By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on May 1, 2020
Well hello there, fellow time travelers and welcome, once again, to a brand new Big Red Timemachine! Now, you may remember from last time that Dennis was somewhat scared of the fact that a 5' 4" woman was screaming at the top of her lungs while waving what he thought was a gun around. Luckily, I had the situation well in hand and made sure nobody got hurt. Not that my dear colleague was in any way in danger of even getting the slightest bit hurt, seeing as how miss Amanda Plummer was only acting out her most famous scene from Pulp Fiction for me and was therefore only brandishing a banana instead of a real gun. So, unless our friend Dennis is seriously potassium intolerant, he should be fine.
So, with all that excitement over and done with, we directed our attention on getting our Timemachine freed from the evil clutches of the Corona lockdown. Now, I still had the Lancer Mark II Assault Rifle, with completely functioning chainsaw, so we thought we'd give it a try. And lo and behold; 5 minutes later we freed our mechanical companion from the stranglehold of a couple of steel chains and we were set to travel the length and width of space and time once again. Ah, I love the smell of time whooshing by in the morning. Yes, time actually has a smell when it's rushing by very fast. It smells like something between burning tires, a freshly grilled steak, a field of dandelions and, to top it all off, industrial strength detergent. Trust me, if you smelled it once, you're not likely to forget that smell in a hurry!
Oh well, nothing left to do than get back to our daily jobs! Back to the reality of being in control of every little detail in the universe. Back to the power of having everyone's fate in the palm of your hand. Back to being the rulers of time and space. COWER BEFORE US, PUNY MORTALS, FOR WE ARE YOUR OVERLORDS!!! Hey, wait, that gave me an idea! Dennis, would you please set the time conduits to June 2007, cause we've got work to do. What do you mean, you can't? You what?! You don't have the power...? And what's with that weir accent... aaaah, I see what you're doing. Well, two can play at that game. Mr. Dennis... Engage!
And, no, we're not going to visit a Star Trek game, dear readers, although that might actually be worth looking into in the near future... but back to the game at hand. I decided to revisit a game in which the protagonist is a bit closer to my own self. That is to say, awesomely powerful and ruthlessly merciless, with a large dash of charm and a generous sprinkle of commanding attitude. That's right, we're going back to see a guy in action, commanding the lives of others and destroying everything and everyone who opposes him. It's time to play Overlord!
Developed by Triumph Studios and published by Codemasters, Overlord first saw the light of day back in June of 2007 for PC and Xbox 360. A year later, the game was released for the PS3 as the Raising Hell edition, featuring the original game and the Raising Hell DLC. In the game, we take control of the titular Overlord, who is resurrected by a band of goblins-like minions, under the leadership of a Minion Elder called Gnarl. IT seems that the world is in dire need of a new evil Overlord, since the last one was mercilessly slain by seven goody-goody two shoe heroes. This is why the Minions dug up your relatively fresh corpse, slapped some armor on it and gave you a weapon, making you the brand new Overlord. Gnarl quickly fills you in on what's going on and sends you on your way. He also serves as a guiding voice throughout the game.
Now, having a huge-ass sword is all fine and dandy, but sometimes you need that little bit extra when in battle. Well, don't sweat it, you have a few tricks up your sleeve. For one, wielding your weapon is not your most important means of dismemberment. Remember, the game is called Overlord, not Overkill. Being all evil and Overlord-y and stuff, you can also control your minions and make them do your bidding. Your minions are sorted into four categories: Browns, Reds, Blues and Greens. Each of these "factions" has its own specialty and can be used accordingly on the battlefield. At the start of the game, you'll only have a few Browns at your disposal, but as you make your way through the story, more Minion types are unlocked.
So, what do these Minions actually do? Well, the Browns are straight-up brawlers who love nothing more than to bash some heads, even their own. The Reds are true hotheads who rain down fireballs on their adversaries. Being accustomed to fire and brimstone, these Minions are impervious to fire attacks, so they won't burn as easily as your other minions. The Blues are quite the opposite of the Reds. The Blue Minions like water instead of fire, so they can swim. They also seem to have an interest in combat medicine, as they can revive downed Minions. Lastly, the Greens are what I would call Sneaky Bastards. They specialize in sneaking around, backstabbing enemies to their heart's content. They also help by clearing the battlefield of any poisonous plants and noxious gases.
Well, that's all really cool, but how do we actually get our Overlord hands on these Minions? Easy; by using something called Spawn Pits. Whenever you come across one of these pits, you can choose to spend life force in order to spawn a number of minions. At the start of the game, you are only able to conjure up 5 Minions at a time, but this number steadily grows to 50 during your evil adventure. Armed with your ever-growing army of Minions, you must confront and defeat the henchmen of the Seven Heroes of the Realm, as well as the Heroes themselves, who seem to have been corrupted themselves and now represent the seven deadly sins. After every mission, you return to your Overlord Stronghold. Once here, you can upgrade your weapons at your very own forge, sacrifice Minions to regain mana and health, or face previously defeated enemies in your training arena.
Unlocking all parts of your Stronghold is key to your survival. You need to regain control of the various Minion hives in order for you to be able to summon that specific color Minion. Also, when the last Overlord was vanquished, the Heroes kind of stole every magic artifact they could get their greedy little hands on, so it's also your job to reclaim these lot items. With every item you reclaim, additional rooms and spells become available to you, expanding and strengthening your arsenal of attacks and spells. And trust me; you're going to need every last of them to obliterate the murderers of your Overlord predecessor!
When Overlord was released, it added a new dimension to action-adventure games by letting you directly control an ever-growing horde of Minions and using them to overcome the obstacles that were put in your path. Apart from that, the Minions are feisty little buggers and their screams of delight when killing enemies and gathering treasure are truly funny! The comical art-style chosen for the game suits the premise perfectly and creates a colorful world for you to unleash your Overlord powers and Minions upon. So yes, playing Overlord is a real treat! At least, I know I had tons of fun with it.
Ah yes, it is good to feel in control once again and feeling the rush of time whizz past me as I travel in our Big Red Timemachine! But, alas, this is all the time we have for today (which is kind of a strange thing to say when you have a Timemachine, don't you think?) Oh well, let's just say that I have had enough excitement for one day and am happy to be back at our Big Red HQ! It's good to know that, however crazy times may get, there's always one place that never chang... Eeehm, wait... what the hell happened here? Why is there a disco ball hanging from the ceiling of our entrance hall? And why is Saturday Night Fever blasting through the entire HQ? DENNIIIIS! Get over here! Oh wait, this couldn't be your fault. Yes, I'm a bit shocked myself, but you couldn't have done this, because you were with me the entire time... Hmmm... the plot thickens!
** Takes out a pipe and a Deerstalker **
Come Dennison; The game is afoot!
Triumph Studios & Codemasters