Want to be an evil mastermind with the single goal of world domination? I didn’t think I would be until I started playing Evil Genius 2: World Domination. Evil Genius 2 is part of the apparently popular Evil Genius series developed and published by Rebellion Developments and is a single player real time strategy and simulation game that I should have started playing long before this. The Evil genius series allows you to take control of a criminal mastermind and ready your lair to take over the world.
I’ve never played an Evil Genius game myself, but I love base build games where you make your own world, city, factory, and office-space; you name it I enjoy it. I love the simplicity of the idea coupled with the complexity that you can get to with your own ingenuity of how to use the space you have. Evil Genius 2: World Domination allows you to choose one of four evil geniuses, each with their own specialization.
You start the game and select your master mind; I personally went with Zalika which is the mastermind who specializes in science since I’m always a fan of increasing the pace at which I research upgrades for early head starts. Zalika allowed me to increase my scientists research rate by using one of her special abilities to cast an aura around her, I do this best by positioning her in a way that my aura would affect the most minions possible. After you select your mastermind, you select one of three islands to build your secret base on and start your nefarious deeds. Each mastermind has their own perk and there is no wrong or best choice; it all depends what you want to focus on.
As I have never played an Evil Genius game I started the campaign mode with the help section enabled so that I could learn as I play. Evil Genius 2: World Domination slowly introduces you to everything from room creation so that you can allocate your limited space for each specific room such as barracks so that you can increase your minion capacity, cafeteria to keep them fed and break rooms so they don’t go insane from being overworked, which I try to not do because I am a nice evil mastermind. The game walks you through not just building your base but also hiring more diverse minions such as mercenaries, valets, scientists, and engineers. I really like the fact that you can just hire minions from some apparent minion temp agency that exists in the world and then train them to specialized roles. The way that you unlock said roles is also something you must accomplish in game via a mission to kidnap someone of that role and then interrogate them, usually with death being the result, until they teach you how to be as good as them. The quirkiest ones are the entertainers and valets, you couldn’t just read a book or two for that one?
While the game hand holds you for the major plot points if you play with the help enabled it also allows you to make mistakes without stopping you, which I found out early on when I didn’t take the space I had and the power I was generating into account and started to invest in a ton of rooms such an armory, surveillance and intel room only to realize I had just thrown my base into darkness due to not having enough power, so there I go building generators to make up for what I had just done. You can easily go overboard if you don’t think ahead in your planning. Only about five hours into the game did I realize I could build stairs to reach the lower parts of the island I had chosen and further expand my lair, albeit after I researched the proper technology to help me dig through bedrock and such.
Research is another part of Evil Genius 2: World Domination because without selecting a research item your technology and weapons will never improve and the spies entering your casino front will start to infiltrate your secret base and attack. Research not only allows you to gain weapons and new rooms but also improves stats on your minions that you have recruited and trained to make them that much stronger, so it is a key part of World Domination and shouldn’t be left behind.
I mentioned each minion can be trained and you will have to pay them all which is where missions start to come in. Missions are located on the world map after you send off some scouts to create an outpost. Those minions are gone for good, as they retire after every mission completed to enjoy their riches or infamy they have garnered via completing them. Missions also have requirements of intel needed and specific minion roles that can complete them. Don’t have enough specialized minions; you aren’t even getting to attempt those missions then, which is why it’s important to keep training them. Evil Genius 2: World Domination 2 does a great job of doing this for you by allowing you to set parameters like always having X amount of Y minions, as the game progresses though you will find having to increase that as costs go up which is why building your base properly is so important, every inch matters especially your vault space, which is where your gold is stored on your island.
As I mentioned, when you progress you will start getting spies checking out your base, so you must start defending yourself and your island. Depending on the island chosen you may have limited capacity in the beginning, so training your minions and researching is important. Each mastermind has an endgame they are aiming for with the ultimate goal of world domination to win the game. From my experience Zalika has a “V.O.I.D” device which will brainwash the whole world to serve her; the others are much more straightforward like a doom device for world domination. As the spies get smarter you will have to start using different tactics to either keep them from ever infiltrating your base or “stop them from leaving” if you get my drift. You kill them, that’s my drift. You can arm your guards with weapons or create traps such as laser grids, giant punching fists that come out of the walls or flame throwers if you like them crispy. Keeping your “HEAT” down is going to keep your island safe but inevitably you will get attacked so be ready.
For being a strategy game on a console device I have top say they did a top-notch job of making sure nothing felt clunky and the game played smoothly. I didn’t run into any issues when utilizing the build menu or controlling my evil genius and moving them around the map or even minion management. The cameras were very versatile and allowed me to see exactly what I wanted without any weird boundary or angles that I couldn’t access.
Evil Genius 2: World Domination released on November 30th, 2021, for PlayStation 5 and is also on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PS4 for $39.99, which is personally a deal in my books after being introduced to it. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a strategy game as much as I have Evil Genius 2: World Domination on console and look forward to any DLC or updates they put out.