Dastardly villains always appear to lead a great life. They hide in monstrous mansions, have beautiful partners, and drive expensive cars. Therefore, it’s easy to see why people fantasise about running an evil empire. In 2004, Evil Genius was released on PC, allowing everyday gamers to run a criminal empire. Roll forward 17 years and its sequel Evil Genius 2: World Domination finally makes its full release.
This is a sandbox world domination title that was developed and published by Rebellion Developments. This massive game utilises multiple layers and approaches within each of its four campaigns. Furthermore, it offers DLC and an eclectic blend of villains, minions, and Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Evil Genius 2 allows you to be creative.
Evil Genius was much-loved and well received. Its fans obsessed over the gameplay and were begging for a sequel. Sadly, when it was released on PC in March 2021, it was full of glitches and bugs. Luckily, however, the developers have worked hard to rectify the situation. As we welcome the year 2022, the game is much improved, and I experienced few issues.
The action opens with the option of 4 villains and 3 Islands. Each offers a unique game style as well as new challenges, missions, and superweapons. You must build your cavernous base underground with an array of rooms to choose from. Here you will train your minions, research new technology, keep everyone healthy, or kill people to maintain order. It’s standard base-building mechanics, but it lays the foundations for the most interesting elements of the gameplay.
Base-building is fun, but global domination is where it’s at!
Unlike its peers, Evil Genius 2 is a bit of a slow-burner. The base-building stage is interesting as you complete minor quests and start to form your empire. But the latter portion of the campaign is where it excels. You’ll lay traps to stop enemy spies and train your minions in three categories: Muscle, Deception, and Science. Each has strengths and weaknesses and a healthy blend is essential for a well-oiled criminal lair.
Your minions are the footmen who unwittingly help you take over the world. Once you leave the subterranean level, you enter a board game-like interface of the global element. Here, your workers will undergo a multitude of missions to earn gold and wreak havoc. Subsequently, you’ll build a criminal network and recruit powerful minions known as a henchman.
All this hard work rewards your evil empire with the most desirable weapon of all, a Doomsday Device. This is the epitome of any super villains’ plans and leads you nicely into the final layer of gameplay.
The Forces of Justice!
Unsurprisingly, your evil plans don’t go unnoticed! Therefore, the further you expand, or the more crime you commit, raises unwanted attention. The Forces of Justice are the secret service that protects Earth from evil menaces, and they are a thorn in your side. However, this interference brilliantly brings every gameplay layer into action.
Your minions must protect the base by identifying suspicious individuals and utilising their specialist powers. This, combined with traps, a well-thought-out base layout, and maintaining order, should keep your devilish plans flowing.
Each James Bond wannabe stops at nothing to thwart your plans, and it can be increasingly challenging to juggle every element. Yet, this difficulty is what makes it extremely moreish.
Evil Genius 2 looks great on a console.
RTS and base-building games are better suited to PC, yet Evil Genius 2 looks and feels wonderful on a console. Its free-flowing camera pans and zooms smoothly, and the imagery is detailed. Furthermore, there is a nice variety of character models to keep you interested. Alongside this, the moments of cinematic are fun, filled with humour, and are a welcome distraction from the action. I experienced no visual glitches, frame rate issues, or bugs. Subsequently, it was a pleasure to look at and play.
I enjoyed the audio and its blend of emotive songs, dialogue, and sound effects. It plays to the clichés of the theme and this adds to the humorous moments. Sadly, though, it fails to repeat the brilliance of Evil Genius and I was disappointed that it wasn’t as atmospheric as the first instalment.
Surprisingly good controls.
If you love the genre, you’ll appreciate using a mouse and keyboard over a controller. Yet, Evil Genius 2 is both easy and rewarding to play with a gamepad. Its excellent UI allows you to navigate the masses of menus with ease. Also, the option to pause the action slows the gameplay while making everything manageable. Subsequently, it’s one of the most straightforward games in the genre that I’ve tackled.
With around 80 to 100 hours of campaign action, this is a meaty and challenging sandbox RTS. With an array of styles, missions, and more to experience, this is a super addictive title. Therefore, it has bags of replay value and its longevity is helped by the large and tough achievement list.
Evil Genius 2: An excellent sequel.
Not every sequel is successful. However, Evil Genius 2 uses its well-laid foundation brilliantly. The well-thought-out controls and excellent graphics make it a user-friendly experience from the off. I loved the choice of islands and villains and this keeps the action fresh. Yes, the audio wasn’t as good as the first, but this is its only shortcoming. Xbox gamers can try this for free on Game Pass, or I recommend you to buy it here! Being good is tedious! Why not build a lair, develop a Doomsday device, and rule the world?