Overlord Makes a Controversial Comeback

Codemasters today announced Overlord: Fellowship of Evil, but except for the title and humorous tone the game doesn’t appear to have any of the traits that made the old Overlord unique and interesting. Right on cue, the Internet has exploded with cries of: “Nobody wanted this game. Give us a real Overlord 3, dammit!”

Overlord: Fellowship of Evil, the punching bag of today’s angry Internet mob, is in development for a digital only release on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2015. Instead of continuing to build upon the foundation of the original games’ mix of third-person combat and Pikmin-style minion wrangling as an evil Overlord, Fellowship of Evil is going off in a completely different direction as an isometric action RPG built around local and online four-player co-op. Solo play will be an option, but multiplayer is clearly the focus.

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The game appears to have a blend of concepts from games like Gauntlet, Forced, and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light / Temple of Osiris. That’s not a bad group of games to be compared to, but the question of the day is: What does that gameplay style have to do with Overlord?

For a game under the Overlord banner it’s odd that there isn’t actually an Overlord. Instead the game stars four playable characters known as the Netherghūls, “undead servants of the dark arts, determined to bring evil back to a world overrun by the forces of good.” Staying true to the Overlord spirit of subversive humor, players will supposedly be able to “screw over” their “friends” in certain ways. Additionally, minion control will factor into the gameplay as well.

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But at this time, none of the early footage demonstrates how these key elements will work. The gameplay footage shown so far portrays the game as nothing more than a humdrum co-op dungeon crawler. Hopefully in the coming months Codemasters can demonstrate that Overlord: Fellowship of Evil is more than what many fans are viewing as a cheap Diablo clone. I don’t have that dismissive attitude toward the game, but I do find it curious that Codemasters would bring a franchise back from the dead after half a dozen years and expect fans to be happy that the new game wouldn’t even be recognizable as a member of the Overlord family without having that word in the title.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that a true Overlord 3 has not been ruled out in the future, and as a $19.99 budget digital download title Overlord: Fellowship of Evil is likely meant to be a reentry point to reestablish the Overlord name. That plan–if it indeed is the plan–appears to be backfiring on Codemasters. But whatever, I’m down to play the game and give it a fair shake.

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Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!