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June 2021

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 March 19, 2021 @ 9:00 a.m. PDT

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

In Evil Genius 2: World Domination, players take on the role of one of four different dastardly mischief-makers as they build up from a small island lair to a fortress with its own doomsday weapon.

After our initial preview a few weeks ago, we had another chance to play Evil Genius 2. This time around, we had our hands on the full version of the game, so we could play around with more of the evil genius simulator. Make sure to check out our first preview for a larger overview of the gameplay, but we saw some new things in the latest build.

A neat new feature that we checked out was the Crime Lord mechanic. While your first henchman is given to you by default, you'll quickly find that one henchman isn't enough, and you'll need to recruit more by defeating rivals throughout the world and turning them to your cause. However, they won't take it sitting down and will sometimes fight back by sending their own minions to your base. It's a war on top of the existing war that you're fighting against the forces of justice, but it can be handsomely profitable.

We also experimented with the other geniuses, each of which does a good job of feeling significantly different. Each genius has their own storyline and set of powers. My personal favorite was Emma, who can effectively be defined as, "What if M turned evil?" Being an ex-agent of justice, she is a pro at deception and thrives on making sure nobody knows she is evil until it's too late. There's also Red Ivan, who is all about muscle to the point that if it comes down to it, he can get into a skirmish with agents and win by pulling out a huge bazooka. Zalika is focused on science and can single-handedly keep her base running and her minions learning.

There's a pretty lengthy tree of upgrades. You start off learning the basics, but before long, you can invent laser barriers, stronger drills to excavate more of your base, better weaponry, and — best of all — traps. The basic trap is a boxing glove on a spring that pops out of the wall, and they only get significantly more lethal from there. You can turn corridors into death traps, but if anything goes wrong, you could be the one paying the price. For example, I liked to put my most valuable areas (generators and vault) behind a number of traps, since it made it much more difficult to reach them, but doing so with commonly entered areas is asking for disaster.

After playing the updated build, Evil Genius 2 still feels exactly like I'd expect a modernized sequel of the original to feel. It features the same fun gameplay and tone, significantly more traps, villains, and things to build. After almost a 15-year wait, the long-awaited sequel is at our doorstep. Evil Genius 2: World Domination will hit PC on Mar. 30, 2021, and I'm practically cackling in delight.

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