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Evil Genius 2: World Domination

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Rebellion
Release Date: March 30, 2021

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PC Preview - 'Evil Genius 2: World Domination'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on Feb. 16, 2021 @ 11:00 p.m. PST

Evil Genius 2: World Domination is a real-time, lair-management and world-domination simulation.

There are plenty of games about heroes and plenty of games about villains, but there are precious few games where you take the role of the evil madman in a volcanic lair, where you plot to drop the moon on Earth. The original Evil Genius was one of a few that filled the niche, and Evil Genius 2: World Domination is shaping up to be more of the same. You take on the role of one of four different dastardly no-goodniks as they build up from a small island lair to a fortress with its own doomsday weapon. Of course, various agencies with acronyms that sound like household objects are out to stop you, though H.A.M.M.E.R. may not quite be as kind as S.H.I.E.L.D. when it comes to taking down supervillains.

Evil Genius 2 is a base-building game, very much in the vein of Sim City, but it goes fora more relaxing game that's focused on keeping things running. The basic interface is incredibly straightforward. You have a small island base tied to a casino front, and you build corridors and rooms by dragging the space you want to fill. You then populate the rooms with various gadgets that let you do anything from interrogate superspies to watch TV. If you played the original Evil Genius, it feels similar, but there are more modern interface features that make it easier to pick up and play.


In a game about an evil genius, you don't have the normal concerns about resources. Money is critical to funding your ventures, but power and people are more important. Everything in your base requires power, and that requires generators, which take quite a bit of space and money. Generators are also extremely vulnerable to secret agents sneaking in and sabotaging them, so it can be a disaster if they pull it off during a critical moment. You'll need to balance having enough generators to run your lair, while not providing a vulnerable target to the forces of good.

On the other hand, minions are your bread-and-butter resource. Anything you do tends to require minions: building things on your base, hatching schemes, etc. Minions are generated at a steady rate as long as you have capacity and beds, but likewise, they tend to go out at just as fast a clip. A minion sent on a mission is forced to go into hiding even if they succeed, so they'll need to be replaced. This isn't micromanagement, though. Minion use and replacement is fairly automated as long as everything is up and running.

Of course, you can't do everything with generic minions. You'll also have to train specialists, who can perform tasks that nobody else can, such as guards, scientists or technicians. Specialists  require more effort to get and maintain. To gain the ability to train these minions, you must capture one of the specialists and bring them to your lair, where you can interrogate them and learn the skills of "playing cards" or "working out." Once learned, you can start training the minions, but they each require a specialized training station and time to be created. They also need to be kept healthy with various activities that can keep them intelligent, motivated and capable. Since minions are a resource, the specialist minions are important to running your lair and required to execute schemes across the globe.


Speaking of which, schemes around the globe are your primary method of making more cash. By establishing satellite bases everywhere, you can send your minions to engage in dastardly thefts. This takes time but gets you lots of spending money. The downside is that crimes can attract attention. You can engage in schemes to decrease attention, but it's a balance between making money and avoiding notice, and this is all done through a simple world map interface.

Of course, no evil lair would be complete without traps. As you gain attention, you'll encounter spies who try to sneak into your base. If they manage to get away, that can draw even more dangerous attention to your base, so your goal is to stop them. Killing is one option, but you can divert their attention until they leave or capture them to get more information. Traps are the most fun. You can create laser walls, hidden doors, boxing gloves that pop out of walls, etc. A properly established trap setup allows you to deal with agents that you haven't detected yet. You can also hire a powerful henchman who can take out weaker agents on their own. The final version of the game will have secret agents, who are more like a James Bond than a generic minion and will need everything you have to take them down.

From what our demo showed, Evil Genius 2: World Domination feels a lot like a modernized version of the original. The gameplay feels familiar, but there are new traps, new items, new henchmen, new secret agents, and more things to do. Our demo only gave us a brief taste of what the game has to offer, but as a fan of the original Evil Genius, I'm curious to see what secrets are in store when the title hits Steam on Mar. 30, 2021.



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