Evil in the worst ways.
The Overlord series was always interesting to me. I loved the idea of a third-person action game with a hint of strategy involved, commanding minions was fun, and the humor was always chuckle-worthy. So when I heard a new game in the series was on the horizon, I was excited to see how it would evolve. It has been a while since the first two games. Overlord: Fellowship of Evil completely tosses out the third-person style in favor of an overhead view, similar to something like Diablo. Controlling minions is still the core behind the game play, but everything else about it just falls apart at the seams.
Fellowship of Evil lets players choose between four different characters, each with different abilities. There are two ranged combatants and two melee ones. There is local and online co-op, and players can switch between characters between levels. From screenshots it is easy to make comparisons to games like Diablo, but this is really nothing like Blizzard’s masterpiece. Each area has a set of objectives to complete, including timed sections, killing enemies, and collecting objects. It feels uninspired most of the time.
Platforms: XB1, PS4, PC
Price I’d Pay: $4.99
The combat is also bland. Each character has a limited set of attacks, and trying to play without using minions is a quick death sentence. For being an evil Overlord, my character was weak and frail, which to be fair, is similar to the original game. Sadly minions are mostly useless early on. Unleashing them serves as more of a distraction than anything else.
There is a loot system, but it is only in-game currency used to buy new weapons and upgrade minions. Sadly the new weapons really don’t make a difference in combat. The same can be said of the skill trees used to upgrade each character. While I was definitely adding more padding to my stats, the difference never manifested in combat. My character always felt weak, and only the minions ever felt like progress was being made. The game just feels half-baked on several of its arbitrary systems.
In addition to combat there are also puzzles to solve, again mostly using different colored minions. Sadly this idea is also uninspired. Pressure plates; that’s right, standing on sections of the map to unlock doors takes little thought, and only serves to slow down the pace of an already plodding game.
I would like to say that at least the art direction of the game could salvage some sort of enjoyment out of it, but sadly the game looks like a washed-out mess. The backgrounds blend in with characters, and levels feel linear and uninspired. There is no sense of exploration, just a set path down the same familiar background. The minions and dialogue can be humorous at times, but mostly it comes across as trying too hard. I was hoping for the reinvention of the series, not a shoddy spinoff.
Overlord: Fellowship of Evil is disappointing in a time when no game can afford to even be mediocre. Fans of the original games may be tempted to give it a chance, but I implore you to avoid this game at all costs. There is nothing redeeming about this title. It is a shadow of its former self, and not even a good rip-off of the genres it is trying to imitate. This is one Overlord whose rule deserves to be revoked.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.