Evil Genius 2

Icon - Calendar Released: 30 Mar 2021
Icon - Edited Reviewed: 15 Apr 2021
Platform: PC

Evil genius 2

Evil Genius 2 is a game about building a secret volcano lair and taking over the world. It's got a really solid art style and general aesthetic, and it's pretty fun to play, at least at the beginning. I love the humour and the animations of your minions. The building system is pretty flexible, and there's a decent amount of stuff going on. It's a shame that underneath the initial gleam, the gameplay actually feels pretty shallow, and there are several usability problems that make it quite frustrating as the game goes on.

Pros

  • Great animations on minions and the objects they use
  • Really nice art style
  • Voiced tutorial
  • Runs really well. Still getting 200fps in a busy base
  • There's a research system (although it's really slow)
  • The building / blueprints system is pretty flexible - but clunky at the same time. It's really intelligent at queing up things to be bought and sold, resizing rooms etc (whereas Two Point Hospital throws everyone out of a room as soon as you move a plant)
  • Background music is catchy and unobtrusive
  • You can play as different bosses & have different base layouts
  • You can interrogate prisoners (and minions)
  • You can set traps - although they seem to be pretty pointless
  • You can shoot your minions and shout "You have failed me for the last time!"
  • You actually don't have to have walls around a whole room, which means you can put floorspace for one room inside another. For example, you can mix a staff room and a barracks so minions can restore smarts and morale together. This is good, but it also feels like a workaround to a pretty clunky base mechanic where certain objects can only go in certain rooms.
  • Influences from Bond / Austin Powers / Despicable Me

Cons

  • It gets pretty repetitive pretty quickly. Although the base building looks great from a distance, it basically boils down to "build more stuff where there's space for it". There isn't much in the way of optimisation, you just build more rooms when you need more of something.
  • The world stage seems pretty simplistic, almost like a mobile game. Send minions to do either the quick expensive mission or the long cheap one. Then send them to do the quick expensive heat reduction mission or the cheap long one.
  • I can't tell technicians to fix specific machines
  • Finding which countries aren't doing anything on the world map is annoying. There's no list, I have to look at each one individually
  • Objects can only go in certain rooms, unless you build floor tiles for them. Having to flick between each room building mode and it's items is pretty annoying
  • There's no glossary or anything in the game of how things work, so if I want to know, for example, "What do investigators do", I have to look it up online (and usually get results from Evil Genius 1)
  • If I'm trying to redesign a room, I can't temporarily move an item out of the way if there's not much space, I have to sell it
  • If you start the game with the tutorial enabled, it seems you're eased in very gently where there are almost no investigators and lots of free money. However, starting a game on normal - there are waves of 5 investigators at a time pretty much 5 minutes into the game, and you die pretty consistently 20 minutes into the game as wave after wave of investigators show up. Seems there are some major balance issues with the normal game.
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