Title: Evil Genius 2
Platforms: PC (reviewed on)
Release Date: March 30, 2021
Have you ever wanted to be a ruthless, capitalistic, mastermind with the intention of taking over the world? Have you ever considered hiring hundreds of minions, working them to the bone, and then just sending them away when they are no more use to you? Do you consider yourself an evil genius?
Then may I interest you in applying for Amazon management… I mean, may I interest you in playing Evil Genius 2.
Evil Genius 2 is a game about building yourself an evil lair that you can use to take over the world. You can hire minions, build all sorts of over-the-top machines and contraptions, and spread your influence across the globe.
Does it feel the needs of the evil capitalists inside all of us? We take a look at the game and see.
Evil Genius 2 is obviously a satirical look at the spy stories of old. The villains are obvious homages to the stereotypical imagery for the genre, the goofy animation and gadget designs are clearly inspired by the cartoony styles of MAD magazine and other spy cartoons/comics, and the music is clearly inspired by 90s and 80s James Bond scores.
The game manages to make its visual style look fantastic! The cartoony style looks great: it makes all of the gadgets look menacing yet goofy, gives all of the character designs this loving mix between Team Fortress 2 and “Inspector Gadget,” and makes the game a ton of fun to explore.
The animations are largely just as great. They are mostly goofy, fun, and keep the game moving. There are a few shortcomings here (the fight animations are so much worse than literally any other animation in the game). Even if they get a little repetitive, there are so many animations to see that they stay fresh for a while.
However, the presentation is not perfect, and that largely has to do with the games’ music, or lack thereof. While in the base building portion of the game (the portion where players will spend most of the game), the only song that plays is a 15 to 20-second bond-esque musical loop. It gets boring, and even annoying after a while, and had me pulling up my own Spotify after a few hours.
The primary part of Evil Genius 2’s gameplay sees the player designing and building a base while juggling a few resources. The player has to balance money, power, manpower, and to a smaller extent, space, to build the most effective base that fills all of their needs. You are going to need a cash vault, a generator room, some barracks, a prison area, a communication room, some cafeteria space, training, and research areas, and all of those things work against those resources.
Whenever the base gets built up a bit and the player is able to establish a communication room, then it is time to focus on conquering the world. After putting together the communication area, the player can start sending minions to areas around the globe to spread the influence of their criminal enterprise. When in these countries, the minions could run schemes to make money for the player.
This is where the majority of the player’s money is going to come from because the schemes are worth a ton of cash. Whenever the player does a scheme that brings in cash, the base’s “heat” level raises, and when the heat is maxed out, that station is shut down. In order to lower the heat, the minion in that area can do a scheme that focuses on lowering heat.
It feels good to watch your bases build up and become more efficient and effective… Once.
The game does really lack re-playability because once you have conquered the world once, there are very few reasons to come back. There are so few factors that can really change from game to game, so why come back for game 2, let alone 3, 4, or 5?
It is very unfortunate that a game this good, with this much love and attention poured into it, is barely worth visiting more than twice. This game needs some more attractive gameplay loops: online competition, better combat options, different modifiers and added randomness. However, the base game lacks loops like that and it makes the game hard to push through a second game.
This is especially true because of how long the games can last. These sessions can last hours, and they drag through significant parts of those hours. Large sections of the game are just waiting for schemes to finish so you have money to build a generator, so you have the power to build the next section.
It is a fun experience in the first game, however, and worth visiting for that reason.
A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.