If you’ve been eagerly awaiting news of Evil Genius 2, the follow-up to the cult classic strategy management hybrid, then today’s your lucky day; Rebellion has just released a new six-minute look at some of the new features to be found when it launches in the first half of next year.
The original Evil Genius was the work of developer Elixir Studios (founded by former Lionhead and Bullfrog alumni Demis Hassabis) and released back in 2004. As you’d hope, Rebellion’s sequel takes its predecessor’s delicious central conceit, in which players are cast as supervillains hellbent on global domination, and aims to expand on it in interesting new ways.
One of Evil Genius 2’s new additions takes the form of cover operations, enabling players to disguise their villainous lair as a legitimate business. It’s a feature Rebellion has outlined previously but there’s some extended footage of one cover operation type – a bustling casino – to be found in the developer’s latest gameplay trailer.
Considerably less subtle is Evil Genius 2’s expanded take on doomsday weapons. In the original, doomsday devices were saved for the end of the game – and players could only fire them once when they finally got hold of one – but Evil Genius 2 sees players building their weapon of mass destruction, seemingly level by level, throughout the campaign.
As a game progresses, more powerful iterations can be constructed, and it’s possible to test-fire a doomsday weapon at different regions around the world whenever you choose. The ultimate aim, explains Rebellion, is to create a doomsday device so powerful that agents of justice – who constantly attempt to thwart your plans throughout – are forced to surrender to your will.
Elsewhere, there’s a new Do It Now command that’s designed to make enacting your evil schemes a little easier. While minions will mostly carry out orders – from base construction to base protection – autonomously, you can get tasks done more quickly by shifting your evil genius to a specific location and activating the command. Minions will drop everything immediately, performing the job (as long as it’s within the area of effect) pronto.
And on the subject of minions, each has its own personality in Evil Genius 2, as defined by its traits. These, ranging from loyalty to aggression, can be scrutinised through a minion’s UI panel and offer hints at the jobs they’ll likely be most proficient in.
You can see all of the above in action courtesy of Rebellion’s latest gameplay trailer, and there’s even a quick look at a handful of new and returning characters.
As announced previously, Maximilian is back, as is Red Ivan, now promoted from henchman to full-on evil genius. They’re joined by new henchman Eli Barracuda Jr. (son of the original’s Barracuda, fond of melee and his silver revolver in combat) and Jubei is back too – much changed but still an “absolute monster in a fight”, according to Rebellion, even though he apparently prefers a non-lethal approach these days.
Evil Genius 2 will launch on PC in the first half of next year, a little later than originally anticipated, “to ensure it’s as evil and genius as it can be”.