Evil Genius 2: World Domination, the sequel to a PC cult classic launched 17 lengthy years in the past, sunk its hooks into me from the beginning with its pitch-perfect campy spy flick vibes. But it surely was the traps that made me fall in love with this enjoyable, but flawed gem.
In case the identify didn’t tip you off, in Evil Genius 2: World Domination you play as an evil genius hell-bent on world domination. After taking your choose of 4 totally different villains—I selected Maximilian Von Klein, a Dr. Evil lookalike and the star of the primary sport—you start developing your lair, beginning with a vault to carry your ill-gotten gold bars and slowly increasing till your secret volcanic island base is riddled with energy mills, interrogation chambers, coaching facilities, radio management rooms, all constructed by your loyal minions (who additionally want devoted areas to maintain their our bodies and minds in tip-top form).
Sure, Evil Genius 2 is a Dungeon Grasp-style base administration sport, augmented by a world map that has you constructing an evil community throughout the globe. When you’ve established a foothold in a rustic, you’ll be able to ship minions on nefarious schemes—financial institution heists, kidnapping plots, and so forth—that each earn you extra assets and generate “warmth” that may briefly lock down the world, proscribing you from launching missions there (although some schemes additionally scale back the warmth in an space).
That’s the place the Forces of Justice is available in—and people scrumptious traps.
Kicking up a ruckus in your evil genius’s quest to construct and deploy a Doomsday Gadget (every villain will get their very own, and their very own narrative marketing campaign) inevitably attracts the eye of the great guys. In time, more and more harmful investigators and brokers of the Forces of Justice begin poking across the on line casino that serves because the entrance on your secret lair. When you can groom valets to escort among the snoops out of your on line casino, many good guys will wind up discovering your base, intent on wreaking havoc and slaughtering minions. Until your snare them in traps that both outright kill them or go away them helpless on your muscular guards to mop up, that’s.
Traps lean onerous into the campy ludicrousness of Evil Genius 2: World Domination. You possibly can analysis all the things from freeze rays and poison dart partitions to shark swimming pools and a Little Store of Horrors-esque “Venus Spy Entice” that may gobble up unaware brokers complete. Every one comes with its personal hilarious assault animation. Seeing a boxing glove erupt from behind a hidden wall panel and sock an investigator within the face by no means will get previous.
The true attract comes from lure combos. The Forces of Justice can evade or disable some traps—particularly the uber-powerful Tremendous Brokers—however cleverly configuring your base’s corridors with overlapping traps could be devastating. Positive, a easy fan lure can blow an investigator into the wall for minor injury. However for those who prepare issues in order that the fan lure blows intruders again right into a shark tank or a wall of lasers, properly, now we’re speaking. I’ve been having a blast focusing my analysis bushes and base-building round eliminating good guys lengthy earlier than they’re anyplace close to essential services.
That’s to not say Evil Genius 2: World Domination is ideal. You received’t need to skip the tutorial, particularly for those who’re unfamiliar with the area of interest dungeon grasp style. Even the tutorial glosses over some technical intricacies you could find solely by mousing across the ample menus your self. It additionally might be clearer about how you may need to lay out your rooms and gadgets, as I discovered myself having to carry out a considerable overhaul to suit all the things just some hours in. Among the ideas from the video beneath—which was created by the developer—would’ve match properly into Evil Genius 2’s early sport.
Extra crucially, Evil Genius 2 finally settles into bouts of downtime whenever you’re ready for varied development and analysis tasks to complete up. There’s loads of ready round and twiddling your thumbs the additional you get into the sport. A quick-forward button helps, as does distracting your self with world map missions, however these international schemes largely really feel like a fantastic “select your individual journey” model of a menu display relatively than a compelling gameplay expertise of their very own, with all of the motion taking place offscreen.
I want I may automate the world map, truly, although doing so would depart you with treasured little to do whilst you’re ready in your varied base-building endeavors to finish. Fingers crossed that future steadiness patches even out the pacing a bit.
Don’t essentially let the downtimes dissuade you, although. There’s a satisfying sense of development to the sport, and I’ve been having a ton of enjoyable with Evil Genius 2. It is a excellent base administration sport propelled to even loftier heights by its implausible vibe. I discovered myself spending these downtimes merely basking within the wonderful minute-to-minute particulars of my mastermind’s base.
Evil Genius 2 completely oozes 1960s-style campy spy aptitude, which helps it each look and really feel wonderful. Each merchandise and researched talent matches that theme completely. The colourful visuals nail it with a cartoony look bolstered by exaggerated, usually hilarious animations. (I particularly adore interrogations.) A half-baked however nonetheless pleasant photograph mode helps showcase the unimaginable artwork.
The audio doesn’t disappoint both: Furnishings falls into place with a satisfying crash, the voice actors throw themselves into their over-the-top roles, and each sound impact I’ve heard thus far matches completely. The sensible musical rating buttresses all the things else with themes that might match into any zany espionage thriller. It really feels such as you’re taking part in an interactive model of Austin Powers, solely from Dr. Evil’s viewpoint.
I adore it. I’m additionally nowhere close to finishing it, however as soon as I do, Evil Genius 2 ought to maintain loads of replay worth. Every of the 4 masterminds presents their very own distinctive narrative marketing campaign and gameplay perks, whilst you can select from three totally different islands to function your lair, full with the power to dig deeper as you unlock extra instruments. Developer Revolt has already revealed plans to launch an extra Evil Genius, and recruitable henchmen increase your choices even additional. Should you don’t really feel like working your manner via a story marketing campaign, you can too hop right into a sandbox mode with limitless money the place you’ll be able to focus purely on base-building.
It took 17 lengthy years for Evil Genius to spawn a sequel, however the wait was worthwhile. Evil Genius 2: World Domination completely succeeds in making you are feeling like a moustache-twirling supervillain. That loving devotion to the texture of 60s spy flicks helps the sport keep entertaining even with its occasional slower patches and rougher edges, doubly so for those who performed and loved the unique.
Should you dig base managements sims or just need to fulfill your wildest Bond villain fantasies, Evil Genius 2 is price selecting up. It’s clearly a labor of affection from builders who maintain the unique cult basic deep of their hearts—and I may spend hours organising diabolical corridors filled with traps. Evil Genius 2: World Domination hits Steam on March 30 for $40.