Overlord (4 stars)



Overlord is somewhat counter-intuitive. Where you might imagine that a stalking hulk of simmering fury, clad head to foot in viciously spiky, ‘you’ll take someone’s eye out’ armour, might be a force to reckon with in fantastical combat, the opposite seems to be true. For the eponymous Overlord is actually at his strongest while commanding his minions, surveying the battle from afar as his goblin hordes do his evil bidding. And there again is one of Overlord’s body swerves. For, while he may appear evil, laying pain upon all manner of fantasy creatures, he never quite represents the dark side. This is because his enemies are not really the shining paragons of virtue you have come to expect in a fantasy tale. Nope, the twisted world of Overlord often transforms the anti-hero into the hero and the cute and cuddly into warped cannon fodder.

And, while commanding scurrying dogsbodies through the third person combat is great fun, the unfulfilled promise of committing acts of unspeakable evil means Overlord’s shiny armour eventually loses its lustre. But the ideas are appealing enough and a sequel seems the obvious outcome.
(Iain Davidson)

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