Evil Genius 2 is a fantastic strategy game that I’ve been burning through this week. In it, you play as an evil genius who wants to take over the world. You’ll do this by setting up your lair, developing a convincing cover operation, doing lots of research, and of course, dominating the world by sending your minions out to conduct schemes. Things start off slow but get pretty complex towards the end of each playthrough. Even once you’re close to ruling the world, you can keep on developing your lair and earning gold if you want to. Something that I really love about this game is the way in which difficulty subtly changes depending on the evil genius you pick.
There are four initial geniuses to pick from. One is a good all-rounder, while the other three are all specialized in the three core aspects of the game, science, deception, and brutality. the beginner genius is the best one for new players. They give you a great idea of how the mechanics work, and they’ve still got some decent abilities that you can make the most of if you really try. For the most part, though, you’ll be pushing forward on your own merit instead of making the most of their focus.
However, when you pick a genius with a focus on a particular subject, the game’s difficulty can change for the entire course of your playthrough. A science focus will speed up all research, but you’ll struggle when it comes to brawn, deception, and earning gold. This might mean that more invaders come than usual because you can’t spread your focus. Likewise, a focus on deception or brutality will make dealing with intruders and preventing them far easier, but research and earning money is much more difficult.
It’s only a little thing, but it can really change how you play the game. Considering that a playthrough may last for upwards of 12 hours, you’re going to notice that difficulty for a good long time. I think that this shows a lot of consideration on the developer’s part because they’re clearly fans of their own game enough that they thought these subtle differences were required. It means that you’ll always be experiencing the game in a new light, no matter what setup you have.