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    Evil Genius 2: World Domination review

    Need to know

    What is it? A management game about all things villainous.
    Expect to pay $40/£35
    Release March 30, 2021
    Developer Rebellion
    Publisher Rebellion
    Reviewed on AMD Ryzen 5 3600, Nvidia GeForce 2080 Super, 32 GB RAM
    Multiplayer? No
    Link Official site (opens in new tab)

    Thanks to Evil Genius 2, I now understand why so many criminal masterminds are bald. It’s because they’ve torn all their hair out through sheer frustration. When a James Bond knockoff rocks up to your secret lair and murders a bunch of henchmen with an exploding cufflink or whatever, that’s all well and good for the henchmen, who are now on a permanent lunch hour, but nobody considers the administrative headache it causes for the boss. 

    Now you’ve got to train new henchmen to replace the old ones, which means dipping into your pool of workers and sending them to the equivalent of Thug University. This in turn means hiring more workers, which costs money you don’t have because you spent it all on replacing all the traps that double-not-seven also broke. This means spinning more moneymaking schemes, which cost yet more henchmen to set in motion, thus starting the whole cycle over again.

    Being a master villain is one big headache for your big bald braincase, and it’s this villainous bureaucracy that Evil Genius 2 replicates. Mostly for the better, but sometimes for the worse. When all’s said and done, it’s a fine management title that balances brilliantly presented base-building with some genuinely challenging plate-spinning. But thank goodness it features a mechanic that lets you randomly shoot your minions, because otherwise at times I might have ripped my own skull out and thrown it at the screen.

    (Image credit: Rebellion)

    But there’s no getting away from the fact that the game’s feedback loops are too stretched out. It feels it could offer a tight 20-hour game—more than enough considering there are four different Geniuses to play as. But this is stretched to 30 or 40 hours by overlong missions and a whole lot of waiting for stuff to happen. 

    Despite taking a roundabout route to get there, however, in the end I think Evil Genius 2 successfully replicates the cat-stroking, moustache-twirling, mad-cackling fun of being a calculating supervillain. On the scale of criminal masterminds, I’d rate it a Dr Evil. It’s funny and it’s got all the right equipment, but it’s not quite the full Blofeld.

    As seen on PCgamer

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