the resigned gamer, everything I hate about the thing I love the most

Demo Watch: Overlord

Posted by Doomeru Woebashi at 1:01 PM on Tuesday, June 12, 2007

doomeru woebashi's soggy cardboard-covered exhaust grate, the resigned gamerOver the weekend I downloaded the demo for Overlord to my Xbox. I've been following this game loosely for a while but never really was excited about its release. I'm going to dispense with generic plot points and just dive right into how it played. Okay, a little plot: You are an evil dude raised from the dead by Cockney goblins who is then tasked with controlling said goblins in a ploy to spread your evilness across a land currently blighted by naught but beautiful vistas, fat sheep, and armed midgets.

I deserve a game that gives me the upper hand. After all, the most recent boss I beat in Lost Planet was a gigantic robo spider whose super move consisted of running me over and then sitting on me until I died. Doesn't Doomeru get to be the bully sometimes?

overlord xbox 360
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Unlike my brother, I always look forward to playing game demos. It makes me feel like I've got a new game without spending money, and sometimes they actually let you do something approaching what the full game will offer. There are gross exceptions like Armored Core part 72,000 where the 1 gig demo sticks you in a hologram tutorial and then expects you to applaud, but a few have actually fired me up so much I almost reserved the game. The Riddick demo let you break a guy's neck, for fuck's sake! I was thoroughly impressed with how the developers paced out the Overlord demo. You get your goblins right at the start and you immediately have a chance to sick them on innocent sheep, which is awesome because they jump on the sheep and ride them down. The tutorial directs you to smash some pots, whereupon those enterprising goblins automatically arm themselves with whatever scraps they find. No equipment menus!

The gameworld looks expansive and detailed, and actually all the units reminded me a bit of Shiny's Sacrifice, but I was prepared to ding it for not letting you actually walk around wherever the hell you wanted, ala Kameo, an equally pretty game that was so shallow it was almost convex. I realized why they did this when it came time to direct my minions along a thin path that ran above a river. The developers decided to forego pathfinding AI in favor of invisible rails. The goblins just cannot fall into the water and really, that is a lot better than losing them all the way you could in Pikmin. No reviewer is going to complain about minions not following orders in this game.

overlord xbox 360

Okay, best part of Overlord, and what really makes me consider a purchase, was how I got to try out the fire spell. I'd already had my goblins slaughter some of halflings - the slimes of this game - and then I came upon a group hiding in some brush. I shoot fire at them and the brush goes up in flames...and the halflings start screaming! Oh man, what a great way to make the player want to use magic.

So, you've got easily controllable trash talking goblins, flammable midgets, killable innocents I didn't even mention, and apparently the ability to build a harem. I'm ready for this.


Sir Cucumber said...

how come you get to play all the fun ones?

oh hell, it's not going to be half as good as The Horde anyway...

Doomeru Woebashi said...

I get all the fun stuff because my positive attitude draws games to me like flaming midgets running for a pool. Plus, have you seen Kirk Cameron lately?

ljl430 said...

any hope for building a flaming midget harem?

Doomeru Woebashi said...

I'm not sure I'd want a harem built out of the lowest-ranking enemies. Maybe an Ogre harem....