Review: Evil Genius 2


Posted on March 29, 2021 by David Rodriguez

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  • 8/10
    Total Score - 8/10
8/10

Summary

Evil Genius 2 makes good on the premise of the original. A superb concept is fully realized with  fun and intricate gameplay to back up stellar presentation.

Developer –Rebellion Developments

Publisher – Rebellion Developments

Release Date – March 30th, 2021

Platforms – PC

After a long stay in a villains only super prison, Evil Genius 2 has finally escaped. The world is different, but the name of the game remains. Build an evil lair, recruit henchmen, and try to takeover the world.

In the time since Evil Genius released, the entire Tycoon genre pretty much took a long hiatus. RTS and Sim games went into extinction warning levels of scarcity, and it seemed to remain that way for a while.

Thankfully, that all went away, and like poetry, we’ve come full circle. Evil Genius was a fun but flawed title, and with the resurgence of the genre, it would need to be more than a fun concept to have any chance in a suddenly crowded genre.

Evil Genius released on the tale end of the Tycoon genre with a great take on the formula. Instead of a mayor, business manager or small family, you played as a dastardly criminal mastermind. Think classic 60’s James Bond and less Austin Powers, and you have the right idea.

Playing as the three different leaders provided a unique choice of henchmen. This henchmen actually provided the bulk of the game’s variety. Each one had a special look, voice, and a multitude of different buffs and areas of expertise that touched the entire span of the game.

Alas, despite it’s unique flair and outstanding visual presentation, Evil Genius did have some clunk areas and the two halves of the game, lair management and world domination, both felt lacking a depth needed to truly sink lots of time into the game after a single playthrough.

Right away the Villains themselves stand out more. In the first game they never amounted to enough differences to warrant replayability.

More unique traits and flair help them standout compared to their primary henchmen. The minions that work inside your base. Whether they are building new rooms or getting beat up by good guys truly stand out due to the excellent visuals.

The entire game essentially follows on the original premise. Lair management is akin to Dungeon Keeper. Expand your island, and set traps and devious schemes to thwart any good guys or Super Agents who try to stop you.

As you generate schemes and build up infamy, you get more heat from local law enforcement. As your heat rises, more frequent attacks and tougher agents will get sent in to stop you.

It’s a fun mechanic, and it really provides a bridge that make the two different forms of management come together. Every choice in one area will have an effect on the other. Even more than different villains and islands, those choices are what drive the gameplay variety and already want me to experiment with completely different builds and playstyles for subsequent sessions.

The end game is a lot of fun, and as the base grows and the traps grow more intimate, I would still enjoy watching Super Agents trying to thwart my actions.

Even better is the different leaders truly lend themselves to more than one sessions worth of fun. Unique buildings, henchmen and gameplay styles don’t change much early, but by mid to late game you will almost guaranteed have a completely unique set-up than the first time through.

Evil Genius 2 is a marked improvement from the original. It’s not perfect, and some bugs did crop up although they never caused an real issues. If you enjoyed the original, despite it’s flaws, then Evil Genius 2 is a great entry for old fans and newcomers to the thriving tycoon genre.

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David Rodriguez is a former writer at Rectify Gaming.