Early Access Impressions Of Evil Genius 2: World Domination (Console Edition)
Updated: Mar 22
Hey, Olda Robot here and today we’ll be talking about my recent early access experience with the console edition of Evil Genius 2 upon Xbox. As always, this will be an honest impression of my experience, and I hope it helps you get a sense of the game as we all look forward to the launch.
Before we jump into the fun, I want to say a massive thank you to the team at Rebellion for inviting me along to their Filming Studio for a fun little event recently to get hands-on with the early build of the game.
If you’re not familiar with the game, Evil Genius 2 is a satirical spy-fi lair builder, where players take control of an Evil Genius and set their plans for world domination in motion. You’ll hire henchmen, conduct operations worldwide, and defend your lair against introducers.
The console edition of the game is launching on the 30th of November 2021, and that’s where I come in.
The art style is super lovely and a big draw to the game; it doesn’t feel like there has been any downgrading for console visually. It’s still the vibrant, energetic experience you expect. Performance-wise, it was so smooth and
I didn’t get any input latency playing.
Jumping straight in and I choose to start a new level with Zalika as my evil genius. For those unfamiliar, you get to choose from four Maximilian, Red Ivan, Zalika, and Emma. I opted for Zalika because I wanted access to her abilities to order minions to prioritise jobs and immediately repair items and extinguish fires.
After choosing my lair, I opted for Caine Key mainly due to its initial layout and how all visitors enter through the casino cover operation; there are two other options you can pick from, but this felt like a good place to start.
As it was an early access build, it didn’t include any DLC content, but the season pass, DLC packs and even the portal DLC is all confirmed to be coming to the console edition, along with some bonus items if you are pre-ordering before release.
The camera and movement felt natural; the analogue sticks control the movement and rotation whilst the triggers control the zoom. I didn’t get any issues where it felt jumpy; instead, it was very smooth as I zoomed in and checked out the action around the base.
For such a huge UI and array of building options, I was initially worried it’d be tough to navigate menus whilst trying to learn the bases, but they’ve done a great job in using button shortcuts and the bumper buttons to tab between so you can keep one eye on the action without feeling like you are getting lost building out your lair.
Building and editing is a breeze once you get the hang of it, and I like how the tutorial gave a sense of the size and shape rooms should be to help you learn.
Once I got more into it, I edited and rebuilt rooms in better locations, moving them to put things such as traps between the entrance and my vault. The editing process wasn’t overly complicated, and I like the little animation when moving cells, for example, as the prisoner will momentarily escape before being recaptured.
Multiple floors to your lair are still a thing, although you’ll have to make sure you research the stairs first. Global operations, lair, minion, traps, and more research trees are all in the game. These take time to complete, and you’ll need to plan out your base of operations to meet the requirements to research certain things. What’s great about this method of research is you’re not locked into a particular order to obtain items; for instance, I choose to unlock the poison dart walls first.
I didn’t delve much more into the training aspects for minions in my play session. You’ll need particular items within your base to train up different types of minions, and you can choose the target amount you wish to have in your base.
It was fun to get stuck into the global operations. I naively kept most of my operations to the same locations, which increased my heat tracker, so I had several intruders and agents to deal with later in the sessions.
I love the character animations within this game, being able to spot the goofy walk of those impostors and how your minions get into scrobbles with them.
The biggest problem I faced in my sessions wasn’t bugs or issues but instead myself; I spent too much of my time focusing on optional objectives rather than side and main quests, meaning I didn’t progress as smoothly. However, it allowed me to consider different layouts to my base as I was trying to pack in the biggest vault and power rooms.
I feel this game will be one of those you play through for a couple of hours, then restart after learning the basics, tricks, and the size of items/rooms need to be. That’s an aspect I’m looking forward to because you’ll find better and easier ways to complete your goals as you improve your understanding.
Of course, as we only have a short window to play and explore the build, I didn’t get to check all the different aspects of the game, but I’m very excited by what I got to see and play. It’s undoubtedly going to be fun being bad.
Once again, I want to say a big shout out to Rebellion for the opportunity to get this early hands-on with the game.
Evil Genius 2: World Domination
Platforms: PC via Steam, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Genre: Strategy, Simulation, Base Building, Building
I was invited down to the studio to play and review 'Evil Genius 2: World Domination' thanks to the team at Rebellion.