|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Triumph Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Codemasters||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 24, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2; 2 Online||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As with spells, your weapons, armor, and tower fortification can also be improved. By harvesting life force from the living world, you will be able to imbue your equipment with the souls of your minions - thus, giving your axe a keener edge, your sword extra fire damage, your armor a more resilient finish, or even improve your helmet to give you the power to control more minions. All of this can be achieved by finding the stolen forge portions during your adventure and bringing them back to your tower. You see, your dark tower was smashed into ruins by the incompetence of the previous Overlord. As such, you will spend much of your time refurbishing your tower to its former power and glory.
Plowing through the challenges and advancing the plot requires players to use strategy, do some minor puzzle-solving, and master the command controls. Minions can be given orders via The Guard Marker. The Guard Marker is nothing more than a standard of war with a skull emblazoned on the crest. The Guard Marker functions as a rallying point for your various minions. This allows players to quickly issue orders to get the most out of the unique talents of each minion type. In other words, you can place Blues on higher ground, get Greens to attack from behind, have Browns make a frontal assault, and get Blues close enough to the fray to get their heal on! Admittedly, this can be somewhat cumbersome, but mastering the technique does yield quality results. If you don't really care about strategy, you can always sweep you minions into battle by simply directing them with the right analog stick. As much as I liked the controls, they are far better on PC. Even these toned-down RTS mechanics just don't feel natural on the PS3.
The game offers several multiplayer options, both locally and online. All multiplayer modes are for two players and include the same game types. Slaughter pits Overlords against each other in a duel to see who can accumulate more points. Points are garnered by killing and destroying the villages and monsters in the surrounding area. The one who reaches the point target first or finishes with the most points at the end of the time limit is declared the winner. Pillage is similar to Slaughter except accumulating gold, not points, is the objective. Co-op Survival has both Overlords work together to see how long they can last in unique Survival maps. All these modes work well, but I didn't find them nearly as engaging as the simple single-player campaign.
Graphically, the game struggles. It's not that they look bad, they just doesn't live up to the lofty standards set by the hype surrounding the PS3. For instance, the game only supports 720p and players will notice a preponderance of framerate shuddering and blocky environments. On a better note, I enjoyed the animations and thought it was a hoot when my minions put on pumpkin helmets and other nasty implements of destruction.
As far as sounds are concerned, they are awesome. The limited voice over work is very professional and the multitude of funny comments, slick dialogue, and dark humor had me constantly giggling. Additionally, Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound support was included to help keep your home theater rocking.
All in all, Overlord: Raising Hell is fun title that should please many gamers. The game is not devoid of its fair share of problems though. Most prominent are the boring load times, constant frame rate issues, and somewhat challenging controls. As such, Overlord: Raising Hell for the PS3 is not quite as good as its PC counterpart. Nevertheless, it's a good game that is the crown jewel of the console editions.
CCC Editor / News Director