Evil Genius 2: World Domination PlayStation 4 Review

Evil Genius 2: World Domination is, just like over-the-top spy films, a product f its time and feels very much dated.

By RON, Posted 01 Dec 2021

Let’s face it, we’ve all dreamed of becoming evil geniuses. To dominate the world using our great intellect, to subjugate entire nations into doing our bidding, and commanding armies of minions and lackeys to run our grand schemes. Well, maybe not all of us but certainly the people behind the original Evil Genius, a lair building and management game that became a cult classic back in 2004, when spy movies were still a thing.

Evil Genius 2: World Domination, PlayStation 4, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed

Now, 17 years later, Evil Genius 2: World Domination is a sequel that feels more like a soft reboot, an updated version of the original game, only with better graphics and better sound design. But is it worthy of your precious time? Is this the game that will make all your evil fantasies come true? Well, not really. The game excels in a lot of things, but gameplay and user interface are not part of them. Let’s dive into this shark-infested tank to find out whereas Evil Genius 2: World Domination is a game you should play.

What’s a lair building and management game? You ask. The game lets you choose between four different super villains and, as we know from Megamind, what makes them super is the presentation, who are trying to take over the world. It’s in the title, nothing else to see here, pretty self-explanatory. To do so you will need to build a secret lair, manage it, fine-tune it, make it efficient, and be secret agents-proof. Well not you directly, that is what minions are for.

But you can’t just have a secret lair in the middle of a volcano without having a “legitimate” business as a cover, and to earn some clean income. That is why your secret base is hidden behind an exotic and luxurious casino, which you will also have to manage. On paper, this game is the result of a mixture between a Tycoon Game and a Tower Defense game, because you will also need to defend yourself from hordes of generic-looking secret agents and super agents that will try t tear down what you have lovingly tried to build from the ground up. Who’s the real evil-doer here?

Evil Genius 2: World Domination, PlayStation 4, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed

Aesthetically, the game knocks it out of the park. That simplistic yet fully stylized character and environmental design are just flawless. And the voice acting is over the top and knows exactly what it is, an exaggerated version of the already over-the-trope spy movies from the sixties, seventies, and eighties. As if Austin Powers was even more excessive and caricatured in its humor, and it is delightful. The real problem here is the charm fades rather quickly. For instance, while dialogues and interactions between your villain are fully voiced, the animations are half-baked and there is not even proper lip-synching. Instead, you are received with barely moving models that change stances along with the dialogue, and it just feels off. But where it becomes painfully obvious that the game is just incomplete somehow is with the gameplay itself.

First, the tutorial needs some serious redesign after playtesting, and the addition of something like a glossary of terms, and improvement of quality of life. A tutorial should not take you more than two hours to complete, and leave so much still in the dark. Ten, the game itself has dated mechanics that don’t feel improved at all from the previous game. Your minions AI is barely non-existent, and you need to manually select the agents you want to dispose of, either by capturing them or killing them, manually, one by one. There is not an option o destroy a room in its entirety with everything on it, the side missions need to be completed one at a time, which limits greatly the gameplay experience and even makes you feel like you are laying a time-gated free-to-play mobile game, with its vicious inefficiency in completing multiple objectives at a time. And, aside from managing your lair and killing off intruders, you get a sort of mini-game in which you can expand your criminal enterprise around the world. But it is just so tedious and lackluster that it feels more like a mini-game within an open-world game, like Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry, in which you need to send off your minions in missions around the globe to complete objectives and expand your influence.

Evil Genius 2: World Domination, PlayStation 4, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, NoobFeed

But that happens only in your imagination, as you see the map, the requirements, and launch the missions but nothing else. You just get to see the result of such schemes and never hear from those minions again. Feels just pitiful to have such an undercooked mechanic as part of your core gameplay loop. Furthermore, aside from some dialogue, and cutscenes, the four villains play the same. Yes, the campaigns are different in the way they require you to complete different objectives and play through different scenarios, but the gameplay mechanics are identical to each other. If you play in sandbox mode, you will find it hard to differentiate between one evil genius and the other. This review was going to send same time talking about these geniuses, their personalities, nuances, and traits, but there’s no point in doing so, as they feel just so generic during your time playing.

The game has some strong points. There is a lot of fun in creating elaborate labyrinths to trap all kinds of secret agents trying to spoil your plans. It takes the so underrated, and now forgotten, mechanic of tower defense and runs with it. This is the genius part of being an Evil Genius, the unnecessarily elaborate traps, and killing machines. But once you get past that you see that all the faults in basic gameplay design are painfully obvious. Evil Genius 2: World Domination is, just like over-the-top spy films, a product f its time and feels very much dated. Despite a major graphic overhaul, the game feels like something taken out of the early 2000s, and not in a cool nostalgic way. Evil Genius 2: World Domination as some strokes of actual genius, but ultimately, as all evil geniuses, fails to dominate anything at all.

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PS4
Publisher(s): Rebellion Developments
Developer(s): Rebellion Developments
Genres: Simulation
Themes: Real-Time Strategy
Release Date: 2021-11-29

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