Stolen Pixels

Stolen Pixels #109: Let me Tell You About “Evil”




I am not the first person to observe that Overlord II does a poor job of motivating the player.

I actually liked Overlord 2, but it was sort of odd how the game simply assumes you want to take down the Empire simply because it’s there. I really don’t like the generic bad guy you often see in videogames, who is only interested in doing evil just to be a jerk. It’s much better to have a villain with an agenda. In Overlord II, instead of fighting the Lord of Blandness and Evil, you become him.

You can forgive a lot of the cliches in the game because they’re satire, but I still think it needed a better hook for the main character. It’s okay for everyone else to be shallow and cardboard in a game like this, but you need proper motivation to propel the story forward instead of making the player get out and push.

Shamus Young is a programmer and writer by trade, videogame nitpicker by inclination. If you have the patience for more of his ramblings, they can be found at

About the author