Overlord and the Overlord: Raising Hell expansion have been ported to Linux thanks to Virtual Programming. I was able to get advanced access yesterday and here are some thoughts.
Note: The Linux release is not yet on Steam. This is a DRM free release from their own store. It's using MojoSetup, so you can install it wherever you please.
I was only sent it late yesterday, so you will forgive me if this isn’t as in-depth as I would have hoped it would be.
While I do have issues with previous ports from VP, I always take each game with a fresh mind as some are really are fantastic (like Bioshock and DiRT Showdown) and some not so (Saints Row series ports).
I’m pretty damn happy that Overlord is now on Linux, as I’m pretty sure a good 90% of games see you being some sort of hero and rarely the bad guy. Somehow being the bad guy in games just seems more exciting.
I’m really impressed. First of all it has a decent launcher to pick resolution and game options before loading. I always like being able to do this before a game ends up giving me some wonky resolution:
So I started off impressed right away, great start.
It also appears on the correct monitor with my dual-monitor setup. The amount of games that utterly fall over themselves at trying to accomplish that one task is amazing, but Overlord gets it right first time without any messing about.
I haven’t had a single crash in multiple hours of testing, so it seems to be very stable.
The only issue I have encountered is the audio seems to be a little buggy. The speech is always fine, but the background music and other audio seem to vanish at random. Relaunching it seems to fix it. This has been reported to the developer.
Performance wise, with max settings at 1080p it’s constantly staying above 100FPS with not a single dip below it. It only dipped just below 100FPS while I was recording.
You can see how it performs with this Linux gameplay video I did, I left the GLXOSD overlay on so you can see all the gritty details:
They also removed the "Exit to Windows" text (yeah I know, it’s an old game), so it just says "Quit" in the Linux port. Funny, because I noticed people whining about that on another website. Goes to show that VP do have a nice attention to the small details for us Linux gamers.
The gameplay is actually quite interesting and amusing. Not only do you control your movement, but you control the movement of your minions too. So you can send your minions in to fight, while you kick back and let off some spells, or you can join them with your sharpened axe.
It plays a bit like an action RPG, with a sort of strategy element too it with the minion control.
The minion control is a little wonky though, as it is an older title, but you get the hang of it after a while. Took me a good few minutes to get it right during the tutorial and I keep messing it up during gameplay so I have a while to go before I properly master it. You control your minions with the left and right mouse buttons, while your character uses the keyboard, it feels quite odd but it works.
It’s a little like the game Pikmin if anyone has ever played it, only you’re completely evil.
Sending my minions around destroying everything in their path feels pretty good, watching them smash crates, kill sheep and so on is pretty funny. One thing I didn’t realize until later on is your minions can actually pick up weapons and items if you direct them to walk over to them, so having minions geared up certainly makes it easier. I have to admit I let off an audible chuckle when some of them decided pumpkins make good helmets—idiots.
What is really cool is that it has a skirmish arena mode where you can pick any minions you have unlocked and battle with them against any enemies you have defeated. It’s a nice practice mode that sits nicely alongside the campaign to restore your tower to its former glory.
It’s quite hilarious, performs rather well and generally a fun experience. Do check it out it’s an easy recommendation.
You can grab it now from VP’s official store. No word on when it will be available on Steam yet.
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