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War for the Overworld

by Josh Ennor

Become the swaggiest, dankest overlord that the narrator has ever seen.

Before we begin, I would like to give the guys at Subterranean a special mention for their April Fools day reveal this year. The “Australian Edition” of War for the Overworld was my favourite “prank” of the whole day. I’ll attach the trailer at the bottom of the article.


FIRST UP

War for the Overworld is going to be great. It is going to be a really great game that I am going to sink many hours into and not regret it for one single second. Hell, it’s great now, but there’s tiny nagging details about the game that are driving me freaking insane. Things like certain game modes that won’t work properly, or place holder text still holding it’s place. However, I am not going to go into too much detail about what doesn’t work about the game, because that’s like talking about all the trophies that I have not won in my life. I will instead be rating the experience that you CAN have in the game at the present time.

If you can't draw connections to Dungeon Keeper...you haven't played Dungeon Keeper.

If you can’t draw connections to Dungeon Keeper…you haven’t played Dungeon Keeper.


SETTING

War for the Overworld is a strategy game from Subterranean Games, it is often referred to as the spiritual successor to Dungeon Keeper (a personal favourite of mine), although I don’t know if they’re allowed to say that else the trigger-happy law team at EA come crashing down upon their small indie heads. It was funded via a Kickstarter campaign which raised over $400k AUD in just over 30 days. Any one who has played the Dungeon Keeper games will immediately notice a huge amount of similarities, each with just enough of a Subterranean Games twist to keep them new and fresh. As a long time Dungeon Keeper fan, it is really quite a trip down nostalgia lane, complete with the same narrator from the Dungeon Keeper games (and strangely enough, Daddy Pig from the children’s television show ‘Peppa Pig’?). Its setting really could not be more perfect, and if this review was based on setting and atmosphere alone, it would be a straight 10/10.

wfto3

The alchemy lab is one of the MANY improvements that War for the Overworld has made to it’s spiritual predecessor.


GAMEPLAY

Unfortunately, the review will need to cover more than just setting and where War for the Overworld lacks most is its gameplay.

The campaign itself is really well fleshed out and tells a decent enough story as far as strategy games go, however I cannot help but feel that the gameplay of it was nothing more than just one long tutorial. I was finding new things being introduced into the game more than 60% through the campaign(!?) and a lot of the things that I would learn in one game, would not come into affect until 2 or 3 games later and I would have all but forgotten how best to use them.

However, I will grant it that the campaign really broadened itself out to encompass several different “game styles” within the strategy genre. It did a really good job of not repeating itself, it is obvious how much effort the developers went through to make sure that people who were and are not necessarily fans of strategy games got enough variety that it would have kept them, coming back.

Which leads me to my next point that if you are the kind of person who hates having to start things again, War for the Overworld is not going to be your ice-cold beer, nor your cup of tea, as failing a game 50+ minutes in and having to start again from scratch, (often more than once) is something that you will have to get so used to that it’s not even funny).


CONCLUSION

So, I suppose the question that still remains is “should I buy War for the Overworld?” and the answer to that is a simple “Yes.” It’s not one that I’m gonna scream from the rooftops, or carve into my arm. But it is 100% a yes. The game is only going to get better from where it is, and it’s already pretty good. 

Score: 7/10

Release Date: Out now
Available from: Steam ($29.99 USD)
Developed by: Subterranean Games

And as promised, the link to the War for the Overworld: Australian Edition trailer. Enjoy mates.


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Josh is one of the four main writers here at OK Games. When he is not working, he is letting his pets on furniture that they’re not allowed on and sometimes he pretends to study so that his Fiancee will get off his back.

You can find him on Twitter, where he usually tweets about the Sacramento Kings and quotes from movies he is watching.

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Twitter @joshennor

As an only child with a single parent, money was tight. But his Mum scrounged and saved to get him his first computer. On it was DOOM, Dungeon Keeper and Take No Prisoners. From then until now, video games have ruled his life. Outside of that, he loves animals, books, a good conversation/discussion/disagreement and the Sacramento Kings.