Is breaking out of a prison with up to three other friends really as fun as it sounds? Find out right here in our The Escapists 2 Review.
|Release Date||August 22, 2017|
|Platforms||PC/PS4/XBO/Switch (at a later date)|
|Developer||Team 17/Mouldy Toof Studios|
I never got the chance to play The Escapists when it came out a few years ago. It never really peaked my interest and it quickly became a forgotten title for me. That wasn’t the case for The Escapists 2. This game looked really cool to me and it made me regret not looking into the first game more. Luckily for me, Mouldy Toof Studios have made sure that The Escapists 2 improves on the first game in some monumental ways.
When you start up The Escapists 2, you’re encouraged to play through the tutorial prison to understand the basics of the game. This quickly shows you some of the fundamental elements that will aid you in making your escape. I do wish that the tutorial was a bit more in-depth because I still felt like I had a lot more to learn once I was finished with it. You can choose between 3 prisons to start out. These prisons are Centre Perks 2.0, Rattlesnake Springs, and Cougar Creek Railroad. The last one is a transport prison which is a new type of prison in The Escapists 2. These require you to escape before the time limit is up.
These transport prisons are quite different from regular prisons. The time limit requires you to use every moment wisely and to devise a concrete plan of escape. I did find these types of prisons much easier to escape because there aren’t so many moving parts. It’s more straightforward. I will say that the guards are much harder to avoid because the spaces are much more condensed. I liked the addition of these different levels, I feel like it gives that game much more variety than just having the standard prisons.
Speaking of the regular prisons, they play much like a real prison would. You have to follow normal prison routines to avoid suspicion from the guards. That means you need to exercise, shower, go to meals, do work, and make roll call. Admittedly, it does get a little bit repetitive and after you do this the first 5 or 6 times, you’ll probably be dreading it. That’s not the entire game, though. You also have free time where you can perform favours for other inmates for cash, find objects to help you escape, and power-up your stats. These prisons don’t include a time-limit so you can do things as slowly as you’d like.
The normal method of escape is to dig to the outer perimeter or break through a perimeter wall, but those are far from the only methods. You can pay for hints from a pay phone that will help you see things that you may not have noticed. I’m not going to give anything about the game away, but The Escapists 2 allows you to get pretty creative in your escape methods. Of course, your skill level will determine how well you can pull off an elaborate escape. You’ll also need the right equipment.
To talk about the crafting system, we first have to touch on the stats system because they’re tied together. Your character can only craft certain items if they have a high enough Intellect stat level. The Intellect stat can be raised by reading books while the Fitness and Strength stats require you to exercise and lift weights. These are little mini-games that don’t require much effort at all. It doesn’t take much time to raise these stats either which I was thankful for.
The crafting system is pretty deep in terms of the number of different items that you can make. The items are all places in categories with the best items requiring the highest Intellect stat value. You can make anything from a blanket rope to a cake to a super-whip. To make these items you’ll have to have the proper resources and that’s where some of the difficulty lies. You need to check all around the prison to find some of these items while others can be purchased from fellow inmates. You can even find some of them while doing favours for inmates.
The big addition in The Escapists 2 is co-operative and versus local and online multiplayer. I wondered how well this would work, but after playing a game of it the other night, it’s awesome. In co-op mode, players can only reach certain areas by working together and it really develops a sense of teamwork between players (especially if you’re using voice chat). Versus mode is a competition between players to see who can escape the prison first.
The Escapists 2 looks pretty good for the art style that it uses. The menus are crisp and clear and everything looks great. The sound and music tie everything together along with the mean personalities of the guards which made me laugh on more than one occasion. This game certainly has a personality all its own.
Chances are that if you liked The Escapists, you’ll love The Escapists too. The addition of multiplayer and transport prisons are a big improvement and I couldn’t imagine the game without them. I’d recommend this game to anyone who wants a good multiplayer game and anyone who likes strategic games. On the other hand, if you’re an impatient person you may not like this game. Either way, if you’re curious about this one I’d definitely give it a chance. I liked it a lot more than I expected.