“Right team, you have your orders – get out there and find a madman!”
So that madman may well be you, or is it a madwoman? Regardless, Evil Genius gives players the opportunity to take a twist on the James Bond theme – rather than play the role of the good guy, your job is to be evil, nefarious, underhanded, and low-down rotten. The goal is, like with every criminal maniac, to rule the world. How you do that is somewhat up to you.
Evil Genius is the release from Elixir Studios and Vivendi for the PC that casts players in the role of an evil criminal mastermind, sending henchmen and minions around the world to undermine the forces of goodness while building up an evil empire and ruling the world.
The game has layers of possibilities, while treading the realms of role-play and strategy. Consider it a little bit Sims, a little bit Sim City, and some tongue-in-cheek thrown into a 360-degree view, zoomable, a world map with elements of Risk thrown in, minions building and constructing and fending off the bad guys … well, you get the idea.
Let’s start at the beginning …
The game does come with a tutorial to walk players through the essential elements. You begin by choosing one of three evil mastermind types – Maximilian, Alexis or Shen Yu. You have one henchmen and start with a lot of cash and a handful of minions. You hire more minions, and begin by building your lair.
You will be building your evil lair inside a mountain, so you will have to start with tunnels. The game gives you rudimentary objectives to accomplish, such as build a barracks room and a control room. Once you build the control room, you open up the world map and can send minions to various countries to steal more money for you or commit acts of infamy. The world is controlled, or overseen, by five agencies. Each controls a territory (like in the game of Risk) and you may lose faction standing if you stay in one area too long. The idea is to build up your notorious standing without taking too much heat. If you take too much heat, enemy agents (the good guys) will be swarming all over your island, committing acts of sabotage and trying to bring down your empire.
As you progress, you are assigned various objectives and sub-objectives, which help you level up your minions, hire more henchmen, open up more rooms you can build in your lair, and give you more opportunities for acts of infamy.
Each of your subordinates has five attributes – health, loyalty, smarts, attention and endurance. Any of those breaking down can interrupt the flow of your empire and create chaos at home. Certain rooms feed certain needs.
Minions can level up by performing certain tasks.
One of your first objectives is to capture and interrogate a maid that is on the island. To capture her, you must have an armory built with holding cells. To interrogate her, you must have an interrogation device installed (you buy them, and they arrive in boxes, almost like Wile E. Coyote’s shipments from ACME). Once you have the rooms and machinery in place, you right click on the maid and tag her for capture. There are several other options, including ignore, terminate (kill) and weaken. You tag the maid for capture and several minions chase her down and pummel her until she is unconscious, then pick her up and tote her back into the lair, throwing her into the cell. New options become available, one of which is interrogate.
So you tag her for interrogation and pick the device to use. A minion shows up and slams the maid into a chair and then proceeds to interrogate her while using a variety of strange techniques – like slamming her head between two cymbals. Eventually you wring the maid dry of information, and she dies. You need a freezer to store the body bags, can’t have them laying about bringing down the morale of your minions. A minion who successfully interrogates a maid may level up to valet status. This is important because some of the acts of infamy require that you have ‘x’ amount of different types of minions on the team.
Of course, as you build your lair and furnish it with equipment needed to skill up your workers, you have to consider power needs, and make certain you have maintain a steady flow of income from stealing to impress crime bosses who may show up for a roundtable discussion. Money is power in this game.
The game does have an auto-save, which will mark your progress, and you can also save at any point you wish.The controls do take a little time to get comfortable with, but once you have it down, you will be moving from building to world map missions and empire status with ease.
Graphically the game takes a lot from The Sims-style of gaming. The character movement is a little mechanical, and the emotions are over-the-top, but all fit in well with the mood of the title. The dialogue can also be a bit repetitive at times, but the musical score is right in line with the mood and style of the game. The dialogue puts a little tongue-in-cheek, but the musical score keeps the James Bond mood.
Evil Genius is an enjoyable title that has a few stumbling blocks that are minor and easily overlooked. The game is a new take on a familiar theme, and pulls it off well.
Name: Evil Genius
Kind: RTS - managerial
Producer: Vivendi Universal Games
Sviluppatore: Elixir Studios
Distributor: Vivendi Universal Games
Language: English - Italian
Win 98SE, ME, 2000, XP
Pentium 3 800 - Pentium 4 1.8 GHZ
256 MB RAM - 512 MB RAM
scheda 3D 16 MB - Scheda 3D 64 MB
1.4 GB di spazio sull\'HD
scheda audio compatibile DirectX
lettore CD almeno a 4x
:::>SInstructions of use<:::
1> Mount the images with alcohol 120 e install the game
2> Install the patch 1.01
3> After this if you want to play in Italian to install the patch of translation otherwise to pass to point 4
4> Play :grr:
5> If you want you can also install the several one mods that I have put
ImageShack for the hosting of the images
Cdcovers.cc for the cover of Evil Genius
Spaziogames.it for the review and the images