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How Evil Genius 2's Gameplay Will Differ From The Original

Have you ever wanted to step into the shoes of a criminal mastermind and take over the world? There are a number of video games in which the bad guys win, a distinction Evil Genius also earned when it released for PC back in 2004. After nearly two decades, the real-time strategy simulator will finally get a sequel on March 30, 2021 with the launch of Evil Genius 2: World Domination.


Evil Genius 2 centers on the idea of total world domination in what developer studio Rebellion has called "a satirical spy-fi lair builder." The 17 years that separate the two games saw a ton of technological advances, especially in the realm of PC gaming. The Evil Genius series has experienced something of a visual renaissance, but the changes and improvements coming to Evil Genius 2 don't stop with its looks.

While the core story and gameplay concept remain the same, Rebellion has added a ton of new features to Evil Genius 2 for players to explore. Additionally, Rebellion already announced plans for DLC, so new content won't be rare for the game.

Evil Genius 2 introduces two new modes

Rebellion revealed that there will be a new feature in Evil Genius 2 that didn't make an appearance in the original: Photo Mode. This mode will allow players to take pictures of just about anything in-game, and even add filters and other overlays. Players will be able to share pictures with others, adding a bit of social flair to the game.


That's not the only new mode coming to the game, either. A "sandbox mode" will also be added, giving players the option to build their lair however they want. With no special objectives in the mode to complete, players can spend time building whatever they want, testing out lair ideas and crafting the wackiest, most obnoxious lair they can think up. The sandbox mode will also be a great way to test out how different traps interact together before spending gold on them in the main mode.

Evil Genius 2's new setting

Evil Genius 2 will be set in a much more relaxing environment than the original game. New evil geniuses will start their lair on a nice, tropical island like every good villain should. According to developer Ash Tregay, there will be three tropical island shapes at the beginning to pick from, including an option that forces you to build your lair to be more of a vertical shape, rather than horizontal. Players will be able to use any of the evil geniuses on any of the islands.


While the main gameplay of Evil Genius 2 will be very similar to the previous game in the franchise, the storyline is actually a continuation. Rebellion's Rich Edwards also gave new details about the storyline. Essentially, the world has been run for 16 years by an evil villain who just fell out of power. That created a power vacuum, and now players are looking to fill that void by creating these new lairs and building their armies. These new lairs will also be open for invasion, with agents becoming smart enough to infiltrate your space. That's why it's so important to build an impenetrable lair and to find the best henchman to guard your evil sanctuary.

Evil Lair rooms get an upgrade

Considering Evil Genius was a game based around building up your lair, a lot of the game rotated around just that. The original game had 15 rooms that players could use to create an evil lair, creating a mix of utility and the best defense possible. According to developer Rich Edwards, this won't change too much — there will still be 15 rooms to mix and match for your lair. However, there are some new features added to the rooms in order to freshen up the experience.


The example Edwards gave is the infirmary room, which traditionally healed minions who were injured. In Evil Genius 2, players will be able to max out minion stats through this room instead of just healing them. The goal here was to keep the game similar enough that "fans would feel right at home by watching [Evil Genius] Let's Plays and studying bases on player-made planning tools," according to PC Gamer's Jonathan Bolding.

Use your Doomsday Devices over and over

In the original Evil Genius, the Doomsday Device functioned as the end-all goal. Its sheer power allowed players to take over the world and end the game. However, Evil Genius 2 will grant players a lot more freedom with how they use their Doomsday Device. According to developer Rich Edwards, each playable genius will have a different Doomsday Device that can be used throughout the game. For example, Maximillian's device will literally turn buildings into gold, which players can then collect and use to further their evil deeds. 


Additionally, geniuses will gain better abilities as players make progress on the Doomsday Device. For example, Maximillian's starting ability lets him take out enemies and unruly henchmen. Once his ability is upgraded, players will still be able to get rid of anyone in their way with a pistol that turns their enemies into gold. While this is potentially hilarious, it's also practical. After all, the more money a villain has, the more evil deeds a villain can commit. 

Quality of life changes in Evil Genius 2

While new features are exciting, the quality of life updates coming to the sequel might be just as thrilling for longtime fans. For one, setting traps will be simpler to do in Evil Genius 2. Developer Rich Edwards told PC Gamer that it will be as easy as pointing traps towards each other (as long as they're close enough). These will then connect automatically, allowing players to spend more time on other gameplay aspects.


Another change will be to the henchmen system. In the original Evil Genius, players waited for evil henchmen to request to join their villain group after committing specific crimes, making the game feel a bit more organic. While players will still need to commit specific crimes to attract the attention of certain henchmen, players can actually stumble upon these newly-titled Crime Lords in other areas of the world. 

From there, players will need to take certain actions in order to defeat the Crime Lord. Afterwards, the player can decide what to do with the Crime Lord — with one of the option being to to make him or her a henchmen.