While the latest incarnation of The Sims video game series might be trying to appeal to its animal-loving players with a vegetarian option, the makers of Overlord II are definitely weeding them out in the very beginning.
The game has players embrace the role of a resurrected warrior known simply as “The Overlord” who has control over hordes of gremlin-like creatures known as “minions”. It’s very much a cartoonish tongue-in-cheek take on trying to make your guy the baddest in the land. And yes, there’s plenty of senseless, stupid cartoon violence.
Anyways, I downloaded the demo last night, and lo and behold the first mission I had was to wipe out a colony of baby seals. WTF? While space aliens are fair game in my book, clubbing baby seals over the head in over to gain their “lifeforce” for my character was just an odd touch. It got stranger when a ship of Elvish treehugger-people arrived to defend the colony to, as they cried out over and over, “Help save the little, defenseless furry ones!” Think someone who designed the game has a thing against animal rights organizations? I then had to slaughter them too.
For some of you, that may be reason enough to buy the game — but for me, it was definitely an interesting observation on art imitating life. Before the demo was released, there was also a promotional Whack-a-Seal game being hosted on IGN. At that time, PETA released a statement saying that such games were a great way to draw attention to “Canada’s annual seal slaughter, during which sealers beat and skin hundreds of thousands of baby seals every year for products that are now banned in the U.S. and in Europe.”
Seems to me that the designers had the last laugh. I wonder how PETA would react to their digital counterparts being destroyed in the game?