52°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

The Video Game Connoisseur:

Mario

Mario

By John Kane IIIStaff Writer

Evil Genius/Publisher: Sierra/ PC/ $29.99/ ESRB: T(TEEN)

Are you frustrated when the super villain tells the hero his master plan then leaves him in an easily escapable trap with no guards and the security cameras turned off? Do you get pissed off when the henchman misses a hidden weapon or gadget when frisking the hero? Do you like doomsday devices? If you answered at least two out of three than Evil Genius is for you.

Evil Genius gives you the secret agent shtick from another point of view: the bad guy. For once, you can concoct the evil schemes, kidnap wealthy playboys, and torture the suave secret agent to death, and all before lunchtime. I have long been fascinated with the perspective of the villain, why does he send his weakest henchmen out first, how come he always tells the hero his plans before he tries to kill him, and what’s up with that stupid laugh? They don’t sound evil, they sound asthmatic. But now it’s my turn to play the world domination game, and this time Mr. Bond, you will die!

You start the game with a hollowed out volcano on an unspecified island with a henchmen and four minions. You can control the henchmen directly, while minions you can only watch scurry around, manning different posts in your base. Base construction is like building the house in the sims with a few changes. You build rooms and place furniture like the sims, but when you make a room you choose what kind of room it is and that dictates what you can place in it. You can put bunk beds in the barracks but you can’t put a control console in the freezer. The different types of rooms in your base are important, you need barracks so you can hire more minions, a control room to monitor your agents out in the world, and a rec-room so your underlings can kick back and play ping-pong. And of course you need a freezer. I will explain the importance of the freezer in a moment.

Because you are an evil super villain with a base in a hollowed out volcano on an unspecified island in an undisclosed location, you of course have soldiers, investigators, and foreign agents crawling all over the place. Occasionally, one of them stumbles upon the cell holding the kidnapped scientist, so you have to kill them. This is where the freezer comes in. When a character (friend or foe) is killed they turn into a body bag. Just letting these body bags lie around has a negative effect on your minions so your good little workers will store these bundles of death in the freezer, next to the side of beef the chef is cooking up tonight.

Aside from building up your secret volcano lair you have to send your minions out into the world. The world is divided up into several quadrants, each one governed by a different secret agency, the more you operate in any given area the more agents from that place will show up on your doorstep. You need to send your agents into the world for two reasons, to steal (which is your source of income in this game) and to commit acts of infamy, such as burning down national parks or stealing the newly found missing link frozen in ice (these actions increase your notoriety which is what you need to beat the game). Also, you can kidnap people, such as scientists, spin-doctors, and mercenaries, to interrogate them and learn what they know so that you can train new types of minions. Social minions, such as valets and spin-doctors, increase your social standing and help get the heat off you. Science minions, like technicians and scientists, keep all the machines in your base in tip-top condition and get you new objects for various rooms. Military minions, like guards and mercenaries, let you kick invaders asses.

This is one of the best games I’ve played on PC this year. I only have a few problems with it, you can’t control minions directly and thus they have a tendency to staff the parts of your base where you don’t want them to (there is never anybody watching the security cameras) and some of the traps you can install aren’t very discriminating in who they kill when they’re set off. Other than that I have no real reservations. The graphics are beautiful even on less then new graphics cards, and the minion’s antics are highly amusing (I caught a guard interrogating a prisoner with the moonwalk). I just wish I new who keeps giving out the address to my secret lair.

John Kane III is the Photography Editor of The Mass Media, All opinions expressed in this column are his own, and he can be reached at [email protected]. Now Hiring Evil Minions. Must have no free will and be able to do things without question. Having your own 60s style futuristic outfit/uniform is a plus. No Infiltrators.