Evil Genius 2: World Domination proves that it’s sometimes good to be bad.
Released earlier in the year on PC, Evil Genius 2: World Domination is a satirical lair builder that puts you in control of a criminal mastermind. After choosing one of the four villains available and then one of the three lairs, it’s up to you to develop your base of operations and run nefarious schemes all around the world. Domination is the ultimate goal, but it’ll take a while to get there. In any case, if you’ve ever wanted to establish a criminal network from the comfort of your couch, now’s the time.
Jump into Evil Genius 2: World Domination‘s campaign mode and you’ll find that each of the four villains on offer has their own unique objectives to achieve. For that reason then, you might find yourself making your way through all of them. With so much to do to achieve their goals, however, it’s not something to be taken lightly. Starting from scratch, you’ve first got to establish your base of operations and make sure it has all the essentials. Only then, once you’re truly up and running, can you even start think about your grander plans, and world domination.
The lair you’ve chosen determines its basic layout, but from there it’s up to you how it’s developed. Initially you’ll be concerned with the bare essentials: somewhere for your minions to leave their belongings and sleep, generators to create power, and a vault to store your wealth. Soon enough though, you’ll want to think about expanding your operations to the world stage. Building a control room allows you to do that, and it’s then that Evil Genius 2: World Domination really opens up.
You’re able to switch between your lair and the world stage quickly and easily at any time. And managing both effectively is key to success in Evil Genius 2: World Domination. Back at your lair you’ll be making sure your organisation is running efficiently, training the personnel that you need, keeping up your front, and a whole lot more. On the world stage, however, you’ll be establishing a wider criminal network in which you can then run schemes. Most of these will simply pull in money, but others will open up new minion types and complete other story-focused objectives.
Throw in occasional visits to your lair by the Forces of Justice, and you’ll perhaps understand that you have some work on your hands. Fail to develop your lair effectively and your minions might grow to hate you, or you might even simply not be able to operate. Ignore the world stage, and you won’t find yourself progressing very far with your basic units and limited cash flow. And when the Forces of Justice come calling, you better make sure you’ve got a good way to distract them, or at least have some surly minions that can take them on in battle before disposing of their bodies.
Add in a research tree that allows you to further develop your criminal escapades over time and you have a game with a great amount of depth. And it won’t be lost on anyone thanks to a great tutorial that guides players through pretty much everything. It results in Evil Genius 2: World Domination being the type of game that you sit down to play and then hours are gone in the blink of an eye. Developing your lair and then using it to take over the world is wonderfully engrossing. There’s always a scheme to launch or an imminent visit by the Forces of Justice to keep you playing. And if you’d like to engage in the core gameplay without the campaign trappings, there’s Sandbox mode that allows you to do just that.
Playing on PS5 for review, Evil Genius 2: World Domination looks great. Zoom in and you can see all sorts of wonderful detail around your lair; it’s always amusing watching captured agents being interrogated. Zoom out, and you can see all your minions scurrying around like ants, performing their tasks. Either way, performance remains rock solid, even when your operations have grown to considerable levels. A valiant effort has been made in making sure the game plays well with a controller, too. It can be a bit fiddly at times, but on the whole pretty much everything is quickly accessible.
It’s the world stage that perhaps proves to be the biggest let-down of Evil Genius 2: World Domination. As the schemes you complete are passive affairs, there’s no real excitement to them; whether they’re to bring in money or complete a villain’s personal objective, you simply just launch them and wait for a timer to do its thing. And with so many criminal networks to build, it can quickly become a pain to manage them all – checking if they have active schemes, for example, as well as managing their heat levels. Overall though, these issues don’t detract all that much from the experience.
Evil Genius 2: World Domination was a great game on PC and thankfully it’s equally as great on console. If lair building and managing a criminal empire is your thing, consider this an absolute must-play. Rebellion has done a great job ensuring that pretty much every action you could want to perform is at your fingertips on a controller. And with a robust tutorial system, this is a game that’s accessible to all, regardless of their skill level. Evil Genius 2: World Domination really does make it dangerously fun to be bad.
Evil Genius 2: World Domination Review (PS5) – GameSpew’s Score