The first Overlord was one of those games that had Wii owners groaning, “Why can’t something like that be on the Wii?” No reason whatsoever. In fact, a Codemasters representative at Comic Con told us, “We sent the developer (Climax Studios) a challenge. We wanted to Wii game to look as good as the original game did on the 360.” It looks comparable at least and after some time checking it out we think it has promise.
Overlord: Dark Legend writer Rhianna Prachett has created a dark and twisted fairytale for the Wii. Players take the role of a new young Overlord in the role of Cinderella, constantly picked on by his step brothers. On his sixteenth birthday though he receives the Overlord gauntlet from another Overlord from a different time. He discovers that the old Overlords lair is in a hidden chamber in his castle and he puts on the full armor, finds his minions and unleashes hell on his tormentors.
The fairytale twist does a lot for the story. Though some locations and enemies from the first game are here, they’ve been redesigned. New locations and characters have been created like killer gingerbread men that try to put the hurt on with giant candy canes. In this world Little Red Riding Hood will try to lure the Overlord into the woods just to be attacked by wolves. Oh, it gets better–she’ll turn into one too, so watch it.
The Overlord isn’t the main character, and anyone that played the first game can agree that its all about the minions. The same four minion types are back and controlling them is easier than ever with the Wiimote. Simply point at a hapless villager and assign how many minions you want to attack. Players can even scoop up a minion and shake it for a proper throttling and then send it screaming into a barricade or an enemy to explode.
Even though Dark Legendis for the Wii, it can still handle 25 minions at once along with enemies. The main challenge Climax had was overcoming the new pathfinding system. On the Wii they had to design everything to be reachable. On the Xbox 360 things were set in a straight path, but here when you pick a target the minions can take any path presented to reach that target.
We’re hopeful that Overlord can be even better on the Wii, but there were a few bugs that had us worried. Once we lost our entire troop of minions, who were probably off teaching some minstrel how to really hit the high notes. Even calling them didn’t work, so we had to backtrack and suddenly there they were, right on the path waiting as if we were the ones that disappeared. Then the Overlord managed to walk right through a wall.
Dark Legend is due out this summer, so hopefully all the bugs can be worked out by then…unless some of those minions are actually gremlins. This game would be so screwed.