Overlord - Official Website

Overlord™ is a groundbreaking action adventure, set in a seriously warped fantasy world. Controlling a mysterious figure that has inherited the legacy of the evil, long-dead Overlord, you emerge, near death, from the ruins of the old Overlord's Dark Tower. Only your actions will determine if you will rise to become the new all-powerful Overlord—it’s all down to how much of a badass you want to be in order to succeed … evil or really evil! Played out with plenty of black humour and dark irony, get ready for twisted parodies of classic fantasy scenarios and characters. Take your quest for glory.

  • Control hordes of minions: Use the intuitive controls to direct a crowd of evil-minded minion creatures. Use Minions to smash, destroy, kill, steal, and intimidate.
  • Become the Overlord: Forge loot from the battlefield into powerful weapons and armour. Gain Overlord powers such as the ability to make enemies burst into flames and cower down before you. Conquer the world and impose your will on its people.
  • Explore a twisted world: The unique story combines evil bidding with impish humor. Defeat the seven fallen heroes to rule over all the world.
  • Battle online: In multiplayer, fight with other Overlords online, both in battle mode and co-op.
  • Expand your game: Look for upcoming extras in the form of downloadable content from Marketplace.
Game Chronicles takes a look at this stunning next-gen action title in our exclusive GCM interview with Director and Lead designer, and co-founder of Triumph Studios, Lennart Sas.

GCM: Thank you for your time! Please get us started by introducing yourself and telling us about the creative team, bringing Overlord to the Xbox 360 and PC.

LS: My name is Lennart Sas, co-founder of Triumph Studios. My current role is a director/lead designer. Triumph Studios has been around since 1997, we are based in Delft, Holland. Prior to Overlord we made the Age of Wonders fantasy strategy series.

GCM: What was the inspiration for creating a game based on the premise of being “evil”?

LS: After making 3 classic good vs. evil fantasy games, we thought it was time to do something radically different with fantasy. We wanted to tell the story of how a person became the Dark Lord we have all learned to hate and defeat in other games. Also we wanted to twist the many fantasy clichés with character types and creatures that we know as being good being corrupted by their weaknesses. Halflings as fat gluttons, Elves as Lazy tree-huggers and the pious Paladin corrupted by Lust.

But we also looked outside of classic fantasy for inspiration. We decided that the game shouldn’t take itself too seriously and we went for a Monty Python type humor. For the Overlord’s minions we needed small, destructive and funny creatures. 80’s puppet movies such as Gremlins, Labyrinth and the Dark Crystal (which I loved as a kid) influenced the look at attitude of the Minions.

GCM: The demo for Overlord is refreshingly funny. Was Overlord always intended as a humorous game or did you find it necessary to keep the game from getting too dark, and are you able to maintain this level of humor throughout the full game?

LS: When we came up with the basic premise for Overlord we knew that the concept would work best with a lot of humor added, otherwise the game could turn into quite a grim affair with your horde murdering and pillaging the lands. Overlord is meant to entertain, and make people smile and laugh. We are not in this business to shock and disgust.

GCM: There are so many subtle (and not so subtle) humorous elements and nuances in both dialogue and animations. Was this a collaborative effort from the entire design team or were there one or two people responsible for the story and dialogue?

LS: Overlord’s story and tone was the result of the collaboration of many people. As part of the conceptual design, I created the framework for the story together with an outline for the atmosphere and the minion behaviors. Then Artists and Level designers worked out these concepts and brought many new ideas to the table during some hilarious design meetings.

Then script writer Rhianna Pratchett came onboard. We engaged in some hefty sparring sessions which solidified the story design. It was great that sometimes she was toning me down because I have quite an infantile mind and sometimes I thought she was going too far. Often our producer Kevin Mullard would be the referee.

GCM: Is it possible to play this game and not be totally evil? How many levels of evilness are there in Overlord and how many endings are possible based on your deeds (good or bad)?

LS: While playing the game tracks your actions and measures your evilness in the Corruption Meter. You start with 0%, but acts such as raiding villages; killing peasants for their souls, kidnapping virgins and whatnot will increase the tally.

Corruption influences what sort of high-level magic you get to use, what mistress you will acquire, the look of the tower, the look of the Overlord and it will determine the ending sequence. I won’t go into details because that would spoil some of the fun!

GCM: The game seems to be story driven and possibly even a bit linear. What level of replayability will there be once gamers have finished the game the first time?

LS: The game starts out linear, but when it gets underway you can visit multiple domains from your tower and have multiple quests and story branches going on at once.

Corruption has an effect on how the game plays. More experienced players will find a challenge in playing the game 0% corrupted – imagine trying to contain the enthusiasm of 50 maniacal minions! Or you might try and a accomplish 100% corruption and find every corrupt act to do in the game

Next to Single Player there is also head to head multi-player using three game modes.

GCM: How does Overlord balance the action versus the strategy, or just how often do we have to get our hands dirty versus delegating the evil duties to our minions?

LS: At the beginning of the game you get just one minion type and with these Browns learn how to use & controls minions. If you want, you can get through these early levels by throwing lots of minions against your enemies, but as the game progresses enemies become more deadly and you will learn how to use the 4 different minion types to their full advantage.

GCM: About how many and what kind of Achievements can we expect? Any particularly favorite (or “evil”) ones?

LS: There are 44 Achievements in Overlord. My favorite one is Mistress Master, which triggers when you get her particular Dark Tower upgrades that please your mistress. You’ll have to try and see what happens!

Next to the Achievements there is a huge list of Jester Titles that you can acquire. The Jester will announce these titles whenever you return to the tower. They range from Keeper of the Ruined Tower, to Reveler in Perversion to Mass Minion Murder. When you want him to shut up you can give him a swift kick to the head!

GCM: What kind of multiplayer support or game modes will be available in Overlord, and will there be any cross-connectivity with the PC version?

LS: There are three multiplayer modes on both PC and Xbox 360 (although they can’t play against each other). In Slaughter, you need to get as many kills on your opponent and his minions, and any creatures that happen to be in the area. In Pillage, its all about gathering as much loot as possible. In Survival two Overlords need to work together in order to survive as long as possible against an ever increasing mob attacking your evil asses.

GCM: Visually, Overlord is quite spectacular. Is this a new 3D engine and just how big and complex are some of these levels?

LS: For Overlord we wrote a custom 3d engine that could handle the 50+ minions on screen with all their antics, and render the world in its stylized look. The engine was developed simultaneously on Xbox 360 and PC and makes use of the latest multi-threading and graphical shaders.

GCM: The voice work is refreshingly witty while maintaining that perfect balance of clichéd evilness? Who wrote the script for this game and who voices the character of our mentor?

LS: The script was written and co-designed by Rhianna Pratchett, who loaded the script with humor and great one-liners. She immediately found the right tone for the narration – a perfect fit with the concept and the graphics.

Minion Master Gnarl, and most of the other Minions were voiced by Marc Silk, who starred in productions as Chicken Run, Johnny Bravo and Star Wars. What this guy can do with his voice is amazing, he can do voices ranging from cute creatures to big monsters and do a huge amount of accents from around the world.

GCM: Is there some special element or favorite part of Overlord, or perhaps some previously unknown secret you’d like to share with our readers before they get their hands on the final game?

LS: The minion combat is one of my favorite parts. While playing you will find new ways of using your minions and it’s a great challenge to try and win the various battle situations without losing a single minion.

Also play close attention to the script, there are lots of events that connect and lead to disturbing revelations, such as the source of the zombie plague!.