Evil Genius 2 Review – Test – a nasty grinning villain base-building sim

Evil Genius 2 Review
Test der fies grinsenden Schurken Aufbau Sim
Evil Genius 2 Review
Test of a nasty grinning villain base-building sim

In the build-up strategy game Evil Genius 2: World Domination we build a villain base on a secret island and conquer the world with our minions.

In Evil Genius 2 we build a secret underground base with our nasty villain genius and try to seize world domination (the same thing we do every night, Pinky). We train our henchmen, steal riches, research secret rogue techniques and use all this to cheat the secret services of the “good” world and get the world under our control.

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This article is available here as text, but also as a YouTube video (German voice-over, many subtitles). This way you can choose how you would like to enjoy it most.

Evil Genius 2 Review Video

German Voice-Over, many subtitles

Evil Genius 2 Review – Intro

Hi there, this is the Zap. In this Evil Genius 2 review, you’ll get a sneak peek at the new base-building strategy game with nasty geniuses, world conquest plans, and lots of minions willing to work. I’ll tell you how it is played, which features it has, and at the end, I’ll give you a rating. But most of all I want to give you all the info so you can decide for yourself if the game might be fun for you.

Evil Genius 2 is developed and published by Rebellion. I received a free trial key, my thanks for that. However, this should have no bearing on my review, as I always test all games with the thought in the back of my mind, how would I feel if I had paid full price.

Background – Evil Genius – Predecessor and Developers

Evil Genius 2 Review
Background - Evil Genius - Predecessor and Developer
Evil Genius 2 Review
Background – Evil Genius – Predecessor and Developer

Rebellion is a very well-known studio that has been active in the market for 30 years now. However, they have become best known for their shooters like the Sniper Elite series and Zombie Army, or action games like Strange Brigade.

Besides the aforementioned highly successful shooters, however, they have produced games in numerous genres over the years, and especially in the strategy field, they were known for titles like Lords of the Realms 1-3, Battlezone, or Ground Control. But especially popular was the world conquest base-building strategy game Evil Genius, released in 2004, in which we could spy, steal, conquer and oppress the world in a humorous way. I played it all the way through several times at the time of its release and enjoyed replaying it later as well.

Now here comes the sequel to this cult classic, Evil Genius 2, and I’ve really been looking forward to it for a long time. However, I was always a bit worried about how well the scenario would fit into a more modern presentation and whether anything new could be added to the already extensive complex build-up strategy part of the game. And unfortunately, yes, a lot of really bad remasters and remakes have been released in recent years, so skepticism is sometimes advisable here.

Evil Genius 2 Test – Game Type – Base-Building Strategy and World Conquest Simulation

Evil Genius 2 Test
Game Type - Build Up Strategy and World Domination Simulator
Evil Genius 2 Test
Game Type – Build Up Strategy and World Domination Simulator

In Evil Genius 2, just like in its predecessor, we build a secret supervillain base. The game is inspired by the numerous James Bond 007 agent movies of the 60s, 70s, and 80s such as Goldfinger, Live and Let Die, Hunt for Dr. No, Never Say Never, Fireball or Moonraker. In this base, we, as an evil genius, pursue our plan to usurp world domination, so we do the same as every night, Pinky.

However, the game is divided into two different main areas. For the most part, in good build-up game tradition, we play in this base underground of the island. Here we hide, but here we can also build numerous different rooms and equip them with gadgets and devices. In addition, we must train our minions, conduct research, and gradually bring more and more cunning machines to bear in order to achieve our goal of usurping world domination.

In doing so, an important point is also to build a fake organization to distract tourists and agents of the “good” services. But we also need ample security systems, traps, and a well-trained, hard-hitting goon squad to protect our base and plans.

And the other part takes place on the extensive world map. On which we coordinate our minions to spy on the secrets of each region and their secret services, as well as steal money, art treasures, and knowledge. However, we must also always be careful not to build up too much attention and suspicion among the states of the world against us.

Because if we don’t keep a balance of evil actions and cover-ups, the intelligence agencies will send more and more powerful investigators and agents to our island to infiltrate, sabotage, and also try to steal our wealth and secrets.

The goal of the game is to gather all the supervillains of the world around you, eliminate the secret service super-agents, and in the end discover and build the world-conquering machine. In doing so, the game offers not only different islands which we can use to build up a maze-like complex base in up to seven floors but also 4 different evil geniuses, each taking slightly different paths on their way to world domination.

All of this is wrapped up in a very long campaign mission and numerous side missions. At the same time, the more important mission steps are always accompanied by small animated conversations and voice-overs. In addition, there is also a sandbox mode, in which we can dominate the world much more freely.

Evil Genius 2 Gameplay – Characters – Evil Geniuses, Henchmen, and Minions

Evil Genius 2 Gameplay
Characters - Evil Geniuses, Henchman and Minions
Evil Genius 2 Gameplay
Characters – Evil Geniuses, Henchman and Minions

At the beginning of the game, we can choose one of four Evil Geniuses. Here we have Max, the crazy German industrial magnate, and Red Ivan, a Russian militarist. Then follow Emma, the British ex-intelligence agent, and Zalika, the mad scientist.

Each of these supervillains has special advantages and disadvantages and, of course, abilities. And also their super-villain assistants called Henchmen offer completely different abilities and specializations. We can directly control our respective leader, as well as their particular sidekick, and trigger different skills for them.

A large number of our minions, however, we can only influence indirectly. Here there are the unskilled workers who come to the base fresh in their yellow work suits. Additionally, there are three rough alignments we can train our minions in, these are combat, distraction, as well as research and engineering.

While doing this, we then gradually still have numerous specializations available to us in each category. In the course of time, we thus get a total of 13 different varieties of minions. And one of our most important tasks will be to train all these minions accordingly and to provide a constant supply of new minions. Because these “use up” pretty quickly during the daily world conquest work.

Evil Genius 2 – Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, Music, Translation, Voice Over

Evil Genius 2
Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, Music, Translation, Voice Over
Evil Genius 2
Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, Music, Translation, Voice Over

Rebellion uses its own graphics engine for Evil Genius 2, which can work with both Vulkan and DirectX12. This offers very good graphics compared to the builder and strategy competition. Evil Genius 2 is extensively customizable but offers playable performance on Ultra even with a mid-range graphics card. And the many witty animations are rendered in HDR if desired.

The technology in the background always has numerous path calculations to do, at some point hundreds of minions, tourists and enemy agents scurry through the corridors at the same time. Here, the performance remains mostly fluid. However, the Minion AI is sometimes a bit obtuse, pathfinding still causes problems now and then.

Two or three times I had placed components in such a way that they either totally confused the Minions or they started teleporting, but when building everything was shown as Green and Okay. So here the component check-in build mode would have to be improved a bit so that the pathfinding doesn’t fail because of that later on.

Overall, Evil Genius 2 ran very stable and smoothly for me. In more than 30 hours it crashed once for me and that was before the Day1 patch was installed. The test PC was an R9 3900x but with an aging RX 580 8 GB graphics card. I could only notice stutters on Ultra Details when the game was performing an autosave.

Smooth jazz and classical music pieces in the 60’s style of the James Bond movies are playing in the background. In the process, some songs from Evil Genius Part 1 have also been recycled. But this is rather an advantage because they were and are especially good.

The game offers well-translated text in nine languages, but unfortunately, unfortunately, only an English voice-over, at least so far. This is where a little of the ambiance is lost for players who don’t understand English very well.

The subtitles are okay and usable, but especially many warning messages would be much more intuitive if they were available in the respective native language. And at that, even a computer voice would probably have sufficed here since the woman for the announcements is supposed to sound like computer generation anyway, too bad.

Evil Genius 2 Screenshots – InGame Gameplay

Click or tap into the image for a larger view.
In the enlarged view, you can scroll right and left on the edges

Evil Genius 2 Test – Opinion and Conclusion

Evil Genius 2 Test
Opinion and Conclusion
Evil Genius 2 Test
Opinion and Conclusion

Let’s start with the negative stuff:
The gameplay has a few lengths now and then. Sometimes you wait for the money to come back into the treasury or have to sit out particularly high suspicion phases at the regions more or less for a while. This can then take longer again, and no one has a chocolate nut bar ready for you… Good that there is at least a fast-forward function that doubles the pace.

The prison in particular requires a lot of attention from the player. Here we constantly make the same few clicks over and over again, with which we either torture enemy agents to extort reports from them or we put them into the brainwashing machine to pull them over to our side. Besides that, there are constantly escaping agents to recapture.

This and a few other things get a bit repetitive over time, but it’s still within reason. As the story progresses, more and more features are unlocked. But especially for the prison, I would like to see some kind of automated prison warden that does the procedures there without you as the player having to do the almost same 4-5 clicks all the time. But unfortunately, there is no such thing.

Enemy agents appear after some time almost exclusively somewhere in the middle of the base. On the one hand, this is quite annoying, and on the other hand, it greatly devalues the dummy casino operation. You can create such a great casino, but if the agents spawn directly in the lower floors or the thieves show up more or less directly in the vault, it doesn’t help you at all.

The game also sometimes creates a real downward spiral. So I once had 2 super agents at the same time with a total of 10 high-level assistants in tow, they then killed me 50-60 combat henchmen in 2 minutes. And all the deaths have now caused the morale of my remaining troops to drop extremely and suddenly 50 others deserted.

And of course, because that’s not enough, some of the deserters also broke into my vault and stole gold from there, which eventually left me broke, unable to pay the rest of the Minions, and thus even more deserted. The many deserters aroused the suspicion of the secret services and thus more agents came and so on. This sudden downward escalator was unstoppable, from more than 250k gold and 200 minions to zero gold and under 50 minions in 10 minutes.

And when you are in such a stressful situation, it is even more annoying that the voice output is sometimes heavily repetitive. If 20 workers desert in 2 minutes, the nice computer voice tries to tell you that very clearly too. 20 times directly in a row “A Minion has deserted” helps immensely in this situation to lighten the mood.

Some things that could be useful in all rooms, like cameras or fire extinguishers, are only allowed in hallways. Also, the traps and doors are not yet optimal as I would like them to be. Agents sometimes get through the doors faster than my own employees and trigger the traps less often in return. This was really better solved in the first part.

But I think these are balancing issues that can easily be fixed with one or two more patches. It can be frustrating when this happens to you but reloading an older save usually fixes it.

Apart from that, Evil Genius 2 plays very polishedly and smoothly. It’s fun to expand the criminal base bigger and bigger, tweak the rooms, research new techniques, and train the minions better. All the gameplay of the already good first part has been expanded all around, in fact, there is more of almost everything than before.

And at that, the graphics are much better. The overall gameplay has been greatly fine-tuned and expanded with numerous side quests and small optional tasks. Unlike other building games that work with mostly short campaigns, here there is an extremely long story that can be solved in various ways, depending on your evil genius.

And depending on your taste, you can also play them in three preset difficulty levels. In addition, there is also a freely adjustable difficulty level, but this will probably only be interesting after playing through once. But I was probably still pretty far away from that even after more than 30 hours of testing.

In passing, it remains to mention that I liked well that there are numerous deco objects. From abundantly different flower pots, over benches, and small lava lamps up to whole palm tree installations, a lot of odds and ends for beautification friends is on the offer.

Overall, Evil Genius 2 is a very good game, where being evil is really rewarded for once and is also absolutely fun, even if you otherwise prefer being the good guy.

So, all in all, Evil Genius 2 offers a great gaming experience and a whole lot of it too. There’s humor, snazzy graphics, and tons of buildable objects. Complex gameplay with numerous tasks awaits the players and very many of the jobs on the way to world domination can be tackled in different ways. Due to the different islands and genies, a high replay value is offered.

Evil Genius 2 Review
Rating
Evil Genius 2 Review
Rating

Evil Genius 2 Review – Rating

This brings me to the evaluation. Evil Genius 2 costs €39.99, or just under $50. For the amount of gameplay and playtime offered for that, Evil Genius 2 gets a base rating of 88% from me. For the flaws that are still present, such as small bugs in pathfinding, balancing issues, and the voice acting that is only in English and repeats itself too often, there is an overall 5% deduction.

This brings me to a final rating of 83% for Evil Genius 2 at release. I assume that there will still be minor improvements and I see some room for improvement here. The potential for up to 90% is absolutely present. With this offering, Evil Genius 2 is my favorite so far for the best building strategy game of 2021 at this time.

Evil Genius 2 Review
 Rating with numbers - 83 percent
Evil Genius 2 Review
Rating with numbers – 83 percent

Evil Genius 2: World Domination

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Evil Genius 2 Review Deutsch - Test der fies grinsenden Schurken Aufbau Sim
In the build-up strategy game Evil Genius 2: World Domination we build a villain base on a secret island and conquer the world with our minions.
In Evil Genius 2 we build a secret underground base with our nasty villain genius and try to seize world domination (the same thing we do every night, Pinky). We train our henchmen, steal riches, research secret rogue techniques and use all this to cheat the secret services of the “good” world and get the world under our control.
Base-builder Strategy
World Conquest Simulation
Graphics
Music, Sound, Voice-Over
Gameplay depth
Scope of the Game
State of the Game
Price – Fun – Ratio

Rating

This brings me to the evaluation. Evil Genius 2 costs €39.99, or just under $50. For the amount of gameplay and playtime offered for that, Evil Genius 2 gets a base rating of 88% from me. For the flaws that are still present, such as small bugs in pathfinding, balancing issues, and the voice acting that is only in English and repeats itself too often, there is an overall 5% deduction.
This brings me to a final rating of 83% for Evil Genius 2 at release. I assume that there will still be minor improvements and I see some room for improvement here. The potential for up to 90% is absolutely present. With this offering, Evil Genius 2 is my favorite so far for the best building strategy game of 2021 at this time.

4.2

Outro

Do you like to conquer the world and rush your minions through the world? Or are scurrying base-builder games and being evil not your type of game? Feel free to write me your opinion in the comments or in the Community Discord at zapzockt.de/discord

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You can find more gaming news, game reviews and guides on the YouTube channel or at here at https://zapzockt.de – thumbs click, subscribe and share with friends certainly can’t hurt and then have a great day, ciao ciao, your Zap

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Zap

Dirk "Zap" von ZapZockt.de, 40+ Gamer, zockt seit 1980 vor allem Strategie Titel, MMOs und Rollenspiele. Schreibt Game Reviews, Gaming News und auch mal über Technik, Hardware und YouTube. Mehr Infos findest Du unter Mehr über Zap lesen ◄----------► Dirk "Zap" from ZapZockt.de, 40+ gamer, has been gaming since 1980, mainly strategy titles, MMOs and RPGs. Writes game reviews, gaming news and also sometimes about technology, hardware and YouTube. Click here, if you want to read more about Zap.

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