Overlord: Dark Legend is a 2009 third-person action-adventure game developed by Climax Studios and published by Codemasters exclusively for the Wii. It is a continuation of the 2007 video game Overlord, released for PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.
Gameplay EditThe player commands the Overlord with the joystick and commands the Minions by pointing the Wii remote. The latter requires the player to press the B-button to send them.
The A-button orders all of the minions to return when it is held down while tapping the A-button will only order a few minion to return. The Overlord can attack with his weapon by pressing the Z-button on the nunchuck or by swinging the nunchuck.
The minions can, after reaching a certain point, be picked up from the group and shaken for suicide bombing, or for fun as long as you do not shake them too much; the Browns explode with huge impact, the Reds burst into flames which ignites all enemies within range, the Greens minions explode leaving behind a poisonous gas cloud, and the Blues enhance all minions within range with the ability to auto-resurrect when they are killed.
The Overlord can also sacrifice his minions in order to restore his own health and mana.
Furthermore, the player can click the A-button on minion spawn pits after unlocking the appropriate minion hives in order spawn minions of the corresponding colour. The different minions and spells can be selected with the d-pad of the Wii remote.
There can only be one spell selected for the up button on the d-pad at one time, though. These must be unlocked by collecting certain relics.
Rather than a port of the original video game to the Nintendo Wii console, Dark Legend was designed completely from scratch to allow a native Wii gaming experience and so the controls have to be redesigned to allow the players to control the character using the Wii remote. The player does not control the unnamed Overlord character from the original game (a hero turned evil) but rather a "young, new Overlord" (dubbed "trainee tyrant") who is "able to take his growing pains out on the local fairy tale inhabitants as he protects his castle and lands". According to Dean Scott in an interview with IGN, there are many references to the old game even if the new game does not directly share anything in common with it. The goal, Scott continues, is to establish "the idea that there have been a series of Overlords throughout time".
According to Codemasters, the Wii remote allows new, unique control mechanisms such as "pluck[ing] a minion from the horde, hold[ing] him by the neck and shak[ing] him around". Furthermore this allows the minion in question to be imbued with power from the Overlord and to turn him into a missile to be sent to explode within enemies. The minions themselves are the same four types as were used in the original game (Browns, Reds, Blues and Greens) but they have gained new abilities, some of which are, according to Scott, "themed around bodily functions that childish folk like us find hilarious".
Dark Legend features a completely new story line, with new characters and locations. The story will be written by video game writer Rhianna Pratchett (daughter of famous British novelist Terry Pratchett) who also wrote the story for Overlord.
Overlord: Dark Legends follows the story of one of the previous Overlords. On his sixteenth birthday, a young prince receives a mysterious gauntlet from the castle's chef as a present that has been kept in storage till his birthday.
- The Black Baron — The First Overlord's predecessor. He was considered a great leader.
Dark Legend is set before the events of Overlord, and tells the story of the First Overlord (named "Lord Gromgard" in-game), whom Minion Master Gnarl approached as a child, informing him that on his sixteenth birthday, his destiny would be fulfilled. As the years passed, the kingdom suffered many problems in the form of blights, poor crop harvests, Halflings taking the local food, bandits stealing from the populace and wolves eating or destroying what was left.
Desperate to reclaim his fame, the Overlord's father, the once mighty Duke Gromgard, set out on a quest to acquire some of his lost assets, only to return with nothing and to find his wife, Duchess Gromgard, had run off with a rich and strong nobleman from a neighboring kingdom. The Duke would later set out on yet another quest to reclaim his fortune, leaving Lord Gromgard with his extremely unpleasant older siblings, Lord Grenville and Lady Gerda (a reference to Cinderella).
On his sixteenth birthday, Lord Gromgard receives a present from Rollick, the castle's chef and the young lord's only friend, which contained a mysterious gauntlet that had been kept in storage till his 16th birthday. While his brother and sister are away, Lord Gromgard uses the gauntlet to open the sealed door to the throne room, finding the Castle Heart and the Overlord armour of that once belonged to his uncle, the mysterious Black Baron (his predecessor and possibly the First Overlord), awaiting someone to take up the Mantle of Overlord.
After the armour has attached itself to the young lord, Gnarl, the minion master, awakens and tells the young lord, that he has been asleep waiting for him to take up his role, and begins instructing him in the ways of the Overlord.
As a start to his reign, Lord Gromgard's first task is to take control of Castle Gromgard while his elder siblings are away, the new Overlord tearing apart their rooms (with help from some Brown Minions), before repelling a Halfling infestation, sending them running to the woods, only for them to set fire to Castle Gromgard, with Rollic and Gnarl trapped inside.
In order to douse the flames and save his castle, the Overlord fights past countless halfling scouts, swordsmen, and rocklobbers, and retrieves the Red Minion Hive, returning it to the castle and routing the remains of the Halfling invaders. He later learns, from Rollic, that the halfling uprising had been instigated by the family jester, Jinks,who challenges Lord Gromgard in the courtyard with his 'Contraption of Doom', a pumpkin-launching makeshift tank.
Lord Gromgard destroys the contraption, the explosion sending Jinks flying over Castle Gromgard. His hat and staff are later picked up by a Brown Minion, who quickly takes Jinks' title as the castle jester.
Learning that his servants fled during the battle, taking the castle's forge with them, the Overlord sets out to explore his farmlands in order to reclaim it. He encounters the village of Meadowsweet, where he learns that his former servants were robbed by bandits, the villagers promsing to allow him entry if he deals with the bandits.
Promises exchanged, Lord Gromgard sets out to retrieve the castle forge, which has fallen into the hands of the Black Flame Bandits, a notorious group of bandits which Gnarl is familliar with. Fighting his way through their camp, he learns the Bandits have captured a rock giant, which he releases in order to thin their numbers, only for it to turn on him.
Swiftly defeating the Rock Giant, the Overlord reclaims the forge and returns it to the tower, before returning and gains entry to Meadowsweet, where he meets a kind bard named Nym, who asks him to kill the local wolves encroaching on the town.
After slaying the wolves, Lord Gromgard returns to town to meet a little girl in a red hood, who asks him to take her to her grandma's house in the Withering Woods (Yes, of course this is Little Red Riding Hood!). He agrees to escort the little girl, only to learn later that the girl is, in fact, a Wolf Queen, who attacks him for killing her children earlier, only to be quickly slain by the Overlord.
After slaying the wolf queen, Lord Gromgard learns from the children he rescued that they have seen the Blue Minions, mentioning that the local children have been disappearing after visiting a cookie salesman. Intimidating the salesman reveals that the mastermind behind the plot is a witch named Doris, who lives in the Melancholy Moors.
Investigating the Moors, Lord Gromgard learns that the cookie sales are being used by Doris to earn money from the Tooth Fairy (as the cookies cause children's teeth to fall out), learning that she is also helping to support Gerda and the Dwarves' war efforts. The Overlord shuts down her business, freeing the Blue Minions in the process, and takes care of the last of the fairy tale creatures.
With this done, Lord Gromgard turns his attentions towards his elder siblings, Grenville and Gerda, who are siding with the Elves and Dwarves respectively to start a war and claim the kingdom for themselves. Using the robes of Dwarven emissaries, the Overlord manages to slip his forces into the Elves' hideout, freeing the Green Minions and destroying the Elves plant-like monsters.
However, Erasmus, the Elven leader, sees through the Overlord's disguise, and tries to stop him, using his magic and plant-monsters to fight, only to be eventually cut down by Lord Gromgard. Lord Grenville, misunderstanding Erasmus's dying words, mistakingly believes Gerda is responsible (thanks in part to the Overlord leaving a Dwarven helmet near the scene of the crime) and takes over as leader of the Elves.
Lord Gromgard then steals the robes of Elven emissaries, planning to perform a repeat of what happened to the elves. As with Erasmus, the Dwarven king, Widget, sees through the Overlord's disguise, and attacks in a robot-like suit, only to be killed, the Overlord framing the Elves (similarly as to how he framed the Dwarves for the death of Erasmus), leaving his sister to lead the Dwarves.
Task complete, all that's left is for Lord Gromgard to sit back and watch as the two forces proceed to fight one another for years, the battle raging on for generations even after Grenville and Gerda, who had grown tired of fighting a war they both wrongfully accused the other of starting, returned to Castle Gromgard with the hopes of claiming the Family Estate, only to be enslaved by their younger sibling, who forces them to restore Castle Gromgard to its former glory.
With all his responsibilites taken care of by his son, the Duke was free to continue his quests for fortune (and a new wife), leaving Lord Gromgard to rule as the Overlord.
Opinions of Dark Legend have been mixed. As of January 2010, Dark Legend had received a ranking of 69.71% from review aggregator GameRankings, derived fron 24 reviews, and a score from Metacritic of 68 from 30 reviews.
Reviews found the storyline, humorous dialogue, and cutscenes reminiscent "of a Monty Python comedy" to be strong features of the game. The controls and use of the Wii remote's capabilities was believed to be well executed, although the AI of the minions left something to be desired. Game Informer said that "The story is never more than an excuse for silliness, but it serves its purpose right up until the end, when an abrupt conclusion leaves you scratching your head."
Graphics were good with well-designed environments, but animation was found to suffer as more minions and enemies were on screen. GameSpot Australia found that bugs and animation problems caused the game to crash the Wii three times during their review playthrough, while the Totally Gaming Network review also noted the game's propensity to crash.
The main failing of the game was the length (averaging eight to ten hours for a first-run playthrough), which was compounded by the lack of complexity or difficulty.The Gamezone review suggested that Dark Legend was best suited for players new to the franchise, but veterans of the first game would be better off with the sequel, Overlord II, on another platform; while GameSpot Australia referred to the game as "My First Overlord", believing the game never moved beyond the basics of the franchise. Game Informer felt that the game is "overly simplistic", which "hurts the experience".