Overlord: Dark Legend
If it wasn't for the mild puzzles, you could almost certainly finish this game by chopping and hacking your way to the end
- Fantastic art style, nice soundtrack, fairytale style storytelling
- NPC's are overtalkative and can get annoying, game is a bit too easy
We commend Codemasters for catering to the Wii with a brand new Overlord game instead of porting over Overlord II, which could only have ended in tears — but give us a challenge guys. We're not stupid.
One part real-time strategy, one part third-person hack-and-slash, Overlord: Dark Legend aims to satiate any Wii gamer's craving for something evil.
The Diet Coke of Evil
As the game begins, you find yourself in a sort of Cinderella situation. Your older siblings hate your face and pretty much everything else about you. To make things worse, your father is journeying in a far away land and has left you to fend for yourself. On the bright side, however, you can now eat dessert before dinner. Things take off when you find a strange light at the end of the tunnel -- or are those the flames of hell? The mysterious light turns out to be the armour of the Overlord, which when equipped, gives you full control over an army of nasty minions to do your bidding. Newly crowned and full of anger, the real game begins.
The controls work well in Dark Legend. The joystick moves the dark master, Overlord, and B sends the minions packing to the target dictated by what the Wiimote is currently aimed at. Holding A summons your little terrors back to you where tapping A brings back them back one at a time. Your personal attacks as the dark lord of pain aren't that varied: Z is your melee and pressing the D-pad expels magical powers that you rack up over the course of the game. As you progress, you'll discover runes that constitute as new powers in your arsenal. When I was fully aware of my powers later on, I came to enjoy using them to add a little flavor to my bland "mash Z" strategy.
Evil Always Finds a Way
Like Overlord II, there are four minion types willing to put their life on the line with a dutiful pleasure. The Brown Minions are strongest, in my opinion, and are good for general combat. The Red Minions are both fire-eaters and throwers, razing anything and everything your Wiimote can aim at. The sneaky assassins of the group are the Green Minions and are great for stealth missions. Lastly, the Blue Minions are the bishops of the group and can not only heal but also resurrect fallen subordinates. The Minions may be a bit unnecessary in comparison to the difficulty level, but they are still quite comedic and fun to have around.
Much to my delight, the Life Force that you collect from fallen enemies is no longer color specific. In past Overlord games, the Life Force that dropped was relayed to the color of the four available minions, so you often found yourself short of a certain type. With Life Force aplenty in Dark Legend, I had no issues summoning Minions of any type to do my specific bidding.
A new comedic addition is the ability to grab a Minion by the neck and shake them until they rage. This is as easy as aiming at a Minion pressing A & B simultaneously and shaking the Wiimote like hell. This drives the Minion mad and turns them into a kamikaze demon ready to explode on the nearest enemy. It made me laugh yet felt tacked on. If you feel like a giggle it's worth a try, but using it during normal gameplay is more trouble than it's worth. Needless to say, I used it only when a puzzle required me to.
Dark Legend's art direction is a treat, from the extremely stylised characters to the saturated color palette. The Wii does the art no justice but the Minicyclopedia provided to you helps you see what it could have been on a stronger platform. The Minicyclopedia tells you everything you've ever wanted to know about characters, enemies, and general gameplay adorned with beautiful concept art. If you're anything like me, you'll constantly find yourself rummaging through all the facts and stories with wide eyes that are full of hope and wonder.
If it wasn't for the mild puzzles, you could almost certainly finish the game by chopping and hacking your way to the end. For once in the Overlord series, the Minions feel like the kids back in high school you didn't invite to your party -- but they showed up anyway so now you have to babysit them.
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