Overlord II is the latest title from Triumph Studios and is a sequel to 2007's predecessor Overlord. For those new to the series, Overlord II is essentially a fantasy themed third-person action game where players take control of a character classified as the Overlord who in turn controls small gremlin-like beings coined "Minions".
Overlord II begins with the search for a new Overlord, since the first had mysteriously disappeared after the events of the first game. The Minions, needing a new leader, find a child to take over as the new Overlord so that their quest for evil domination over the empire can continue. The story that follows is a humorous one filled with lots of dark humour. Some examples are killing seals to harvest life force and attacking 'Peter Pan' like characters who come off as a bunch of prancing hippies with dreadlocks. The storytelling really shines through in the sense that everything is always in a funny sort of context to the evil charater portrayed. Even the so called 'good guys' have a convoluded dark side to them that shines through every now and then. Attacking gluttonous captains and power hungry emperors with little annoying Minions is exceedingly enjoyable.
On the note of attacking with Minions, the controls really do come to mind. Using the right stick, it's possible to control and sweep little gremlins around and this enables them to knock down buildings and bludgeon fairies. However, using camera controls on the same stick does become quite a hinderance when sweeping Minions around. Most times it's not too bad since the camera tends to follow the main action, but when there are enemies close to the Overlord, looking to see where they are becomes a difficult task. A lot of this frustration comes from a very complex control system. Since there are four types of Minions to use, there is an control scheme assigned entirely to the d-pad. It enables the player to switch between the different Minion types, which is crucial for puzzle like parts that require one colour of Minion. While there are some gripes, for the most part, the controls are reasonably well handled.
The nice thing about Overlord II is there are a lot of tasks available to do at any given time. There are always side quests ranging from choosing to destroy a village or enslave it, to exploring the mysterious past. Unfortunately there are some other things such as having mistresses that are seemingly pointless. Sure, they allow castle decoration, but it's only banners and decorations for what is essentially a mission and upgrade hub. There's also way too much wandering around pointlessly in the castle that isn't really any fun.
Overlord II has some nice immersive sounds and even when there are a bunch of Minions running around on screen it doesn't sound too overcrowded. The voice acting is also pretty funny and well varied with the main Minion characters. Townspeople and lesser Minions, however, can become pretty repetitive and annoying after a couple hours of gameplay. Hearing "For the Overlord!" yelled over and over can get quite frustrating.
As a whole though, Overlord II is a really fun, sadistic sort of game to play and is really enjoyable to come back to. Once the story is completed there isn't a whole lot to do, but it's such a long story mode that it's not really upsetting when the end is reached. Plus with all the side missions, there's about 30 plus hours of gameplay to be had here.
Overlord II is a really fun and unique game to play, and has a really grim sort of humour that is pretty rare to see in a lot of games. It works really well and is definitely something that's unique about the game. With such a diverse amount of variation to the base gameplay, there is a lot of fun to be had with the Overlord and his sadistic little Minions. The length of the game is also a plus point, but there are some niggling issues to be had with the controls.