Gaming Classics: Overlord

When I am asked what my favourite game is many people look blank when I say Overlord. Despite most people not knowing about this game and its sequel they are very funny and totally different to any other game out there. 

The games are very unusual in how they are structured but work perfectly. The main character is an evil Overlord with an army of small humorous minions. You rarely send the Overlord into combat, instead you sweep your hoard of minions and let them do the dirty work so you end up with half the controller being used to steer the Overlord and half to control up to 50 crazed minions.

You start off with a small army of brown minions which are your main fighters, then come the reds which can hurl fire, the greens are your assassins and the blues are the medical and support minions.

The first game begins with the chief minion Gnarl resurrecting an unknown person in the ruins of the Dark Tower. Your reanimated character has lost all their old memories and is installed as the new Overlord. It becomes apparent that the previous dark ruler had been defeated by a number of heroes who left your new dark domain in tatters. The game follows the new Overlord as he takes revenge on each hero one by one and slowly putting the dark empire back together with a major twist in store at the end.

Being evil isn’t as bad as it sounds, you can actually chose between being completely rotten to the core or being something of a ‘good’ baddy if that makes any sense. A good example is when the Elves sacred grove is filled with murderous unicorns; if you are feeling like being good then you kill the unicorns and receive the elves’ thanks or if your being evil (like I was) send in your fire minions to kill the unicorns, unfortunately for some the flames will quickly spread to the grove, the sacred tree and to the elves for that matter!

Overlord retuned with its sequel, unsurprisingly called Overlord II. In the expansion for the previous game the Overlord was left trapped in a hell like world by his backstabbing minion jester. The new game is centred on his son, the ‘Overlad’ as he’s called to start with. It begins in the frozen town of Nordberg, the minions had been searching for a new leader and on midwinter’s eve they find their new master. In the first level the Overlad is barely taller than the minions and has to scare away the local bullies, and then the empire comes knocking. In the absence of an Overlord a Rome style power emerges called the Glorious Empire. They are haters of magic and the people of Nordberg hand the player over, a fun catapult battle arises where you crush hundreds of empire soldiers.

The game is centred on defeating the empire and dealing with a band of annoying fluffy creature loving hippy elves! Gone is the old idea of being a good or bad Overlord, now you can chose to destroy or enslave the world. The minions also acquire mounts to ride into combat. Wolves for the browns, spiders for the greens and salamanders for the reds; the blues have to walk.

In both games you can upgrade your armour, weapons, minion hoard size and in the second one you can resurrect your favourite fallen minions.

The story might not end here though, the line ‘Evil always finds away’ which is used throughout the games was cryptically mentioned by Triumph Studios hinting that Overlord 3 may be in development.

Even if they don’t make a sequel the two Overlord games are comical, enjoyable and are totally different to any other game I’ve seen, definitely worth playing.

Timothy Winstanley


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