This is my very first review.
The premise of this game was rather intriguing. You control little little minions to do your biding, ala pikmin style. Except you're evil. Really evil. There is even a mechanic where if you go out of your way to do evil things, such as kill peasants, you receive a certain percentage of corruption. This corruption ultimately determines a 100% chaotic ending, or a good ending. If you lean towards being good, the appearance of the overlord changes. If you however choose to do evil deeds, such as kill NPCs, your appearance will also change. Spikes grow out of your armor and the overlord emits an unsettling red glow.. As charming as this all was, many things brought down my experience with this game.
1. Combat & Controls. Oh dear, the combat. It feels quite clunky. Especially how the overlord swings his weapon. It feels as though it doesn't have much weight to it. You have one standard combo. Also, attack is bound to the spacebar with no way to rebind keys! In no way is this acceptable! I would prefer to attack with my left mouse button. I know that the minions are supposed to fight for you, however, I would at times like to do some fighting of my own. Controlling the minions wasn't so bad at first, until I was controlling a large swarm of them. The clunkyness of the controls becomes evident later on as you gain access to more minions. You are however able to split them up into groups, which helps to a certain degree, but I still had issues when I would have 30-40 of each, all trying to collect something or kill a big monster. It felt like attempting to control a mouse through a maze that has a strong will of its own. You want it to do this, or go this way, but it just won't obey.
2. Graphics: Being a seven-year-old game, it will of course not look as gorgeous as modern games. The art style is charming and fits a comical fantasy world such as this. I find certain character models to be humorous, especially the halfings. There are graphical issues, though. All of which I will mention below under the bugs section.
3. Level-design: This aspect of the game really affected my enjoyment. Areas were quite large, thus requiring much backtracking. One of my main gripes in any game is excessive backtracking. About halfway through, I was in a forest. Without giving away any major spoilers, the task at hand was to take down some roots connected to a peculiar tree. Halfway through this ordeal, I had to go to an entirely new area to gain new minions just so I could progress in the previous aforementioned area. While it is nice to be introduced to new areas, having to move onto a new one abruptly was jarring.
4. Characters & Story: I wish the overlord could speak. It would make for some interesting situations. While some interactions are amusing, most of the characters are forgettable, annoying, or just plain cheesy. As for the story, you are given quests for each area with more quests given to you along the way, which all contribute to a story in each area. Which, in turn, contributes to the overarching story of the big evil baddy conquering the world. There however isn't much to the story, nor much depth. A shame since a story is a big aspect when it comes to the overall experience of a game such as this.
5. Bugs: This is what truly broke my experience with the game. At times there would be graphical glitches. Parts of the ground would't render properly as well as walls. There were Random crashes aplenty as well as random slowdowns on a high-end computer. Then came the infamous elevator bug
Elevator Bug: In order to progress in a later part of the game, you are required to find two missing levers to complete a rotating wheel. This wheel is used to raise an elevator. With the levers found, I directed my minions to move the wheel. The elevator arose. But something was wrong. When I tried to go inside, it would not go to the next area. I tried leaving the area, going back to the tower, even exiting the game and going back. Nothing worked. While not everyone may encounter this bug, is it one I encountered that stifled my ability to even finish the game.
Sidequest Bug: For contribution to the 100% chaotic ending, there is a sidequest in the starting area where you have the option to capture maidens for your tower. You must capture 10 of these maidens spread throughout the area. After finding 7/10, I came upon the next two. So I did what any overlord would do: Swarm them with 50 minions and have them carry her to the nearest portal! Muahaha! But, something was wrong. My minons carried both maidens to one specific spot and then they wouldn't budge. I ordered different minions to carry them. I captured them out of order. I exited the game and went back in. No matter what, they would always carry them to the same spot and not move. Thus, I was unable to finish the sidequest.
While this game starts out enjoyable with many quirks and amusing moments, it is full of many issues. Most of which become prevalent as your progress. The incessant bugs, controls, excessive backtracking, lack of intriguing characters and story as well as repetitiveness ultimately bring this game down. I unfortunately cannot recommend this game.