Do you ever dream of leaving it all behind and moving to a remote tropical island where you can focus on the things that really matter, like making time for your plans of world domination? Evil Genius 2: World Domination throws you the keys to your own deserted island paradise and lets you live a life full of sun, surf, and devilishly dangerous doomsday devices.
Evil Genius 2 is a real-time base building game, brimming with 1970s spy movie kitsch and smart workflows. Players pick one of four larger-than-life Evil Geniuses with which to play out their supervillain fantasies, each presenting with their own special abilities and bonuses to help grow a burgeoning empire. They’re cartoonishly larger than life, which is entirely on point for this game. It’s more Austin Powers than James Bond, but that’s exactly how it needs to be.
The life blood of any good supervillain HQ is your minions, and you’ll need to manage and dispose of them constantly to keep your nefarious schemes afloat. There are multiple tiers of minions to recruit and train. Your basic minions will dig tunnels, carry purchased equipment and perform basic roles, but for the truly heavy lifting you need to train your minions to perform specific roles like security for your base, or as scientists to study developments in technology. The late game of Evil Genius 2 is particularly tricky when you’re constantly balancing your resource levels and training up new minions to take the place of some that you’ve sent on missions, some who’ve been killed by spies or saboteurs, and others who you’ve simply dispatched because they displeased you.
“Can’t these spies just leave us to conduct our evilness in peace?!”
During your first hour of evil lair building, you’re constantly on the verge of bankruptcy. Balancing the fine line between what you need to build out your resources, and sending your minions out to earn money through nefarious schemes. Mostly, you need to build massive power farms to support your internal systems, and simultaneously find ways to earn the precious dollars required to research upgrades. It can get a little bit grindy at first, but it soon picks up speed, until you’ve completely snowballed into a tight mesh of interconnecting and reliant microsystems. It feels a little like juggling a dozen eggs, especially when those dastardly do-gooders sneak into your base and blow up your command centre or set fire to your generators. Can’t these spies just leave us to conduct our evilness in peace?!
By the time you’ve developed a multi-tiered super lair, bursting with minions and managing dozens of ongoing schemes, you’ll barely remember why you made most of the decisions that you did. Redesigning your lair is definitely a mid-game priority, which will not only ensure a constant flow of resources coming in, but that your minions are in good spirits, and your boobytrap layout protects the areas that matter the most, and surprisingly that space is most often not your vault.
Making money in Evil Genius 2 comes primarily from establishing criminal networks in countries around the world, and then using your minions to conduct schemes or special missions designed to unlock more dastardly delights for you to deck out your fortress. You’ll be kidnapping scientists, bribing governments and pulling off heists, all of which raise your “Heat” level with the world authorities. The Forces of Justice will start by sending out teams of investigators to get a feel for your sinister schemes, but once things heat up enough, superspies will be terrorising your base and blowing things up with reckless abandon.
Luckily, you’re able to research anti-spy measures to protect your most valuable assets. Lining your corridors with laser fences, shark tanks and the fantastically named “Puppy of Death” is essential to keeping those pesky spies at bay. At first you can manage the occasional intrusive investigator with nothing more than your jacked-up security force, or just by throwing wave after wave of your own minions at them. While the latter isn’t possibly the best use of your resources, it is nonetheless an effective strategy. Just make sure to have at least one furnace available to… umm… take care of the evidence.
Controls on the console version take a little getting used to. They’re slightly less intuitive than you want them to be, although working with a square grid structure can help when building out your mountain lair. The navigation between menu options seems a little complicated, and even the PC version can make for a few awkward placements or janky moments with the camera.
Evil Genius 2: World Domination is a thoughtfully slow, base building sim that straddles a razor thin line between artful management and complete chaos. You might have to be a true genius to deal with the sheer volume of microsystems, plans, plots and schemes all running at the same time. For any budding supervillains amongst us – and you know who you are – may all your schemes be successful!
Evil Genius 2: World Domination is available now on PS5, Xbox and PS4.