Overlord II
E3 2009: Overlord II Preview - PETA Approved
Written Saturday, June 13, 2009 By Dan Webb
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Chances are that by now you’ll have checked out the Overlord II demo on the Xbox Live Marketplace, so a preview on what we saw at the show would seem pretty redundant, right? Wrong. We got to see an extended version of the demo at E3 and got the chance to ping a few interesting questions at Codemasters’ PR guru, Sam Cordier. I’ll keep it short; I’ll keep it sweet, but factual nevertheless.

Overlord II is of course the follow up to the hugely successful original that has managed to shift 2.5 million copies worldwide since its 2007 release. Overlord II is in fact a direct sequel to that title despite the demise of the original Overlord at the end of the first title. This time you’ll take control of his offspring, from childhood to adulthood, as he looks to dethrone the regimented Glorious Empire – Codemasters’ take on the Roman Empire, and cause a ton of destruction along the way. Despite the success of the original, Codemasters refused to rest on their laurels and looked to make some big changes, a lot from the fan feedback. Let’s run you through some of the major changes that’ you’ll see in the sequel:

Huge improvements in terms of minions:

The minions have been totally revamped for Overlord II and it’s possibly one of the most improved areas. Not only can they mount animals now, like wolves and spiders dependent on the minion type, which make them stronger, but the AI has also been vastly improved so that rank up in file. During combat the brown (thugs, fighters) will head into battle first, the greens (stealth) will sneak around the outside, reds (fire) will throw fire balls from afar, and now the blue (healers) will hang back, only heading into the battle to help fallen minions when necessary. One of the big complaints from the original was the fact the blues always seemed to get caught in the battle fighting rather than doing what they should have been doing, which was healing. So they fixed that.

The whole minion system as well has been tweaked so that they are more personal to you and have more of a character. Now certain minions will dress up, put on masks, sing, drink (and vomit accordingly) and even pee in the snow. If one of your favourites dies in combat as well, you can also bring them back to life at the minion graveyard using your reaper minion. Then there are other quirky minion additions like, minion only missions where you possess one and perform a “minion impossible” mission, and of course the catapult bowling as well.

In by popular demand

Two of the most requested features for the sequel were the inclusion of an on-screen mini map and a controllable camera (criminal to not have in from the start if you ask us). Thankfully, fans can rejoice as both of those features find their way in to the sequel. You can take control of the title just like the original if you so wish, but now, if you want to move the camera, you can hold the left bumper and move the right analogue stick to look around accordingly. It’s amazing how much easier this makes things.

A PETA approved title

We were kind of shocked when the seal bashing videos dropped the other month, actually questioning how they got away with it. When asked about PETA’s reaction to those videos, Cordier explained that they were fine with them. “PETA actually came back to us on that and because you’re evil and you’re an evil character doing evil things, what we’re actually saying that is killing seal cubs is actually evil, and that’s fine by them.” Makes perfect sense when you consider it in that light ... of course, being red blooded males, we failed to rationalise that point at the time.

Overlord II = Bigger and a hell of a lot more evil

The game’s bigger. Your castle and its rooms are bigger. The world is bigger. Plus, you can now have 3 mistresses and you don’t have to choose a specific one ... you can now have your cake and eat it. The game also features a tyranny system this time around as well because players complained that you weren’t that “evil” in the original. Now, when causing wanton destruction and heading into conquer villages and towns, you can choose to dominate or destruct. Dominate essentially means you’ll cast a spell over the town and they’ll subsequently become your puppets and followers, whilst destruct means ... you get the point.

Overlord II, like many of the sequels at the show, proved to me that developers do actually listen to feedback. The inclusion of the controllable camera and mini map are simple inclusions but two that generally improve the experience ten-fold. Focussing their resources on improving and expanding the minion aspect of the title seems to be right on the money as that always seemed to be big part of the fun of the original. Check back in a few weeks for our definitive review as we pick it apart from the bones ... just like the Overlord would.

Overlord II is available on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on June 23th in North America and June 26th in Europe.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 724
Comment #1 by FlyBoy120586
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 05:27:21 PM
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In the original, if you held the left bumper you could rotate the camera anywhere you wanted, so that not really new...

Forum Posts: 68
Comment #2 by xX Out$id3r Xx
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 05:33:27 PM
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Not sure if I will buy but I will deffinatly rent, kind of ran out of interest in the first one after acouple playthrough's hope this one has a little more lasting power.

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #3 by Thrall320
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 05:39:23 PM
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That's awesome to hear about the Blues.

Forum Posts: 26
Comment #4 by Hulktax
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 05:42:31 PM
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I am not very interested in this one...
I Love the PETA reaction...

Forum Posts: 186
Comment #5 by Floodclaw
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 06:02:52 PM
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Hmm. PETA being rational for once? That's shocking.

Forum Posts: 492
Comment #6 by EcT Felix
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 06:42:39 PM
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Is it Achivements for PC?

Forum Posts: 987
Comment #7 by Devil Sora
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 06:58:49 PM
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Forum Posts: 231
Comment #8 by Infomouse
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 07:21:12 PM
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lol this game has warped my fragile little mind and now i want to go club baby seals, thanks alot PETA.

Forum Posts: 358
Comment #9 by kizwiz
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 07:48:42 PM
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Wow this game sounds really good. It's good that they actually listen to the fans. Alot of developers can learn from Codemasters lol..

Forum Posts: 43
Comment #10 by christiansteele
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 08:08:04 PM
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Forum Posts: 42
Comment #11 by El Sc0rch0o
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 09:46:57 PM
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I didn't know the demo was out! gah! downloading now!

Forum Posts: 34
Comment #12 by The Bryceroy
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 10:08:54 PM
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So happy to see Codemasters taking good care of Overlord, the first one was a complete blast and the second one looks even better than the first. Now all we need is a new Dungeon Keeper! After all, being evil is oh so good.

Forum Posts: 2099
Comment #13 by mjc0961
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 10:29:16 PM
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Alright, next time they should make it a good guy to piss PETA off. Seriously, **** PETA.

Forum Posts: 184
Comment #14 by Quagmire3540
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 11:00:08 PM
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Seriously, Fuck Overlord II there are a lot of better games that are actually worth playing.. and Overlord is not one of them...

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #15 by NeotericDope
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 02:28:50 AM
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Now young kids are going to get it in their minds that if they just say they're born evil it will be just fine to murder helpless animal.

Not too excited for the game, it's too much of the same thing in the Overlord series.

Forum Posts: 506
Comment #16 by Muse89
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 02:45:43 AM
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Might pick this up, tried the original a few weeks ago and had to return it pretty fast, it got boring so quickly

Forum Posts: 115
Comment #17 by frero
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 03:03:00 AM
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@1 Actually I believe that the LB + RS combination was added via a patch in the first game. But true, it's not really new in this game.

Forum Posts: 1068
Comment #18 by The Bum-Mobile
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 09:05:01 AM
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@8-I laughed.
I downloaded the demo for this yesterday, haven't had a chance to play it.

Forum Posts: 298
Comment #19 by The Danielnator
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 11:13:50 AM
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You could always move the camera in the original. Otherwise it wold be quiet difficult to play online. Sad if you still haven't figured that out or never even played the first one.

Forum Posts: 56
Comment #20 by Kiutu
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 10:19:24 PM
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Trolling is not liked by people who matter, so go away and die under a bridge Mr. Quagmire.

I hope there are no online achievements this time. The first's online was a ghost town.

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #21 by Ghetto Cheese
Monday, June 15, 2009 @ 07:58:47 AM
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First comes first, gotta finish Overlord 1. Then definitely getting Overlord II.

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Game Info
Triumph Studios


US June 23, 2009
Europe June 26, 2009

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