people or ideals rather than their own selfish desires. Ok, maybe Julius was a bad example but I think you get the point I’m trying to make. Ultimately, I feel like they missed out on what could have been a really solid ending.Overlord II's Themes
That all said, it’s these little touches and more that I probably forgot to mention that give you the sense of becoming a lord of darkness. While the corny humour is still present, it feels restrained enough to compliment the dark themes at play. In this case, less is more as the times that it tries to be funny actually work, rather than backfire and become tiresome. Overall, it’s a great thematic improvement to the original title.The Combat System
As a whole, the combat fluctuates from reasonably challenging to borderline-ridiculously-spammy. Some enemies are a little too quirky for my taste and can flatten armies in seconds. Which I can’t really decide if I like or not. But what I do like is the pacing of the combat. Not only does it have a diverse range of enemies and fights but it also has stealth sections. Multiple sections of the game require you to take control of a single minion and lead the army without the Overlord’s body and complete the objective with what minions you have. This stealth aspect really adds a nice change of pace to prevent the RTS-esque fights from getting too samey or overdone. It’s also pretty forgiving as there aren’t any instant failure states. I really enjoyed these sections and they were a welcome addition. PC Settings & Multiplayer
Visually, this game is much better than the previous. Lush forests, sunny beaches and cold mountain villages really spice the world up. Most of the settings for Overlord II (Video, Audio & Controls) are changeable in the game’s launcher. There’s options for pretty much every custom visual setting I can think of. Most are on/off switches with Texture Detail, Debris Detail, Shadow Detail, View Distance and Particle Detail having sliders. Separate audio sliders are included (in-game) for sound, music and speech with support for up to 8.1 surround sound. Controller and keyboard + mouse are supported with key remappings for both. Controller is, in my opinion, the most optimal. Overall, the game is well optimized with consistent framerates and good looking visuals. Outside of the one crash I experienced, (towards the end of the game), the game seems relatively stable. I didn’t get a chance to experience the multiplayer because either the servers are down or no one is playing the game.Final Thoughts
Overlord II enhances everything about the first game. It brings a more consistent theme, new minion abilities & spells, lusher environments and a feeling of being a true Overlord. It doesn’t quite stick the landing though. The story’s last chapter is drawn out and the ultimate bad guy you get to fight is disappointing. The combat is better this time with subterfuge, new enemies and different tactics/spells that can be used. But it’s still….janky at times when I don’t think it should be. There’s a good amount of content though, you'll definitely get your fill of each place the game can take you to. The replay value is a bit weak especially with multiplayer not functioning. Ultimately, this Overlord game was actually a fun time despite my problems with the combat system. The combat is improved enough that I can recommend it. With the caveat to expect frustration while dealing with some of the more eccentric bosses and monsters. Still, evil did find a way, to be fun and enjoyable. So, kudos to Triumph for that.Read the Full Review on A Paladin Without A Crusade[wp.me]
A Paladin’s Steam Review: Overlord
A Paladin’s Steam Review: Overlord: Raising Hell