Graphically, the game reminded me an awful lot of Fable 2- which is a good thing! There's a lot of European architecture with a fairytale twist, and everything is brightly colored and slightly oversaturated. The colors in this game really pop off the screen, and makes watching your minions' antics all that more enjoyable. There is some pop-in and every now and then the framerate gets a little uneven, but neither affects gameplay significantly. Controlling the game was my biggest issue, as it's very focused on stopping, selecting groups of minions and giving them basic orders, which is fine when you've got time to approach a situation, but in the middle of a fight it's rather annoying. You've also got the decision to map the "sweep your minions around in a big group" to the right thumbstick, which also happens to control the camera, which can make for some awkward moments while surveying the battlefield. Once you've got a hang of things, it gets a little better, but I wish a little more thought had been put into the control scheme.
Unfortunately, the co-op is fairly lackluster and doesn't retain much of the charm that exists in the base game. Either through splitscreen or online play, you and a buddy can take on one of two co-op modes: Invasion and Survival. Survival mode plays exactly as it sounds: your Overlords are put into an arena, and waves of enemies rush you until you can't take it anymore. Invasion is more interesting, since it's basically a slightly harder version of a single-player level. Two Overlords team up and invade a village held by the Glorious Empire with their full range of minions and abilities. While this mode contains most of the joy of the single-player campaign, it's not a simple affair to bring in a friend for a quick game. The game's controls are quite complex, and for someone who hasn't played a significant amount of the game already, it's not very intuitive. My local co-op sessions in this mode were punctuated with extended periods of having to explain nuances of the game to my partner.
In addition, each co-op mode only contains a single map, which severely limits its replayability. There has been DLC for the game already, so perhaps more maps can be added in the future, but out of the box the co-op is severely disappointing. Essentially, if you enjoyed the single player experience and can get a co-op partner who understands the ins and outs of the gameplay, you'll probably have a great (but short) experience.
All in all, Overlord 2 is a solid single-player game that isn't without issues, but its quirky sense of humor and core gameplay are funny and engaging. Just don't play it for the co-op.
The Co-Op Experience: Arena Survival � Two players, both as overlords with their own minions, help each other stay alive as they battle against wave after wave of enemies coming at them in an arena setting. Kill A General � Two players, both as overlords with their own minions, go through a series of lands together on a mission to kill a Glorious Empire general.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.