Evil Genius 2
Genre: Strategy, Simulation, Building
Platform: PC (Steam)
Age Rating: N/A
Release Date: 0.03.2021
A code was provided for review purposes.
As a massive fan of building-simulation games, I was very eager to play Evil Genius 2. The overall goal is World Domination; building up a lair to find new ways to take over the world. A rich network of game systems synchronise with one another to work towards this goal. But is the game terribly good or just plain terrible? Find out in this Rapid Review.
I must begin this review by stating that I haven’t played the original Evil Genius – at least to my memory! Growing up, I leaned more towards Hotel Giant or Rollercoaster Tycoon than Mario or Sonic so it’s more than likely that a vague memory of Evil Genius is lurking someone in my lair – I mean head. That being said, I recognised Maximilian from cover arts and promotional materials for the original game so when I was encouraged by the game to begin a medium difficulty campaign with the aforementioned money-obsessed Maximilian, I didn’t hesitate to take up this advice! With some perks to training and increased minion capacity, it’s a natural choice for those new to the series. If you’d prefer an alternative Genius, then three others are available; each with their perks, abilities and voice acting.
With my Genius patrolling the cold floors of my lair corridors, it was time to bring in some minions to boss around.
If the overruling Genius is the Queen Bee, then the minions in Evil Genius 2 would best be described as worker bees. Moving between rest and work (but rarely play) these minions accepted my orders in an instant. The jobs of construction, imprisonment and all manner of other tasks were all completed by these minions. Although each of the minions had their own names, likes and dislikes when scrolling my mouse wheel and inspecting; they’re definitely a collective force so their cosmetic individuality is a nice extra touch but inconsequential when it comes to gameplay.
To achieve my overarching goal of world domination, I trained up minions into specialised roles. Scientist’s research new items and methods, guards prevent any good-guy wrongdoing and more specific minion types were unlocked throughout my playthrough to help with more niche tasks. With the hundreds of minions working at once, the game design and U.I makes supervising an ease. The minion-menu gave me the option to choose how many minions I’d like for each role and if my minions died-in-action, the game automatically trained up a new minion to start their job immediately.
The world’s your stage
n addition to the cubic room designer and minion management, a large part of the game relies on plotting missions around the world. Building a mass of radio receivers in my control centre, I scouted countries across a 2D map. Here, countries offer missions which when initiated, quietly run in the background until the rewards are reaped. Such rewards include increased currency, new minions, campaign-specific items or characters and decreased heat. Speaking of heat, when I committed too many nefarious acts in a short time at one location, the authorities caught wind of my mischief and locked down. When locked down, ongoing missions immediately fail and new missions can’t be started until a cooldown reaches. As such, it’s a careful balance between earning money and progressing the campaign whilst also being wary of heat. I found that certain missions required a generous amount of currency and intel.
After imprisoning agents and tortu- politely asking agents for intel, a lockdown causing all my hard work to go to waste was something I most certainly tried to avoid. Using the World Stage was mostly an easy task, quickly seeing the requirements and rewards when hovering over one of the missions. When certain campaigns required a specific item or character to interrogate, a pulsing yellow icon indicated the location. However, finding this icon required me to scour across the map. A shortcut via the alert system would have been greatly appreciated to quickly initiate these campaign missions. I’m not sure how many Evil Genius’ spend their time panning a world map, zooming in and out of countries to find exactly whom they should next interrogate.
Rooms of Requirement
My lair began as a blanket of dirt connected to a cover operation. Hidden behind a Casino façade (which is one of the many revenue sources for funding evil actions), lies a network of research stations, accommodation, vaults and more. From the build menu, I constructed all manner of different rooms and whilst at first glance, a large number of different rooms may seem overwhelming – perhaps even unneeded, the game helpfully shows their use on the left side of the screen, detailing their specified use on the left side of the screen. I loved carving out new rooms and found that the everchanging nature of campaign requirements and income and power fluctuations meant that the shapes and sizes of each room constantly changed. New research machines needed more power. More power needed more generators. More generators meant more vaults to store the money needed to purchase. Etc. Etc.
There’s certainly a focus on functionality as opposed to interior design so I was slightly let down when my creative self wasn’t able to change item colours or the number of cosmetic items was relatively low. Nevertheless, the visual design is fantastic and the rigid colouring serves its purpose. From a birds-eye view, the different rooms are distinguishable by colour. Animations are also superb. Upon a close zoom in, machinery whirs, buttons pulse with colour and metallic corridor floors reflect the world around them. There’s been a lot of effort into the small details of Evil Genius 2 and it definitely shows!
Mastermind of Music
In games of this genre, it’s common for me to mute the music and listen to something other than the OST. In Evil Genius 2, that most certainly wasn’t the case. With its spy-genre jazz performed with a full orchestra, the music truly excels. Further enhanced by polished sound effects and the fantastic voice acting that relishes in its own wickedness, Evil Genius 2 deserved my headphones attention.
Evil Genius 2 is a thoroughly enjoyable simulation experience. Full of detail, charm and care, as long as you are accepting of the lair-building loop typical in the genre, you’re in for a terribly good time!
Rapid Reviews Rating
4 out of 5
Fellow Rapid Reviewer Rob has shared their thoughts on the official Evil Genius 2 comic right here!
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.