Overlord Cover
Platforms Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Genre Evil Overlord RTS
MtAMinutes to Action 3
Keep Playing? For a bit
Buy from Amazon

Overlord is a third-person action-adventure/RTS published by Codemasters. It takes the idea laid down by Pikmin and Battalion Wars and brings them to their evil conclusion.

The concept is that you are an evil Overlord, with minions to do your dirty work. Will we have a good time playing as the bad guy, or is there a good reason most games have you control the hero?

Minute by Minute

(minutes are in bold)
00 - The first hour of Overlord begins. A cutscene of some goblins opening a tomb and bringing me out, putting on some armor and a Sauron-esque helmet. I have control, WASD moves and the mouse controls the camera. The first thing I had to do was adjust the mouse speed because it was moving way too fast and I could not control it. Space makes him swing a giant axe.

01 - My advisor leads me to the Minion Gate, I lock on with Shift and call the Minions to my side with the Right Mouse Button. Three Minions pop out.

02 - A choice to learn about Minion control or get straight to the smiting. I go with the tutorial, because I don't know what's what yet. The Minions follow me to the next room, where I have to fight a jester. I knock him down with my axe, but he gets back up.

03 - He ran up onto a ledge which I cannot climb, but by locking on with Shift and holding the left mouse button sends my Minions after him.

Overlord Minion

05 - Cool, by holding both mouse buttons, you can "sweep" the Minions across the field. Imagine the C-Stick control from Pikmin, only the Minions run much farther out.

06 - I sweep my minions up a path and around to where the jester is, and finish the tutorial.

07 - The story is basically the classic good-versus-evil, except I'm the evil one. My advisor is encouraging me to defeat the local heroes.

08 - I have to retrieve the Tower Heart, which will power my evil tower back up. I find a minion gate, which allows me to call forth a few brown minions.

09 - I send my minions to kill some sheep. Each sheep yields one life force, which I can use to call forth more minions, although currently I can only control five at a time.

10 - I even enter the fray myself and kill a sheep with my axe. I need five to move a boulder out of my way, but with ten I could move a pillar and open another path. I guess that's yet to come.

Overlord Rollie

11 - I talk to a farmer who's been tied up as a scarecrow by some halflings who raided his farm. Apparently he's insane, because he says the pumpkins are threatening him. He's asking me for help! I'm supposed to be evil, I can't help him, can I?

12 - Instead I destroy his farm. My minions take great delight in tearing down sunflowers, overturning milk jars, and smashing pumpkins. One of the minions is now wearing a jack-o-lantern as a helmet.

13 - Here's a halfling, I cut his head off and black blood shoots out. I burn the farmer's house down, and he thanks me for getting rid of the halflings. I'm not really sure what just happened here.

14 - My advisor tells me the minions will automatically equip any useful item they find, and sometimes items that are useless. I notice besides the pumpkin head, a couple of my minions have swords now instead of their clubs. I guess that makes them more powerful.

15 - Here are some more halflings, and I kill them. Yes, basically I'm slaughtering hobbits. It pays off, because I find the tower heart. The halflings were using it to make their pumpkins grow big.

16 - My minions are carrying the Tower Heart back to the warp gate.

Overlord Tower Heart

17 - My minions find a shortcut, but I have to knock down a wall with my axe for them to get through.

18 - I warp back to the tower with the heart. My advisor tells me I can now warp back to the tower anytime I want, plus I can now control ten minions. And a fireball spell, on top of that! He promises to teach me how to use it later.

19 - Next I have to find a crane so we can rebuild the tower. The jester jumps around in the tower, and I can pummel him for giggles.

20 - If I activate the tower heart, I can see my stats, and find out there are apparently green, red, and blue minions as well.

21 - Advisor tells me if I find a crane we can open some rooms. I warp to Mellow Hills, the halfling domain through which I just traversed.

22 - Since I have ten minions now, I can move the big pillar and go through the new path. The men in the town think I'm a halfling, which makes no sense because I'm about eight feet tall. I have to prove I'm not by wiping out a halfling camp. A few halflings lounge around in a field of wheat, and my advisor suggests I use my fireball spell on the wheat. I use it by pressing E, setting the wheat ablaze and killing all the halflings in screaming pain.

Overlord Gluttony Fat Bodyslam

23 - It also burns down trees and bushes in the vicinity. I am starting to feel kind of evil now. I come across another, bigger wheat field being tended by halflings, and I set it on fire. My minions make short work of the few halflings who weren't in the field.

24 - I can increase my corruption level by killing innocent people, which will increase my evil powers. Hm.

25 - I get a story about Melvin, the former halfling hero who has turned into a glutton and is raiding the local farmers for food.

26 - Then I set a haystack on fire next to the guys I just rescued from the halflings, and it exploded, killing them both. I am evil.

27 - Here's a blood pit, I can throw a minion in it to heal myself. There's spawning pit not far away so I go ahead and top off my health bar by sacrificing the life of a minion.

29 - I raid the halfling camp, and my minions acquire lots of new weapons and armor. I also find a potion that restores my magic energy (used for throwing fireballs).

Overlord Evil Pumpkins

30 - I send my minions after some sheep to get some more life force. Then I head into the camp again for the final push.

31 - After a short loading screen, I'm in the halflings' slave camp, where they keep their human slaves. I can warp out, and there's a minion spawning pit, so I'm guessing this is like a new level.

33 - I kill a human and all the peasants get mad at me. It doesn't really matter though, because I am evil.

34 - My minions get better weapons and armor from the corpses of the fallen halflings.

36 - The fireball spell isn't very useful as a weapon, because you can't really aim it.

37 - Here's a big old troll. The enslaved men say if we free them they'll help us slay the troll. So I do.

Overlord Fiery Sheep

38 - The men are now following me around too. I'm not controlling them, but they go where I go.

39 - the men join with my minions to fight off the halflings, and then band together against the troll.

40 - We defeat the troll. I didn't even lose any minions! Most of the men died, but oh well....

42 - Here's the crane. And here's the crank to free the rest of the slaves.

43 - Oops, I just kicked one of my minions in the face.

45 - Supposedly the halflings are evil, and I was freeing the men from them, but if I'm evil too, why would I do that? I guess to get the crane, but still....

Overlord Halfling

47 - The men will now let me in the town, since I saved their friends from slavery.

49 - The mayor of the town says the halflings stole all their food and they need a valiant knight to get it back.

50 - Everyone in town bows and worships me when I pass, except the women, who are all coming on to me, sometimes with rather crude remarks.

51 - I find a path to a burning castle, one of my quests is now to find out what happened here.

52 - There's a lot of fire going on here, and my brown minions can't handle it. there's a pit for pulling out red minions, but it's sealed. I warp back to my tower.

53 - Oh ho! My next mission is to get a mistress for the tower. Now that I've retrieved the crane, I can go into the dungeon, where I can fight any enemy I've encountered so far.

Overlord Dragon Lizard

54 - I head back to the town (called Spree) to attempt to free the foodstuffs from the halflings. My ten minions come out with their weapons and everything!

56 - Basically I have personal goals to get my tower back up, and they line up perfectly with what the villagers want me to do. In this case, the path to the halflings village is also the way to retrieve the tower smelter.

57 - I meet a couple of guys who complain about the trees in the elves forest growing into their farmland, and the roots are impervious to damage.

58 - Now I have to find the red minion hive to get the smelter.

59 - The red hive is in the tunnels beneath the hill, I'm told. I just have to figure out where that is.

60 - A large wheat field tempts me, and I give in because I'm an evil overlord. And that's the end of the hour.

Overlord Lust Bat Girl

First Hour Summary

Minutes to Action: 3

Favorite Thing: Being the silent antagonist.

Least Favorite Thing: Normal game conventions thinly veiled as "being evil."

Design: The graphics were fairly good looking, with a slightly cartoonish style. Sound effects were a strong point, with the minions constantly yelling and chattering while going about their dastardly business.

Story: Basic good vs. evil story played out from the evil side. Except most of the stuff you're doing is about the same as in a normal game. I'd say mischief is the worst you can do.

Fun: Standing back and watching your disposable minions do your dirty work is fun.

Would I keep playing? I want to at least get some of the other color minions and see what they can do.

Other Thoughts: The gameplay isn't a whole lot different than a normal game, despite the "evil" theme. Yes, you can kill innocent people, but lots of games let you do that. Yes, your minions love to destroy any and all scenery including farms and shop stalls, but lots of games let you do that.

A good example is the first quest. A farmer needs help. In order to seem evil, the goal was to destroy the guy's farm. But it was still a quest, and you still "received" it by somebody asking for help, just like every other video game.

I was kind of expecting something more like "My Life as a Darklord" for WiiWare, which has you building a dungeon and trying to keep out adventurers.

That being said, it's still fun to be mischievous.

Overlord Minion Art