Have you ever played a game and, while being asked to save a town, wished you could just pillage it instead? Are you sick of all those fawning peasants who are constantly asking for you to gather up their chickens for them? Ever wanted to see some poor village girls scantily clad and cleaning your tower? Stop playing all those traditional goody two shoes games and start playing Overlord, one of the most original action-adventure games to come out for any console in quite some time.
You will step into the shoes of, you guessed it, the Overlord. Awoken from your sleep by your faithful Minions you are armored up and let loose on an unsuspecting world. Starting off by fixing up your impressive tower you will eventually hunt down the seven heroes who killed your predecessor and remind the world of just who you are.
There are two things that stop Overlord from being just any other fantasy based game and these are almost immediately noticeable. First are your Minions and the second is the good/evil gameplay choices that are particular to this game.
Initially starting off with just your standard brown Minions you will soon gather red, green and blue ones. Each type of Minion has their own specialty but all are useful to some degree… and good for a laugh. It is highly unlikely that you will ever tire of sending your Minions to assault some fool who dares to attack you as they yell out "For the Overlord!" at the top of their lungs. Even something as simple as sending them to retrieve a potion from a far off location has them come back and present it to you in a pose that shows just how much they worship you. Nothing like a good ego stroking.
While the gameplay may have been referred to as having a good and evil element earlier this isn't entirely accurate. As a self-serving evil Overlord you don't really do goody two shoes type things too often. It's much more accurate to say you can be totally evil or just kind of naughty. Just because you're giving a city back the food that was stolen from them doesn't mean you're doing it because you like them. It just means you want to see them worshipping the ground you walk on instead of living in constant fear of you.
The changes made to the game in this PS3 iteration are, for the most part, very minor. You get all of the downloadable content available on Xbox Live included in the package as well as the Raising Hell expansion. The downloadable content is more or less a bunch of maps to try and spice up the woefully threadbare and disinteresting multiplayer content as well as a split screen option for some local competitive multiplayer games.
Exclusive to the PS3 version of the game are a few, mostly minor, changes. The only noticeable one is the addition of a mini-map. A mini-map that isn't terrifically helpful when trying to navigate around. This game is in dire need of an actual map as well as a useful mini-map, the one in this game is little more than a glorified compass and not very useful much of the time.
The most substantial addition to this package is the inclusion of the Raising Hell expansion. This adds a good six to seven hours of gameplay in the form of several Abyss dimensions that are opening up all over the land. These are drawing in the peasants of the land and it's up to you to rescue them. These areas are basically really big puzzles that have you fighting your way to a stone idol that will grant you control of that Abyss. There's combat in there and it's generally incredibly hard, just like you'd expect from the expansion but it's clearly not the main focus. Even the final boss of the expansion is a puzzle boss. This makes it quite a bit different from the main game and a rather nice change of pace.
Graphically and audio this game is almost identical to the Xbox 360 version which makes a few things quite baffling. There were many times when playing this that a rather fair bit of lag and frame rate stutters occurred. This only happened in the 360 version during the most chaotic battles where your forty minions were fighting off dozens of enemies. However here they happen almost entirely at random and much more often than before. It's baffling and seems to continue the trend of ports to the PS3 that are clearly not optimized for the system.
Another major issue with Overlord: Raising Hell is that of something that was an issue in the original game. In many sections the game seems to expect you to have a much finer degree of control over your minions than is realistically possible. Often this will result in your minions getting slaughtered and you desperately trying to save them from dying off so they can help you with a reprisal attack. Even though you can move them manually with the right analog stick or set them to stand in a location with markers there's still many situations where it almost feels as if the game is punishing you for not having more control when it's just not realistically possible.
Griping over old issues aside this is a great package for any PS3 owners to pick up if you've never played Overlord in any form before. You will get more than ten hours of gameplay filled with black humor and general satires of just about every convention of fantasy games and RPGs in general. However if you own both consoles it's still much more cost effective to purchase Overlord on the 360 and then get the downloadable content.
For the Overlord!