Many years ago, the world’s most brilliant supervillains were locked away by a secret organization called the Agency, in a prison that could only be reached by a single-use transport device. Now that the device has been stolen, it’s up to the Doctor and his crack team of heroes to stop the evil masterminds from getting free and using their powers to conquer the world! Despite being clones of the original villains, these heroes are no pushovers—they are far more competent than their evil counterparts.

Being a secret agent isn’t easy–especially when you’re a secret genius. Between hours spent decoding secret messages and stroking your evil genius beard, you’ll also have to carry out your evil plans. But will you be able to take over the world? In the Evil Genius 2: World Domination PC game, you get to play as a supervillain and build your very own secret base to carry out your nefarious plans.

If you’ve ever wanted to be an evil genius, now’s your chance. It took the original Evil Genius a few years to spawn a sequel, but it was worth the wait. The latest installment in the Evil Genius franchise brings more of what you loved about the first game, but with improved graphics and gameplay and an entirely new world to conquer.

word-image-6320   I have a weakness for management games and dungeon builders, so it’s no surprise that Evil Genius appealed to me. Elixir’s 2004 strategy game had a seemingly obvious concept that no one had explored before: What if you were a villain – a Bond villain with an underground lair, pursuing multiple international criminal projects and seeking world domination? The game was successful enough – the gameplay was far from perfect – but a year later Elixir Studios filed for bankruptcy and Rebellion took over the rights to all their intellectual property. Let’s travel to 2021 and see the first real sequel to Evil Genius: Evil Genius 2 : World Domination, released under the Rebellion banner. word-image-6321   World Domination isn’t just a sequel to the first game, it’s a true spiritual successor that borders on a remake, essentially taking the concept and gameplay of the original but expanding on it in almost every way. Unfortunately, the development team has stuck to its roots a little too much this time around, and all the problems of Evil Genius 1 have remained completely unchanged and frustrating. Evil Genius 2, like its predecessor, is a strategy game in which the player has the freedom to design and build their own multi-story underground lair in a mountain on an island. There are currently three different base locations, each with their own layout and features. One island has plenty of room to build, but spies can sneak in through the loading dock, for example, while another has a little less diggable rock, but is impenetrable enough to force any incoming contact through the main entrance. word-image-6322   In fact, the islands look exactly the same, apart from the location of certain geographical features, although they are located in completely different oceans. And the islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans have exactly the same azure water of the Caribbean Sea as that of the Atlantic, and the color palette and texture of the surface are also identical. Oddly enough, there are still a few islands on the map that you can’t choose from, hinting at a new base expansion or DLC in the future that should increase the number of starting locations you can choose from. In addition to the island, you can also choose one of four different supervillains to become your avatar in the game: Maximilian, the main villain of the franchise, who is somewhere between Dr. Evil and 007’s Blofeld; Red Ivan, a militaristic Soviet who resembles Mr. Bison; Zalika, a technological genius; and Emma, a former spy turned villain. Each of the evil geniuses has their own objectives and specializations in the campaign, as well as fully voiced unit calls and short dialogues in the cutscenes, giving a more complete picture of their personalities than if we were limited to unit portraits. word-image-6323   word-image-6324   word-image-6325   word-image-6326   Maximilian is a multimillionaire obsessed with wealth, with no specific specialization. His ability thus allows him to immediately train all ordinary servants within the scope of one of the specializations. Red Ivan is a military genius who is able to hire and maintain guards at low cost and immediately destroy all intruders on the base with a four-barrel rocket launcher. Zalika is science oriented, so not only can she give researchers a hand, but she can also immediately fix any broken equipment in the area. For Emma, it’s all about the people, so her niche is focused on misdirection, distraction, and henchmen. To give some context: Minions and minions are characters and units in Evil Genius 2. The Minions are special individuals with super powers and unique abilities, each with a unique background, such as a hacker, an assassin or an artificial intelligence in a metal body. Their number is limited, they are recruited in special side missions and can be deployed in battle as the personal bodyguard of the evil genius when your base is hacked. word-image-6327   Servants are the bread and butter of your evil camp. Ordinary minions – the men and women responsible for building your rooms and arranging the furniture – are automatically hired every 10 seconds or for a one-time fee of $10,000. They need food, beds and rest areas, as well as the infirmary, and their number is determined by the number of lockers in the barracks. By kidnapping a specialist in the world and interrogating him on base, you can train your subordinates in specialized tasks in the training room. Train guards and technicians respectively to guard the base and repair equipment, or scientists and rangers to discover new technologies and distract tourists and cops from hiding your casino. word-image-6328   This cover operation is one of the biggest changes from the original, where you had to build an entire casino elsewhere on the island, completely separate from the entrances to your underground base. In Evil Genius 2, this hideout is an integral part of your hideout: the casino serves as a cover for your nefarious plans and has at least one door that leads directly to your hideout. Tourists and cops arrive on a huge yacht on the pier at the entrance to the casino and slowly make their way inside. The casino can be set up like any other part of your base and should be guarded, but you can’t put obvious elements like traps or secure doors in there. Oddly enough, you can’t put cameras there either – this decision was made purely for balance sheet reasons, and it actually hinders effective base defense. word-image-6329   This is important for two main reasons: The casino is not the only entrance to your island, as there is a loading dock and a helicopter pad next to the base; and Evil Genius 2 is so bad on security that I’m not sure it’s a mistake. Despite the fact that the base is patrolled by guards, the corridors are monitored by surveillance cameras, and there are henchmen at the surveillance consoles who can spring into action at any moment if intruders are spotted, all characters and objects in the game, with the exception of traps, seem unaware of the existence of enemies. I spent a week in Evil Genius 2 for testing, and in all that time I never saw security sneak an intruder into the base. I also never saw a guard stop an alien for questioning, raise the alarm, or respond to an obvious intrusion by law enforcement – unless I manually flagged an intruder to be killed or arrested, everyone on base simply ignored that law enforcement representative, as if he were not a clear and present threat to the operation. word-image-6330   Oddly enough, even the guards were not involved in the burning, despite the officers walking around on camera. Instead, any henchman or guard who passed a marked enemy would advance toward him and lose a one-on-one battle, which meant I was constantly losing dozens of henchmen for every spy who took out these highly trained agents one by one. You’d expect an intruder to be automatically spotted by unmarked cameras or guards to run after a known intruder, but instead the AI doesn’t seem to notice enemies until the player controls and marks them. This would be bad enough if it only happened occasionally, but since law enforcement relentlessly sends a team of detectives every 5 minutes, you end up having to arrange your security hundreds of times an hour, which eventually becomes very annoying and tedious. Speaking of micromanagement, we also get to the mechanism of global schemes, where you can set up criminal operations around the world and run international schemes to get money and other bonuses. These plans range from stealing $10,000 in three minutes to cooking Alaska, and they add an extra layer of depth to the game in the form of land capture and slowing down the actions of law enforcement. While the map itself is nice, the interface is unfortunately rather poor: you can often only see one project at a time in a region, and it’s hard to see at a glance in which region the project is already underway. When you consider the fact that you have to manually complete dozens of events every 30 minutes or risk having the crates empty right away, not to mention all the special ruses to kidnap people or perform special operations, you end up with a mediocre level that ends up being more of a chore than a pleasure. word-image-6331   However, none of these flaws come close to being the worst aspect of Evil Genius 2: Despite being a strategy game, Evil Genius is surprisingly terrible in its controls. The management aspect of the game is just terrible: Subordinates cannot feed in dining room in , scientists constantly hang around in idleness, leaving research breaks and all scientific equipment unused, and guards would rather waste their time on promiscuous walks than sit in the waiting room responding to threats. Each of these problems causes the game to not run properly, and because they follow constantly and in sequence, it has led to quite a few ruined games due to base destruction, as 90% of the minions just stop doing their job and stare at the walls like sims stuck in a room. In one case, I had technicians not fixing things for an hour and walking around the base with a status of no, while at the same time my scientists were not working due to lack of sleep and kept going to the barracks and looking at various empty beds, then turning around and walking around the base aimlessly again. This caused all items in the dining room and living room to break, which meant that all types of minions were suddenly unable to replenish their stats, making the game unplayable. This chain reaction happened at least three times during the week I played the game. word-image-6332   Poor artificial intelligence in a management game like this is already a problem, but it’s made infinitely worse by the total lack of control given to the player. I felt completely helpless and unable to fix the problem, because the game did not allow me to fix the problem – in terms of controls, there is literally nothing to do. You can’t assign specific tasks to a particular person, you can’t prioritize work in rooms or stations so subordinates prioritize certain tasks, and you can’t manually order someone to go somewhere, Dungeon Keeper-style. The only way to influence the minions’ behavior is to bring your evil genius into the room and use his special, timed ability to prioritize the objects in range – a ridiculously bad solution to a huge problem that doesn’t work as a game design or immersion factor. This cuts the fun of the game in half. What starts out as an awesome and extremely polished experience quickly cracks, and Evil Genius becomes so intense it’s impossible to play. Not being able to give a simple command to a useless servant while playing a dictatorial supervillain not only breaks the immersion of the game, but also makes the gameplay terrible when the AI isn’t always doing its job. word-image-6333   The game looks and sounds good. Rebellion didn’t skimp on the graphics and sound, and even enlisted Brian Blessed and Pierce Brosnan, Samantha Bond’s 007 Moneypenny, to speak in the voices of Red Ivan and Emma. The dialogues are clearly recorded separately, making the cutscenes sound less like a conversation and more like a series of separate sound clips linked together. The music, however, is incredible. James Hannigan is back from Evil Genius 1, and he’s praising the original soundtrack. The main theme gets a makeover, with a larger and richer orchestral accompaniment, and the game’s other tracks range from 60s-inspired bossa nova lounge music to real-life spy motifs that would fit into any Daniel Craig movie. word-image-6334   To be fair, Evil Genius 2 managed to expand almost all the features of the original, but failed to fix the main problems. The original 2004 game also suffered from a severe lack of control and management tools, and Rebellion overlooked all of that when developing the sequel. As appropriate and poetic as it may be to defeat evil through incompetence, it creates a truly horrifying gaming experience when a player fails in a game because they are not given the tools to succeed when the game misbehaves. It ruins a great game that is very well done, and the obstacles are too big to ignore – Rebellion has managed to make the concept of launching international plans for world domination a boring exercise.

EVIL GENIUS 2 : VERDICT OF WORLD DOMINATION

A decent sequel that became unplayable due to poor artificial intelligence and the inability to directly influence the people working for you.

BEST PART OF THE GAME

Expand the base by a few floors and create good obstacle points to get around the rather stupid AI.

Good vs Bad

  • Great graphics
  • Brilliant music
  • The basic structure is fun and spans several levels
  • The game’s difficulty options are quite extensive and allow you to customize many gameplay factors.
  • A lot of micromanagement
  • Lack of ability to direct subordinates to a location or task, creating error conditions independent of the player’s actions.
  • The basic AI doesn’t notice intruders unless they are flagged by the player, making the player feel like an employee of a surveillance camera rather than an evil genius.
  • Lots of AI issues and feature errors that could be serious bugs or really bad design decisions, but are hard to discern.

When simulation games were first introduced, they seemed like a novelty and catered to a very niche audience. However, as technology has improved, so have the graphics and the complexity of the games. Today, simulation games not only entertain those who prefer to lead, but also those who want to be led. (That is, the ones who genuinely want to be evil.). Read more about evil genius 2 release date and let us know what you think.

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