Plague Inc: Evolved is a strategy game that lets the player use a variety of diseases both fictional and non-fictional to try and wipe out all life on Earth. What seems like a sadistic idea for a game turns out to be rather enjoyable in a simplistic kind of way.
Be the Plague
The player is given the opportunity to mutate said plague. This allows each plague to transmit easier, have a higher level of severity and lethality. Each plague has its own unique attributes, strengths and weaknesses. These range from infectivity being higher or being able to cross the globe easier. Before you start the game the player is able to add genes that they’ve unlocked. This helps assist the devastation of their selected plague. The purpose of the genes is too help spread the plague, help accumulate more DNA points for spending on mutating the virus in game and to assist in the travel across countries. These become very useful on particular plagues such as fungal and zombie plagues.
The vanilla campaign can become a bore through the ease, repetition or nihilism of some of the plagues. To counter that there are custom scenarios in which the developers have turned things upside down. This adds more of a challenge to the player and spices up the incentive to play. Some of these involve a new ice age, free healthcare for the world and a closed off world which has borders for every country, which is aptly named “xenophobia”.
From some of the scenarios and plagues at the player’s disposal it is clear that the developers have a sense of humour and don’t take the game too seriously which works perfectly in their favour and adds to the charm of the game. The addition the Simian Flu from the “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” film was a nice touch too and lead to interesting player-created scenarios later down the line.
This addition and the inclusion of player-created content shows just how far this game can go and how it can adapt infinitely. Within this scenario the player has to wipe out humanity while ensuring that the apes become infected and survive. The skill tree for the apes is a lot of fun as you get to weaponize and enhance the apes making them more deadly. It is also very satisfying to watch as you send the apes across the oceans to target different areas of the world whether it is to inhabit that country or to attack a research base.
I must admit I enjoyed the updates given throughout each scenario where “major” events would pop up for the player to feel more involved with the world they’re trying to obliterate. Instances such as being told you’re plague is responsible for shutting down the World Cup, brought particular satisfaction to me.
Overall it’s a very fun game which doesn’t overstep its mark by pretending to be more than it is. The humour and customization within it mean the player can have a lot of fun trying new things out. It also means each scenario doesn’t have to last an age. It’s a good filler if you get the urge to play something without sacrificing an entire day.