Evil Genius 2 sounds zany and intelligent in idea: You management a maniacal overlord who tries to take over the world by constructing a sprawling base stuffed with disposable minions and devious traps. Plus, it’s all wrapped in trendy audio and visible riffs on ‘60s spy films. This was additionally the identical pitch as its predecessor (which launched in 2004), however the sequel leverages new options and know-how to carry the idea to a contemporary viewers. Nonetheless, the inelegant methods and unsatisfying development throw a wrench within the grand plan.

I reviewed the unique Evil Genius for Sport Informer, however you don’t want any familiarity with the primary recreation to grasp this one. In truth, Evil Genius 2 hits so many related notes that you just’ll in all probability take pleasure in it extra should you go into it recent. However no matter your prior expertise, Evil Genius 2 shines brightest in the course of the opening tutorial. It progressively introduces an array of various choices in your base, like an internal sanctum along with your spectacular throne, and the power to coach guards to defend your corridors. This regular unlocking of gadgets to construct and subordinates to coach left me enthusiastic about my lair’s trajectory and the way my operation would ultimately increase. Sadly, as soon as all the fundamental room sorts can be found, all the things plateaus; you spend most of your time performing slight variations on the identical repetitive duties.  

The primary marketing campaign is a collection of missions that take you thru the method of conquering the world (every of the 4 obtainable geniuses has a singular doomsday gadget, which I like). However as an alternative of hatching schemes inside schemes, the restricted mechanics of Evil Genius 2 make every mission really feel just like the one earlier than it. You may solely organize “seize somebody, analysis one thing, prepare somebody, construct one thing” so many various methods earlier than they begin to bleed collectively.

Sure targets are additionally tied to ending duties on the world map – an abstraction that tries to make you to really feel like you will have international management, however solely offers irritating busywork by means of initiate-and-wait missions that gate your progress towards different duties. Your interactions on the map encompass clicking on pins and launching missions to earn cash; it’s a tedious mixture of shallow and needed, requiring simply sufficient babysitting to be distracting, however not sufficient depth to be attention-grabbing.

If you aren’t pursuing formal targets, you’re normally simply making an attempt to get extra of one thing. You want extra energy in your holding cells. You want extra traps to fend off infiltrating brokers. You want extra broadcast power to improve your prison networks. This type of ramp-up could also be anticipated from a technique recreation, however the issue is how few of those enhancements end in attention-grabbing modifications to your routine. They only really feel like numbers going up with no significant impact. And the upgrades that do make a distinction (like minions mechanically attacking trespassers, or having the ability to reduce by means of exhausting stone) aren’t obtainable till many hours previous the purpose you acknowledge the necessity for them. They’re nonetheless good once you get them, however the pacing of the development feels weirdly throttled.


For all of my complaints concerning the expertise, Evil Genius 2 nonetheless faucets right into a easy vein of diabolical leisure. It contains a humorous, cartoonish illustration of evil. I cackled as brokers triggered traps, cheered on my robotic assistant as she interrogated intruders, and steepled my fingers as I activated my doomsday gadget. The fun of optimizing your structure and allocating your workforce is satisfying; it’s typically simply buried beneath inconvenience. For that motive, I’d particularly advocate beginning up a recreation in sandbox mode after you end the principle tutorial. This mode provides you limitless sources and unlocks numerous choices that you just’d usually should play for hours to acquire. Although sandbox mode additionally lacks the clear construction to propel you ahead, it at the very least permits you to benefit from the enjoyable of base-building with out a number of of the annoyances that maintain the marketing campaign again.

Whereas taking part in Evil Genius 2, I couldn’t cease interested by the film Austin Powers. That in all probability appears pure at first; by way of their characters and normal aesthetic, each of them lampoon the early period James Bond movies. However that wasn’t what I used to be dwelling on. At one level in Austin Powers, Dr. Evil (who was cryogenically frozen for a few years) suggests a paltry ransom of “a million {dollars}.” His henchman wants to elucidate to him how instances have modified, and such a requirement doesn’t actually meet villainous requirements anymore. Identical to Dr. Evil, the Evil Genius identify has been on ice a very long time, and regardless of being stuffed with nefarious intent, this sequel’s strategies really feel outdated on the present world stage


By tracy