Random Review: Overlord 2

The first few hours were very enjoyable, much like the first Overlord was. I didn’t see much new stuff, other than that the minions could have mounts that would let them get to other places.

I really liked the original Overlord, and in fact while i was playing it, Laura was pregnant with Easton. In one of laura’s first ultrasounds, easton looked just like the overlord, so that was funny timing.

But the new spider mount feature for the green minions is one of the reasons i stopped playing….

overlord 2

I generally don’t “give up” on games after several hours of gameplay. I might give up in less than an hour if i know right away that this game just isn’t my style, like Supreme Commander (never been an RTS guy) or Mirrors Edge (first-person jumping-puzzle game). If i make it through the first hour, i will probably finish the game, or at least the main storyline.

The “point” of overlord is that you’re literally, an evil overlord. You have minions. In the game, you have direct control over the overlord, and partial control over the minions. You point where you want them to go, and they go do what they do. Brown ones are bruisers, green ones are assassins (poison and hiding and backstabbing), red ones throw fire, and blue ones can walk on water and resurrect the others.

I got to a point in Overlord 2 where you’re supposed to “drive” your green minions (on spider mounts) on the wall of a cylindrical room. As they go up and around, they step on pressure points that raise the water level in the room, in order for the platform you are on to float to the top. The problems with this “puzzle”:

  1. The puzzle is timed. If you don’t get around fast enough to each trigger, the water stops, and you go back to the last full level.
  2. The green minions can die. There was something going on, which wasn’t obvious to me, that was causing the green minions to die from falling or something after the platform went down
  3. You have a limited number of minions. Combined with the first two, not only are you time constrained, but resource constrained.
  4. Limited/no real camera control. When driving the minions, the camera is always fixed near your original position, and follows where you are “driving” the minions. So you have a very limited range of looking ahead or behind to figure out where to go next. Sometimes you’d get to a point after you dropped back to the bottom that the minions were still on the wall, but now you couldn’t see them to drive them back…There are some points where you’re in direct control of a minion and that was fun, and probably would have made this part much easier.
  5. The minions are “walking” on the wall, so the perspective and control is screwy compared to the rest of the time when you’re walking on the ground.
  6. horrible control of the minions. You aren’t driving them so much as you’re “suggesting” where they should go. The further up the wall you got the more of a maze it became. As such, most of the time the minions were getting stuck on a barrier or a wall or something and then sticking or stopping there. If you had a group of minions, they also bump into each-other, so that didn’t help either.

I got through the first couple parts of the puzzle pretty quickly, but the third part was insanely frustrating. Sorry CodeMasters, your game shouldn’t devolve into a fight against the controls and the camera. I was to the point i was moving one minion at a time, stopping them (if i could) on top of the switch i needed to trigger, placing a marker there so they’d stay there, then starting with another minion. But even that didn’t work because for some reason they kept falling and dying. After about half an hour of being stuck on this puzzle, i just said “f-this!” (I’d been swearing pretty regularly up to this point, good thing Easton was already sleeping), turned it off, and sent it back to gamefly. There are too many other good games out right now to waste time swearing at a game because the controls suck.

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