Ingenious is well to take in, but Evil Genius 2 is a pleasant sequel that probably should have updated the concept a little more.
I shoot a random underdog for a few extra bucks, and I do it without even thinking about it. That’s when I realize that evil in Evil Genius 2 really is banal, in every way. In a good way. It lets you be a vicious villain, without having to have a particularly bad conscience about it.
Evil Genius 2 is a rather late sequel. The original was an entertaining mix of James Bond parody and strategy game in Dungeon Keeper-spirit, and that’s exactly what we’re getting this time too. For those who can accept that this is in many ways a game cast in a relatively outdated template, it is still a pretty nice concept – even if it also comes loaded with about the same frustrations as the first game did.
The basic premise is as enticing today as when the first game was released in 2004. You are a villain with a madness for greatness, and must build an empire and send your minions to take over the world. To reach your grandiose and vicious goals, you must build a well-functioning base, research new equipment and technology, make big money, and take the brunt of all noisy agents trying to infiltrate your base.
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What is it?
A brief description of the game.
Intel Core i5 7600k
16 GB RAM
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Old school evil
However, building a well-planned and efficient base is easier said than done, not least because you constantly have problems with a lack of both and have to build new rooms, or expand your old ones. Do not be surprised if you soon have a handful of rooms full of electric power plants, for example.
It’s getting pretty exhausting after a while, to be completely honest, and Evil Genius 2 has the same problem as its predecessor in that it becomes more laborious and lengthy rather than very difficult. The introductory hours are fast and fun and quickly introduce the different room types. But then the game brakes for a series of very time-consuming missions where it does not feel like you do much at all for far too many hours. The balance is a bit skewed, quite simply, and the concept would probably have needed to be updated a bit more in several respects.
It’s still fun to set traps for curious agents and rival supervillains, but it’s just as frustrating to see your stupid subversives die as flies in every other attack on your base, after which the entire base is full of corpses for a minor eternity. I really liked Evil Genius when it went, but just such moments of frustration prevented the game from becoming the immortal classic it should have been, so I had hoped for more improvements this time.
Despite the shortcomings, it is, ironically, more often sympathetic and convivial than annoying to play Evil Genius 2. One just has to be prepared that it, just like a typical Bond villain, is not at all as smart as it thinks it is.
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An entertaining but unbalanced strategy game that feels charmingly old-fashioned.