Rebellion’s Evil Genius 2: World Domination is a game for anyone who has ever watched a spy movie and thought they could do a much better job than the inefficient villains who always get their plans foiled. It doesn’t matter if your preferred style of villainy is Blofeld, Dr. Evil, or Pinky and The Brain; Evil Genius 2 allows you to flex your creative muscles in a bid for world domination.
You take control of one of four Evil Geniuses and play through a narrative-driven campaign aiding them in their quest to take over the world. Each Genius has a unique storyline, set of skills, and plans to create their very own doomsday device. With three island locations and complete control over lair building, Evil Genius 2 puts you in charge of creating your own headquarters. From here you’ll be running nefarious schemes and building up an evil network in order to succeed where countless others have failed and achieve world domination.
A Lesson In Villainy
The original Evil Genius was released back in 2004 and has since become a cult classic. This direct sequel carefully balances aspects of the original that fans know and love with new characters, features, traps, and more. The team is incredibly passionate about the franchise and has frequently stated that their aim is to “deliver the sequel Evil Genius deserves.”
In this preview build, we played through the surprisingly in-depth and lengthy tutorial as returning Evil Genius Max on the Crown Gold Island you’ll have seen in the trailer. We played in campaign mode, and while it was described as a tutorial, the instruction is wrapped into the narrative in a way that guides you without feeling intrusive or annoying.
Different rooms and minion types are unlocked through a series of short stories that not only explain the purpose of each room or minion but also allow you to engage in a little light kidnapping and torture. This is due to the fact that in order to train new types of minions you need to locate specialists around the world, abduct them and learn their secrets.
These side stories are accompanied by optional tasks as well as the Geniuses main narrative. All three types of quest work together to produce an engaging storyline with amusing cut scenes and a huge array of puns that draw on all the Evil Genius stereotypes we know and love.
A Lair Fit For An Evil Villain
Lair building will invoke some echoes of villainy past for veteran gamers. Not only do the threads of the original run through the game but also homages to classic evil lair builder Dungeon Keeper. These are combined with a modern and quirky art style that evokes spy-fi of the 1960s and makes us yearn for a large chair and a cat to stroke.
All the basics are covered; food halls, barracks, and generators, as well as training and communication rooms, form the hub of your lair. These are complemented by more specific rooms such as an armory, vault, and med bay. You’ll also have a cover operation in the form of a casino which you can use to scam tourists and distract any agents who may come poking around.
Once your minions are trained and your vaults are full, you’ll expand into the true meaning of your lair, a doomsday device. In the preview, the doomsday device was locked but we were able to build an exquisite room just for Max. This included gaudy golden walls and the staples of every good evil genius; a ridiculously oversized desk and a huge boardroom table for planning evil schemes.
Traps And Traitors
It wouldn’t be an Evil Genius game without traps and you’ll be glad to know they are back with a vengeance. In the preview, we had access to only a limited amount of corridor-based trickery but it was enough to make us long for more.
Giant boxing gloves and freeze traps appear to be Max’s first options and both look awesome when set off by agents or pesky traitors trying to escape your evil clutches. Who doesn’t want to watch their enemies become a giant popsicle or fly across a corridor cartoon-style?
We’ve been assured that more traps are coming and we’re excited to see what else we can line our corridors with and just how many traps in a row we can place.
The World Map
The world map is used to set up criminal networks and build up your cash reserves. You’ll be able to scout out different locations and set up low-level crime networks that passively generate an income. You can also actively choose to deploy minions to pull off larger heists for more rewards but with a higher risk.
The world map can mostly tick over with minimal interaction but benefits from your involvement. This is because the crimes your minions commit will build up heat in each area. If the heat gets too high then that area will be locked down, with your minions being arrested or fleeing, and requiring time and more minion power to rebuild.
You can choose from schemes that generate a cash reward, or those which reduce the heat on your network. Balance is key when looking to increase funding for your evil plans. As you progress further through the game these networks can be upgraded, unlocking more types of schemes.
This preview was just a small sample of what’s to come and the team has promised more details and announcements are to come in the next few weeks.
Access to a PC preview build of Evil Genius 2: World Domination was provided to TheGamer for this preview. Evil Genius 2: World Domination launches on Steam on March 30, 2021.
Next: Evil Genius 2: World Domination Interview: Venus Spy Traps, Shark Tanks And Bond Villains
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Helen began playing games at an early age with her first computer being a hand-me-down Sinclair ZX Spectrum. It didn’t put her off… She is all grown up now but is still a gamer at heart, especially when it comes to The Sims and other strategy and simulation games.
She juggles the daily demands of life with a family and somehow still finds the time to indulge her two passions in life, writing and gaming; sometimes both at the same time.
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