Overlord: Dark Legends Review

Who Said Being Evil Would Be Fun?
by Matt Miller on Sep 22, 2009 at 02:03 PM
Reviewed on Wii
Publisher Codemasters
Developer Climax Studios
Rating Teen

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.

Guide mischievous minions through familiar fantasy tropes with the aid of a motion-controlled pointer
Lots of environmental variety and color, but these textures look bad
Goofy voices repeat canned lines again and again
With the exception of the troop gather marker system, the motion controls work remarkably well
This is a mildly fun but overly simple adventure, but at least it's been built from the ground up for the Wii
Moderately Low

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Overlord: Dark Legends

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