Developed and published by Rebellion, Evil Genius 2: World Domination is a humorous “spy-fi” builder sim that allows you to take over the world one tile of your base at a time. As it was in the original Evil Genius back in 2004, you get to control a criminal mastermind – or four, each one with their own personality and aesthetics! – and build an extensive underground network to carry out your dastardly deeds. Be aware of the forces of Justice, though, too much activity might bring some unwanted attention to your budding operation!
Get into your most comfy evil black leather chair: this is our Evil Genius 2 PC review. And remember: it’s good to be bad.
THE SAME THING WE DO EVERY NIGHT… TAKE OVER THE WORLD!
Sometimes you just can’t help but want to be Evil for a while. No helping various ungrateful NPCs, no saving the world for 30 silver and barely any loot, not even any real drama, just pure tyranny, domination, and satire.
Evil Genius 2 scratches that mustache-twirling itch well. The game does not take itself too seriously and does not ask you to, and instead offers a number of fun-filled hours trying to beat the forces of Justice and wrestle the control of the certain planet out of the do-gooders’ hands.
There are various reasons why one might decide to take over the world. Dislike of the current order of things, a wish to challenge oneself, FOR SCIENCE!, revenge for a rejection or even simple boredom – all of those are valid and will find you in control of your very own evil lair in a small corner of nowhere, seeking WORLD DOMINATION with a doomsday device of your choosing.
Evil Genius 2 follows a similar formula to its predecessor: most of your time will be spent building your base, complete with various rooms for different purposes and decorations, like the barracks or the research lab. However, a true criminal mastermind tries to keep their own hands from getting dirty unless strictly necessary, so the process will be done by trying to order your minions and henchmen around and making sure they do their jobs well. That might sound easier than it actually is, for a variety of reasons, including making sure your minions’ needs are fulfilled else they start to act more stupid than their usual incompetence, and that is not something you want near a doomsday device.
To get players up to speed, Rebellion included an incredibly long but amazing tutorial that will teach you everything you need to know about running a working lair, discovering new technologies, torturing enemy agents or brainwashing them to join your side, and terrorizing your minions. It might take you a few hours to finish and even seem somewhat daunting, but worry not: the actual campaigns have better pacing and progression that will allow you to start small and ease you into being the naughty evil criminal you are.
At first it might be a lot to track the special henchmen such as the guards, the energy levels, intel, cash, the traps, enemy agents, and more, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. Evil Genius 2 can be very deep at times, but never overwhelming enough to stop having fun.
KEEP THE GOLD FLOWING
Once your minions are fed, rested and their morale is boosted so they can show their full potential, it’s time to do some evil. And the best kind of evil is the one done far away from your home turf and bringing chaos to your enemies. This is where the schemes system comes in.
At any point of time, you can switch the map from the lair view to the world map and get the party going: first you will need to establish a criminal network in the corner of the world you set your eyes on. It requires you to have enough comms reach and minions that will not be returning to the base after they are done – you don’t want them to drag those pesky agents back with them, right?
Establishing a network allows you to access the schemes, the main source of gold in the game, specialized henchmen and more. Successfully finishing a scheme increases the amount of heat in the corresponding region. If you are not careful, you might get it locked for a certain period of time as the agents are investigating your nefarious activities. Some special agents might even decide to drop by your base if you have any activity in the regions they are visiting.
You can have one scheme active per region at any given time, so there will be a lot of back-and-forth between the lair and the world map to keep the gold river flowing effectively. It takes some planning not to exhaust your resources, human or otherwise, so you might want to keep an eye on the numbers just in case.
It could feel a bit repetitive to have to constantly do the same motions when it comes to the schemes, but the problem of same-y gameplay is not new when it comes to management sims/strategies.
A BEAUTIFUL CHAOS
My favorite activity in the quieter moments of the game is to closely follow the minions to see what they are doing. Evil Genius 2 has this wonderful over-the-top aesthetic that features bright colors, overdone cartoon-like animations, music that parodies the serious special agent-esque themes, and much more.
Seeing minions and henchmen scatter when you sound the alarm, duke it out with special agents, and just go around their business is surprisingly fun due to all the little details of the game. The photo mode is included for those who appreciate it.
Players can also make use of the sandbox mode that is available in the game with launch, allowing to extend the longevity of Evil Genius 2 long past the point of finishing the four separate campaigns. EG2 also provides players with the tools to shape the difficulty in many ways, from a walk in the park to have to constantly be on guard else you get swarmed by a group of super-agents, filling the corridors of the base with body bags of unfortunate minions.
Note: the Steam key was provided for the purposes of this review.
Similar to: Dungeons 3, Dungeon Keeper, War for the Overworld