The Escapists 2 Review
The Escapists 2 was developed by Mouldy Toof Studios and was published by Team 17. It is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. It's also coming later this year to the Nintendo Switch.
The Escapists 2 is a sequel to the 2015 game The Escapists and it is an escape simulator. In this game your objective is simple: escape from the prison that you are currently being held in. This may sound simple but in fact it is really hard to pull off an escape and trust me it will take you quite a few attempts.
The first level you will encounter in The Escapists 2 is Precinct 17 which acts as a tutorial prison for all new players coming into the series. There is a lot of variety in the types of prisons that you will have to escape, from a space facility to Area 17 this title has it all. Another huge feature that is different from the original are the new transport prisons. Basically these are like the normal levels except you are the only prisoner being transferred to the next prison and you are confined to your cell. This means that you have to explore the plane or train while also avoiding guards because if they spot you they will try to knock you out. There are some pretty cool escapes from these transports and it gives you a break from the same repetitive normal style level.
While this title is a sequel, it doesn't scrap so many of the features that fans of the original have come to know and love. For example, crafting still plays a huge role in escaping from prison while stats are arguably not really important anymore except intellect. There are some really cool new features that they have added such as a revamped combat system, multiple levels inside the prisons and even guard dogs which will hunt you down when you've missed some routines.
So as I mentioned above there is indeed a new combat system, it's a pretty simple system but it provides so much balance that the combat from the original needed. When you want to attack someone on PlayStation 4, you would press R3 which locks onto your enemy, you then press L2 to block and R2 to attack. You can also hold down R2 to charge up a strike which leaves you open to be attacked, but if you hit with a charged attack you do so much damage that it really doesn't matter much.
There are new aspects to escaping as well. In the original the main way to escape the prisons was to dig underground and escape that way; there were no preset escapes. In this game that's all changed and there are now escape plans available. These are cool new mini objectives that act as an easier way to escape than digging underground and hoping your roommate doesn't rat you out or you don't get caught by a passing guard or a cell search. All of the frustrating aspects from the original are mostly gone here.
The biggest change in this sequel is the addition of four player co-op, be it online or couch co-op, this is a huge positive and adds hundreds of hours of additional gameplay as it provides a whole new twist to the game. For example there are co-op only escapes that usually involve opening an area for your team mate to go in and explore. While these co-op only escapes are good it does provide a negative for people who only play on their own and don't have any friends to play with. However, Team 17 have thought of this and have added matchmaking, although it usually doesn't work out as well as having friends and communicating escapes together.
This game also has a character creation suite, which is cool but nothing stood out to me, the options were pretty generic although it is a huge improvement over the original.
The art design is very, very similar to the original, except now instead of being inspired by 8-bit graphics it looks a bit more detailed and has gone to 16-bit. The prisons look beautiful and the character models are also very nice. The HUD has had minor improvements made to it but there really wasn't anything wrong with the HUD from the original.
The music is awfully similar to the original’s score, so if you played the original you will instantly recognise the music and it will make you happy if you are anything like me.
Overall, The Escapists 2 adds a lot to the overall gameplay, it is definitely a change that keeps the game fresh.
The Escapists 2 (Reviewed on PlayStation 4)
Excellent. Look out for this one.
The Escapists 2 adds a lot of content and is still the best prison escaping simulator available. There really aren't any major negatives here; if you enjoy the thought of planning prison escapes in a videogame you should pick this up right now.