If you enjoy prison break films like The Great Escape and The Shawshank Redemption, you might feel right at home with The Escapists 2. This is the sequel to a surprise hit that was originally released back in 2014. The game was basically a prison escape simulator as you worked your way through an escape from the prison utilizing the tools that were available at your disposal. It allowed the user to escape the prison by plotting their own escape plan and as a result, it also carried plenty of replay value and was known for its charming retro art style.
While as fun as the original Escapists ended up being, it was also extremely difficult as the game required you to follow a tough time table and strict routine in order to plan your escape from the prison. There were limited choices available in order to escape from the prison and this is something that is greatly expanded upon in the sequel with the developers taking the original gameplay and then attempting to diversify it with new additions. Buildings are now expanded so you have multiple floors to explore. Your tools arsenal is bigger so you can now look for more ways to escape. The visuals are also improved and now look more refined which helps with the animated look for the game. Multiplayer is another new addition to the sequel although it is unfortunately plagued with bugs at launch.
Don’t think of The Escapists 2 as an easy game. The sequel might offer new options to escape but it also ends up being more difficult thanks to them. Guards are still able to foil your plans if you do a simple mistake which means you will lose your hours of progress rather easily even if you make just a slight mistake. The game still maintains its tough routine and time table which makes it harder for you to plan your escape, but this is also the main charm behind The Escapists 2, because if you successfully mange to hatch a plan and escape the prison on your own, it makes for one hell of a experience and a story to tell among friends.
The first step in The Escapists 2 is getting to learn your routine and the inner working of your prison. This means you will be required to perform a lot of monotonous everyday tasks and slowly build your skills and tools while you plan your escape. You will have to scout out locations, learn the shortcuts and the pattern of guards. It is basically a game that demands your patience but pays off hugely with a reward that is always going to be an exhilarating prison escape.
Even though the game features a tutorial that introduces you to some of the basics, there are a lot of mechanics that are still untold and you will have to figure these out on your own. The prison basically works with a daily schedule that requires you to present at a roll call in the morning followed by some routine activity like food, job and exercise and then you are finally give some free time. The free time is when you will have to figure out what to do. You can attempt to build your stats like intellect and stamina during this time, or gather items so you can craft your tools. You will be able to accept quests from other prisoners who in turn will help you with your escape plan by either giving you an item, or offering you some distraction. All of these are important factors when it comes to planning a prison escape and they are by no means easy to manage. It is easy to progress with a simple mistake in The Escapists 2 but this is also what makes the game fun. If I would have to compare it to a game, I wouldn’t hesitate to call it the Dark Souls of Strategy games.
The game is not just limited to a single prison, there are multiple prison layouts for you to figure out as you progress through the main campaign. You will start with a normal prison but there are more variety of prisons to escape including moving vehicles like a train or a bus. The different prisons are not only fun to figure out, they also bring some replay value with them since there are so many solutions possible when planning an escape, you will be tempted to replay a prison once you have successfully escaped from it just to see if a different plan is possible.
If you are a fan of the original Escapists, you will be able to enjoy the new additions in the sequel. However, if you never managed to get into the original game, it will be hard to find any redeeming qualities in the sequel as well. Not to mention the difficulty curve is rather steep so the game is not really an easy experience for a newcomer. The addition of multiplayer elevates the overall experience somewhat, but the real fun of The Escapists still lies in planning and successfully executing a prison escape.
The Escapists 2 Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: The Escapists 2 is a sequel to The Escapists and the third game in the The Escapists series. The game is being developed by Team17 and is set to be released on PC, Xbox, Playstation 4 on August 22nd and Nintendo Switch at an unknown date.
The Escapists 2 is a relatively safe sequel expanding on the mechanics of prison escape from the first game, while still retaining its difficulty curve.