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Playstation 3 Review: Overlord: Raising Hell

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This medieval fantasy adventure features fun chaos and disorder gameplay, allowing players to be bad or really bad by indirectly controlling other characters. This full price adventure, an extension of last summer’s Xbox 360/PC game, lets players conquer with an iron fist or a somewhat cooperative hand. It's all up to players how bad they want to be in order to succeed … evil or really evil!

A dark sense of humor, maiden capturing and a wide scope create a nice format. Reading the manual definitely helps players through missions, especially understanding status icons that appear above characters. Knowing about battle engagements and movement limitations also help players avoid mission failures and turning fun game time into a stale mate. The map helps strategize key maneuvers and conquest tactics through five single player maps.

Violent graphics and solid sound boost the bloodless excitement. As overlord, you rule and base operations in the Dark Tower. In the field, the overlord gets full control of minion creatures, sending them into action using the R2 button (circle button calls them back). These ravenous and helpful guys possess unique skills to fetch, fight and die for their Overlord. Minion types vary from blue (very valuable resurrecting healers), to red (fireball archers), to green (stealthy assassins) to the most common brown (basic melee fighters). The only annoying thing about these minions is that they are constantly talking over each other. The dialogue and voice work is pretty entertaining and satisfying…in an ego boosting sort of way.

Overlords can also get in the action by locking on targets for various purposes using the L2 button. Players have plenty of save spots and items to create (a.k.a. forge) new ones at their disposal. The game becomes as complex as players make it. Multitasking and simulation managements skills play a big role here as the “God-like” players amass their empire. Game statistics measure your might, horde power/size, treasury and minion status.

Be sure to master that control/power scheme before joining head-to-head network games where you get a few special minions (even if they’re not unlocked in your current single player game) and strategy becomes an important requirement for success. Specially colored circle icons help players strategize their pillaging and attack (e.g. green raises corruption and red shows your forces are being attacked). Co-operative domination quests and split screen mode help create a well rounded title.

This game touches so many genres – developers should be commended for creating a good balance. More content and variation is still needed though. The overlord character has most of the control, but the loyal minions constantly steal the show. Players don’t have to micromanage very much or make the minions happy – a nice relief.

Overlord: Raising Hell is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Crude Humor, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol and Violence. This game can also be found on: PC and Xbox 360.


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