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Explaining why I won't buy the next Overlord game

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Hello and good morning from a United States time zone perspective.

This is my first post on the Codemasters forums, and before I continue it I wanted to say thank you for having me here and for listening to my opinion. I went to the trouble of researching and finding out why my Firefox browser wasn't working to register and actually using Internet Explorer (yuck) to post here because I feel strongly about what I'm about to say.

I would not say that I'm one of Codemasters' best customers. I've bought and played the Overlord games and that's about it. They had their flaws in terms of controls, camera and the moral choices not really meeting the "dark and darker" premise, but they were fun and charming games that I got a lot of enjoyment out of and think back very fondly on. It is because I feel this way about them and because I'm hoping that development on the next Overlord game is not to far along to make some course corrections that I'm here.

What I'd really been hoping to see out of Overlord 3 is as follows:

1. Fix some of the controls with handling minions. They haven't been very intuitive or easy to handle in the past when attempting to do delicate maneuvers, which could take some of the fun out of trying to have a well-balanced team of minion types.

2. Similarly the camera could be just a touch finicky. Not the worst I'd seen by a long shot, but had some problems in tight spaces.

3. It often didn't really seem like you were choosing to play between "Evil" and "REALLY evil" so match as the usual "evil and good" dynamic.

But aside from those three things, I really did enjoy the Overlord formula from the previous games. So I was very disappointed to see the dramatic switch from the recent trailer to 4-Player Co-Op and an isometric view. Why is this being done? More specifically, why do ALL developers these days seem to feel like every gamer out there is just waiting with baited breath for a series that gathered it's following around a great singleplayer experience to force you to play with others.

I'll let you in on a little hint. I liked being the evil OverLORD not one of a team of mid-level, middle management "Undead Servant" flunkies. I liked being the Big Man In Charge, not having to coordinate my actions with three other people. I liked being immersed in what I'm doing after a long day around people, not being forced to socialize with others. Perhaps most importantly, I liked how my game didn't have an expiration date when the community has moved on like all multiplayer focused games do. I liked puttering around in my evil fortress and tailoring it to look exactly how I wanted it. I liked my servile minions all worshiping the ground I walked on.

It is not possible to get the difficulty right simultaneously for one human player and four human players. AI Bot partners just are not advanced enough to effectively substitute for a human one that you can communicate with via a headset. Therefore, making a change like this inevitably degrades the singleplayer experience, even if we set aside the fact that I'm no longer THE Overlord but one of a group.

I won't be getting the next Overlord game because I, flat out, have no interest in the premise of sharing my power or my game in a world and setting of this type. I am disappointed to see Codemasters being the latest in a long line of developers who shoehorn multiplayer into every game out there whether it is a good fit and whether the player base asked for it or not.

Perhaps I am in the minority and you'll gain a lot more sales than you lose by making this change. Or perhaps you may want to reconsider whether this is truly the best direction to take what I had felt was a really fun series. Either way, I thank you for taking my opinions into consideration and wish you good luck with your future game development.


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As Rhianna Pratchett has pointed out many times on Twitter today, the new game isn't Overlord 3, nor is it meant to be, and nor does it preclude a future Overlord 3. And when Terry Pratchett's daughter makes something, it's usually something good.

A game can be good and not be the sort of game that people like simultaneously. By all accounts, World of Warcraft is a great MMO...but if you're not into the MMO genre it doesn't matter how good that game is.

My issue with this game is it is a no-win scenario for people who really liked the core, single player focused, build your stronghold, command your minions, etc. type Overlord games. If this game does well, then Overlord 3 has a good chance of being multiplayer focused which won't interest me.

If it does poorly, then there's a good chance that Codemasters concludes that there's no interest in the Overlord series anymore. The problem is that games like this one and Overlord Minions are not the same sort of game that their core fanbase wants. It isn't that the interest isn't there, it's that you're changing the formula so much that it doesn't appeal to the players who liked the original games anymore.

If I wanted to play Diablo, I'd go play Diablo. That's not what I liked about Overlord 1 and Overlord 2.

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Thanks for the post Jim, really cool of you to take the time to come and post :)

Just wanted to clear up your point about the 4 player co-op. You don't have to play the game in co-op. You can have your character and play the whole game on your own, you won't need to share your power with anybody else on screen - just you and your minions. 

Then if you want to you can take your character online and play with your friends but you don't have to. The AI will scale and adapt as you play regardless of how many others you are playing with. But that is totally optional.

Keep an eye on the other videos we release over the next few months I'm hoping we can turn you around, but if not - that's cool. Everything you've said is still important to us and we will keep all of this kind of feedback in mind and again, thank you. :)  
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