Posts Tagged ‘Evil Genius’

Obsidian on Tyranny’s expansion & writing believable evil

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Most games that put you into the shoes of the bad guys are about reveling in evil, gleefully causing havoc and destruction like a toddler who’s got into the stationary box. Obsidian’s RPG Tyranny [official site] is different.

“I find a lot of fiction that centers around good versus evil tends to be unsatisfying, as evil always exists as a strawman for the ill-prepared underdogs to beat up with the power of naïve violence and good intentions,” says Matt MacLean, narrative designer for Tyranny. “I think video games often try too hard to make sure you don’t relate to your victims, and so villains are made unrelentingly villainous, and allies are made into some combination of saccharine hangers-on or tear-jerker red-shirts waiting to be killed in order to shock you into thinking death means serious storytelling.”

But how did it all work out, and what new cruelties will the upcoming expansion expose us to?

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Shock! Horror! Evil Genius 2 announced

Today, in news I never thought I’d hear: Evil Genius 2 has been announced. Evil Genius, to refresh your memory, is a 2004 real-time strategy game made by Elixir Studios, about a Bond-y villain building super secret bases for dastardly reasons while fending off meddling spies. It’s a bit like Dungeon Keeper, and it is good fun. Sniper Elite developers Rebellion picked up the rights to Evil Genius back in 2006 and, after a foolish attempt at a free-to-play Evil Genius for Facebook a few years back, now say they’re making an actual proper real Evil Genius 2. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Evil Genius?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

It’s a little baffling that nobody’s tried to make Evil Genius [official site] again. A transparent derivative of Dungeon Keeper, it did more than enough to distinguish itself from that noble luminary of base building and evil overlording.

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Rebellion’s Evil Genius Online In Open Beta… Again?

I’m getting the strangest feeling of deja vu. Rebellion – developers behind the mediocre Alien Vs Predator reboot, and the abysmal Sniper Elite Nazi Zombie Something nonsense – recently announced a Facebook version of Evil Genius, now in open beta. Um, it’s not 2010, right? This already happened. As Alec reported three years ago, a game was up on Facebook and there to play. The link’s dead now, but it happened. We’re not mad. It happened. Now everyone else, including Rebellion, seems to have forgotten this, it’s happening all over again.

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Antisocial Network: Evil Genius On Facebook

Somehow, 2000AD owners/ AvP developers Rebellion ended up owning the Evil Genius IP in the wake of Elixir’s sad demise, and they’ve finally revealed their nefarious plans for the spiritual Dungeon Keeper sequel – a social network adaptation that should perhaps be known as MinionVille.
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Evil Freenius: Mastermind

Evil Genius might always be the Bjorn Again to Dungeon Keeper‘s Abba, but it’s a game many remain fond of. Including, presumably, indie developer/artist Mike Swain, who recently completed Mastermind, a browser-based freebie based upon a similar Theme Bond Villain conceit. While it throws in a few similar mechanisms too – the concept of notoriety, for instance – it’s very much its own game. Its interface is a dozen times for logical than Evil Genius’ fiddly attempt, there’s very little waiting around and you won’t find yourself miserably building bunk beds when you could be off robbing banks. That’s where it most differs from Evil Genius – this is much more focused on acts of infamy than acts of architecture.

Admittedly some of the humour’s a little too crude, but it’s a lovely-looking, hyper-stylised thing. Smart stuff, with a surprising amount crammed into what’s superficially a very straightforward system. Thanks to The Amazing PR-Journo-Hybrid-Man Dan Gril for the tip.

Retro: Evil Genius

Whenever I mourn the passing of the Dungeon Keeper games and their much-neglected sub-genre – which I seem to do far too often, like some sort of blogging Miss Havisham – someone always chastises me for overlooking Evil Genius. I’m not overlooking it, I’m just not mentioning it.

It’s certainly the closest to a true follow-up DK’s ever had, coming from Bullfrog splinter cell Elixir and employing exactly the same Bad Guy Base-Building concept. Trouble is, in its clear desperation to not simply be Dungeon Keeper with Austin Powers artwork, it piled on layer after layer of complexity intended to mask its stolen heart. When I originally played it back in 2004, I couldn’t stand it. Genuinely loathed the thing, which very much put me at odds with most other reviewers.

Time, they say, heals all wounds. Which is a patently ridiculous thing to say, otherwise my granddad wouldn’t have been so annoyed about the toe he lost in the war. But it does at least mean I can now approach Evil Genius with a clear head, no longer clouded by sad dreams of DK3.
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