Two players dueling in Plague Inc, red is far bigger.

If you ever felt your evil genius simply wasn't challenged enough while making the perfect pathogen to wipe out the entire planet, Plague Inc is here to give you the challenge you need with its newly added multiplayer mode.

The PvP mode pits your plague against your opponent's in a race to not only destroy the world but each-other as well. The full patch notes can be found here and if you're interested in a brief rundown of what exactly Plague Inc is and how the PvP mode functions do read on.

First of all, what is Plague Inc? The single player gameplay is based entirely around you creating the perfect disease that will wipe out all of humanity before they complete a cure. There are many different routes you can take your with your little pestilence. You can focus on the more expensive but efficient upgrades such as airborne transmission or you can go with cheap but less efficient transmission paths such as ones based on contact. Each of the decisions you make will shape the future development of your plague so make sure you have a plan in mind before you start doing massive changes.

Your goal is to destroy humanity so you might start right off the bat with a highly contagious and deadly infection which has the ability to decimate cities very quickly as well as give you tons of DNA (upgrade material). The "only" issue is that this will expose your disease to the world. Countries will close their borders and unite in an effort to find a cure while you struggle to spread beyond your initial hotspot.

A much wiser strategy would be to develop a disease that is highly contagious yet not deadly enough to cause a massive panic. I'm not going to tell you what the optimal strategies are, figuring those out is after all what the game is about. Just keep in mind that you can achieve victory in a wide variety of ways, you'll just have to adapt your disease to go along with your game plan.

Plague Inc gets pretty challenging on its higher difficulty modes but once you understand how the game works you'll be able to win fairly consistently and this was the main downfall of Plague Inc for me, until now. While a computer opponent is predictable, a human one is both smarter and way harder to anticipate. This is why the addition of this new multiplayer mod is such a big deal. So how does it different from the single player?

an image of Plague Inc from PAX in 2012.

As you might note from the player name, Plague Inc has been in development for a while and has benefited greatly from it

The obvious difference is that there are now two plagues battling for wold domination so you can't simply focus on your optimal end game strategy because if your opponent finds you nice and vulnerable his plague could simply wipe you out then and there. Just through the addition of the second player most previously optimal strategies are thrown away and the game becomes far more exciting to play.

You can lay low and let your opponent battle it out with humanity or perhaps even go on the aggressive and try to find and crush them before they've even had a chance to spread. Remember, the slow and efficient plagues don't get much in terms of upgrade points while the fast and deadly ones do. It might not be a good long term strategy to start the game in a sprint but a long term strategy is irrelevant if you end up winning before the "long term" even comes.

In order to facilitate a better PvP experience a couple of new abilities have been added: unscheduled flights that can spread your disease to distant countries; immune shock which wipes out everyone infected with both diseases allowing you to rapidly close down on your opponent if you feel you're in a superior position; genetic exposure which to me is the most interesting one, it allows you to expose weaknesses in your opponents plague thus allowing humanity to develop a cure much faster. There are more but they haven't been revealed as of yet so we're just going to have to find out in game.

That's the long and short of it. As far as recommending Plague Inc goes I feel that depends entirely on you and whether you like this style of game. I spent far too much time playing earlier versions of Plague Inc as well as similar games back in high school so the novelty quickly wore off for me but it is by no means a bad game, and now with the new update its set to be even better.

If you find yourself on the fence about buying it I'd suggest waiting a week or two for the Christmas sales to kick in, its more than worth it at a discounted price.