Having minions is awesome. There's nothing quite like commanding a small horde of goblins to go and wreak havoc across the land, and, as the events of Overlord II come a full generation after those of the original, the minions have learnt how to use machinery, attempt comedic stealth through disguise, sail boats, ride creatures and maim baby seals. Organised chaos has never been this much fun, supposedly.
You can pick up a copy of Overlord II for just £4.98 at the moment from Gamesttation, largely because they seem to be one of the handful of major reliable merchants with the game in stock. As it is, you'll be making a saving of £3 on the nearest competitor over at Gameplay.
Overlord II is immensely frustrating, probably because it has so much potential. Essentially what might be construed as the lovechild of Dungeon Keeper and Fable, this is a game supposedly all about fantasy fun. Rhianna Pratchett (yes, she's Terry's daughter) has crafted a pretty solid story here, with lots of nice and obvious echoes of the Roman Empire. Someone's clearly been reading Asterix the Gaul. There's lots of humour here, mainly from the minions' daft animations and predilections for drinking, and the premise is a good one: you are the Dark Lord and must cut a swathe across the landscape in the face of the Glorious Empire and wrestle control of the land back from those good-for-nothing Imperials.
Your minions are there to be sent into combat in front of you (bizarrely the Dark Lord himself is pretty vulnerable), to go into places where you cannot and solve some fairly simple puzzles, and of course there's a choice system to measure your corruption, although this time it falls between Destruction (killing and wrecking everything) and Domination (enslaving everyone). There are some slight plot changes and the appearance of the Overlord changes too depending on which choice you make. It's pretty binary, but it's still a laugh.
The frustrations, and there are some glaringly tedious moments, come mainly from this not really improving on the original in any way apart from in the graphical department. In fact, there's less game here, as the sequel boasts none of the adventurous exploration of the original, that strategy elements are astonishingly dumbed down, and what is left is a distinctly average action game. There's a whole host of backtrack for little reward and the camera is incredibly fiddly, although thankfully not so much for PC gamers.
However, it is only £5. To be honest it's still worth a playthrough, and it's not a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, merely a source of occasional frustration. It's not as good as the first game, and it scuppers a few chances to really build on it's predecessors successes, but this is still a perfectly solid title and well worth a look for this money.