Hello everyone! It’s Rich Edwards, Lead Designer on Evil Genius 2, and I’m running out of ways to say “I’m back again.”
I’m back once more with another Development Blog for you. Today I’m going to be changing up the format slightly and telling you about all of our Evil Geniuses. You may already know some of them, but there are a definitely a couple you don’t… so let’s get on with introducing our four nefarious supervillains.
First of all, let’s talk about how they play, and their place in the grander world…
Breaking the Lore
We’ve got four distinct Evil Geniuses and, while each of them is tailored to a different play style, they do have some things in common. For example, they’re need to be protected. Yes, that includes Red Ivan, who might be hardier than the others, but he’s still at risk of being overwhelmed by some well-trained Agents. Keep them protected by minions at all times, and ensure that you send others to do your fighting. After all, a true criminal mastermind doesn’t like to get their hands dirty.
First up, let’s talk about our Gold Standard in villainy – Maximillian. He’s returning from the original game, but I’d like to drop a little bit more information on what that means for him. You see, an Evil Genius did conquer the world, but… Well, it wasn’t dear old Max. Speculate all you want, I’m not allowed to say more! Maximillian is your all-rounder – a great Genius for beginners to sink their teeth into, generating gold and specialized minions to do his work for him.
Our other Geniuses are slightly more weighted towards each of the different Villainous Specializations in the game.
Red Ivan, as you may have guessed, focuses more on ‘Might Makes Right’ as his ethos. If you want to have the kind of Lair that features armed Guards on every single corner, then Ivan’s your man. He’s also slightly hardier in combat, so a great choice for first-time players.
Also, for those still wondering about the events of the first game, yes – Ivan was involved. The Genius even rewarded him with his own country, the Nation of Ivania, probably just to keep him away from the Lair. Things have taken a sour turn for your militaristic mastermind since then.
Zalika is Science-focused, ensuring that research goes smoothly, cracking through research trees more reliably than other geniuses. However, as Zalika’s Lair has a scientific focus, you’re going to need more Technicians and Scientists to keep everything running and up to date, so keep that in mind when choosing her.
Finally we have Emma – who focuses around the Deception Tree. She’s a former Spymaster, embittered at her defeat during the events of the original Evil Genius, and has a general fondness for beating agents at their own game. If you want to keep a low profile on the world stage, taking over the world almost completely in secret, then Emma is the Genius for you. She also prefers working more closely with her Henchmen, able to assist them and get them back into the fight more quickly.
Of course, all of our Geniuses are available at the start of the game, but it’s worth re-iterating that you can pick whoever you like. Each Genius has some key differences between them, but don’t take their advantages as guidance for your play style – you can still play Evil Genius the way you want, despite each of our Characters’ strengths and weaknesses. Although Zalika can unlock and maintain traps more cheaply, if you, a hardcore Ivan fanatic, want to forsake Muscle minions and build a diabolical marvel of a trap network, well, we’re not going to stop you. By the same token, did you choose Zalika? Did you want train wave after wave of guards and arm them with only the very finest weapons? Go right ahead.
We wouldn’t stop you even if we could.
In addition, all of our Geniuses have their own abilities to bring to the table…
Not just pretty faces, each of our Evil Geniuses has their own truly unique ability. They also have passive effects, which we’ll leave it up to you to discover, but we wanted to give each Genius an advantage that fits their character and nature.
Max excels at boosting minion training – rapidly promoting his workforce and creating more Specialists. So if you’re lacking in certain minions and want to quickly have them skill up to fill slots in your Lair, then Max is excellent at that.
Despite our protestations, Red Ivan has brought his Rocket Launcher into the modern age. Want to deal with invaders personally? Then put Red Ivan on the front lines and have him directly involved in combat. Now…it’s quite tricky to control a rocket in motion, so he’ll only do this when you command. Nobody, except maybe Ivan in his younger days, wants their Lair in a constant state of ‘on fire’. You’re in control of Red Ivan and his Rocket Launcher, so if you do want to set your base ablaze…
Emma’s abilities play into her close relationship with her Henchmen, giving her the power to reset their cooldowns. She’s used to overseeing spies, making her henchmen more efficient than everybody else. Given that you can choose your own Henchmen, then Emma’s playstyle can really be tailored to the player in question. So, if you wanted to keep Jubei in the fight for longer, you could have him return to Emma for a pep talk, before sending him into battle once again. If you pick a load of Muscle henchmen, then you can really give Emma a fighting force to be reckoned with.
Zalika’s scientific prowess also extends to Furniture repair. If any item in your Lair is falling apart, you can order her to deploy Nano-Drones, repairing the area around her – extinguishing fires, repairing objects and keeping her Lair in a good state. This is especially useful if your Lair is power-hungry, so if you’re looking to keep the lights on regardless of outside interference, then you and Zalika have a lot in common.
(Someone in marketing has suggested we say “Zalika is your gal-ika.” Personally, I can’t think of anything more evil than inflicting that phrase on you.)
They’ve All Got It Infamy
Each Evil Genius has their unique own campaign, with its own story, and a unique Doomsday Device for you to build. We’ll be going into more specifics on the details of the campaign at a later date, but let’s talk through the basics.
They’re completely unique for each Genius, with objectives built from the ground-up for said Genius. For example, when playing as Red Ivan, an early mission would have you sending out Muscle minions to deal with the fall of Once Great Ivania, whilst Max’s first objective has you trying to weasel your way into being elected head of the world. Obviously, that doesn’t work for him…hence the Superweapon. Each campaign focuses purely on that character’s journey – from the start of their adventure, all the way through to World Domination. Spoilers for that, I guess.
However, regardless of which Evil Genius you choose, there’s Loot to collect, Crime Lords to overcome and recruit, and plenty more to discover. But I think that’s best served by our next blog post, which digs a little deeper into World Domination. Definitely come back for that one, there’s plenty of info in store…Until next time, stay sinister, and make sure to join the Evil Genius 2 Discord Channel.