I recently bought Evil Genius. Truth is that I've bought it before and I liked it. The game is great for people that feel that they've got a grudge against humanity for any reason and almost every single person alive would fit that description.
Ok, here's the deal. You're playing an Evil Mastermind who wants to take over the world: Maximillian. Unless you're mad, female or cannot live without Lord Kane. You have bought an uncharted island far from any countries and now you're going to take over the world. Interested?
Thought so. The game starts out pretty bluntly with you, three minions and a henchman. You get objectives that you need to complete in order to progress in the game. And the objectives kinda goes like this: Establish a base, Learn the Advanced Stuff, Prepare to take over the World and then you start building a doomsday device because... the most easy way to take over the world is to hold the world ransom apparently.
To your help you've got up to 100 Minions and ultimately 7 Henchmen that will ensure your security and that your goals become finished.
But of course the Forces of Justice would want to prevent you from this so they send you their "top agents" that got nothing else to do than to try and mess up your base. These forces are called
- S.A.B.R.E: European Agency that also protects Australia, South Africa and India.
- H.A.M.M.E.R: The Soviet Union. Protects Russia, Eastern Europe and Cuba.
- A.N.V.I.L: Communist China, protects the Philippines
- P.A.T.R.I.O.T: Americans, protects Japan too.
- S.M.A.S.H: Middle Eastern Agency, protects North Africa, Middle Africa, South America and Antarctica.
But what is a henchman? He is a very loyal lackey that possess an extreme amount of endurance. So much so that he can only be killed by Super Agents. He does have three lives though so don't worry if he goes down once but if he goes down twice then you better load an earlier saved game. He is also very strong and can deal out loads of punishment. Some can deal more damage (Jubei, The Butcher), others have useful special abilities (Jubei, Lord Kane, The Matron) and others doesn't have so useful abilities and become useless tanks (like Moko, Eli Barracuda and Red Ivan).
In this game though, you don't control your minions. Instead they wander around the base and take care of themselves by their own initiative. So why do you have to be there watching your minions all the time? Because they're insanely stupid. They never take initiative and kill intruders, they always let them slip through your doors and even if they started to fight these agents they never seem to be in shape for doing so since they're prone to exhausting themselves in other activities, like manning the control room. If it wasn't for your evil intellect the whole secret base would fall apart. You do control them indirectly though: You can tag anyone except yourself and your henchmen which you want dead, captured or just confused. Your minions will then when they're either confronted by a tagged character or hear about a tagged character in the base loudspeakers, will drop everything they're currently doing and go and carry out the evil deeds.
So what do I think of the game? The feelings are a bit mixed. The game have several bugs which can be fixed by various members of the Evil Genius community. I have myself fixed a few in my bugfix file that you can find on the file page. The agent AI is quite poor since these guys likes to break into the base by force which alert you right away about their indiscretion. The gameplay tends to become pretty linear since it's often just the usual scenario of trying to man the control room and keeping the agents out of the base. During the first part of the game it's pretty fun to try and take over the world but after a while when you get a more secure and impressive base you start to feel that the game starts to run itself. The agents kill themselves because of their stupidity, the minions go about their daily lives and you just sit in your chair and watch them wander around in your pretty base. You can try beefing up the game with more minions and funnier henchmen but that doesn't add variety to the game and variety is what the game so desperately needs.
The game is a pretty fun game that I enjoyed playing and although it looked more promising in the initial demo than in the finished game it still offers a decent amount of entertainment value. And this is one of these games that almost anyone can pick up and play since the difficulty is generally quite low. So I recommend this game for any casual gamers out there that wants easier games to play and those of you who just are looking for a fun game. If you're a hardcore gamer you might wanna skip this in favour for some other game like Dawn of War.
I rate this game a 4/6 - Fun game