Graphics, sound and playability
Visually, the game is excellent, and the voice acting is hilarious. The game has humor in the vein of the old Dungeon Keeper series, basically reveling in evil glee at every opportunity as the evil hordes triumph over the stupid forces of good time and time again.
It’s not just pretty backgrounds; the character modeling is carefully done to further enhance the humorous aspect of the game. You’ll notice touches like the minions swiping beers in the brewery and getting drunk, then, er, relieving themselves, or coming running back towards you screaming with arms flailing in panic after having dropped off a live bomb or the previously mentioned exploding bug egg.
The controls are a bit of a challenge, however. Basic “sweeping” is a piece of cake, but more advanced paths require direct control. That’s where you may run into trouble and have your minions accidentally run into a fire and perish, or stupidly run into things while a monster happily whacks away at them.
The worst situations are where you have to move your Overlord avatar to a specific spot, take direct control of a minion to carry something, and then simultaneously move yourself out of the way while steering the minion clear of hazards. Let’s just say the camera is not your friend in these moments.
Still, the difficulty level is pretty low and the game is exceedingly forgiving even for sloppy players. Dying has no penalty beyond going back to the latest save. Ample spawn points makes sure you never have to run back far to replenish your horde. Each map has dozens of shortcuts that becomes available, again minimizing the amount of tedious retracing your steps you have to suffer.
Having said that, forgiving gameplay does not equal boring. The single-player campaign packs a good 20 hours or more, and while you may not die more than a couple times you’ll be kept busy with puzzles and chuckling at the merry skewering of classic RPG clichés throughout. This game is all about providing non-stop entertainment, not appeasing hardcore D&D veterans – and that works for me.
I did suffer a couple nasty crashes, however, which made the autosave seem a bit inadequate. It kinda sucks not to be able to save immediately after finishing off a difficult boss battle, and then have the game crash to the point of a hard reset (happened after the Kahn fight – very frustrating). But then again, that’s practically par for the course these days, and there’ll probably be a patch before long.