The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Don't be confused. Overlord: Dark Legend released on the same date as Overlord II, but it's a totally different game. This Wii exclusive takes full advantage of the system's features, and benefits most significantly from the motion controller. Pointing and sweeping your minions around the field, it's hard to imagine the alternative. Unfortunately, the game never really develops into more than a distraction, as our anticlimactic playthrough confirmed.
Dark Legend is a coming of age story about a young, untrained lord of evil. That is, if your coming of age included dozens of gremlin-like minions, destruction of the surrounding countryside, and fomenting war between the neighboring countries. The story is never more than an excuse for silliness, but it serves its purpose right up until the end, when an abrupt conclusion leaves you scratching your head.
The Wii remote allows a straightforward and intuitive mechanic for getting things done. One button sends your little guys out to cause wanton destruction in the direction of your cursor, and another button reins them back in. An anchoring marker never really works the way you want it to, but everything else feels smooth.
The game's design is overly simplistic, perhaps as an attempted nod to younger players. It hurts the experience, since it feels like you've won every fight before you even begin, even against bosses. It's rare that any puzzle or battle requires more than the mildest attention. Even knowing that, Dark Legend benefits from its clever premise – one that certainly stands apart from the rest of the Wii catalog.
Email the author Matt Miller, or follow on Game Informer.
Overlord: Dark Legend brings a wicked sense of humor to its minion-mangling gameplay. Seeing your little scamps running roughshod over the environments, trashing and looting everything in their path is a treat. The basics of the Pikmin-esque gameplay are well done (love the pointer control), but ultimately the game feels too shallow. After you understand what units are good for which tasks, the rudimentary combat and puzzle solving begins to feel like a holdover from the last generation of gaming. It's a fine bit of comic mischief, but this concept can be carried out to much greater effect ? as in the recent Little King's Story.