The Escapists 2 – Review
Follow Genre: Indie, Simulation, Strategy
Developer: Team17 Digital Ltd, Mouldy Toof Studios
Publisher: Team17 Digital Ltd
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC
Tested on: PC

The Escapists 2 – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Hours of fun, make your own escape plan
Bad: Journal doesn't automatically select next request.
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Prison life; it’s not something many people know about but with The Escapists 2 you might experience what It’s like. Not that you want to stay in prison any longer than necessary because you long to escape, to live the free life again. All the routines might annoy you but that’s exactly why it’s a prison break game and not just a prison life game.

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Story

There isn’t really a story present in The Escapists 2. Each prison has their own setting and gets a different kind of intro tour or escape ways but no real extended background. This means you can create your own story or just imagine that you’re really the prisoner. When you manage to escape you do get some fun after escape cutscene that differs from most escape attempts and prisons.

Most inmates ask you requests that make you get to know the prison. Those requests usually have a little explanation with them but not enough to bind a story to the inmate because you get different inmates for every new game and the requests all stay very similar in every prison.

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 Graphics

The art style from The Escapists 2 is wonderful. It’s a more elegant pixel art kind of style. All the distinctive characters are anything but static. Which is a great choice, from the developers to put in a few extra animations. In the backdrops are a few tiny things present that make them not just repeated textures. For example: a piece of soap there, a puddle on the ground there and even some graffiti on the wall. So even though it’s a straightforward style there is enough detail to get it to a bit more superior pixel style.

There are several options for customization of your own character or randomization for the other inmates and police officers. You can change a character that looks like you to play the prisoner which makes it more immersive. Plus, they added a few YouTubers and their outfits. So you can also play as them, as their fellow inmates or have them be a police officer. There are also dogs present in the game and a few other animals that are all wonderfully designed. They don’t feel just thrown in there as extras.

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Sound

The music in The Escapists 2 is quite relaxing unless you get a higher star rating. It is reminiscent of off retro 8-bit music but a bit smoother. There are a lot of different sounds present in the game. Some of them are not what you expect to be the sound. For example, other inmates or officers talking almost sounds like they are messaging on their phone instead of really talking. All objects have sounds fitting to them, for example, a creaking shower with water sounds, a page of a book being flipped and so on.

Gameplay

The Escapists 2 is an Indie, Simulation and Strategy game. You make your prisoner and get placed in the prison of your choice. Each prison increases in difficulty and gets unlocked by escaping the first prisons. While inside the prison, you get thrown into a routine that is mostly the same for all prisons. If you miss a part of the routine the star rating goes up. The star rating is 5 stars and for each star, there appear guards and from 2 stars also dogs appear. Dogs are unstoppable and can sniff you out everywhere. When you get 5 stars the prison goes into lockdown. The daily routine starts and ends with a roll call. If you miss the roll call the prison automatically goes into lockdown. Any other part of the routine only gives one star when missed.  In a day you obviously have 3 meals; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Other parts of the routine include: Exercising, showering and job time.

There is a diverse amount of jobs to choose from which also differ from prison to prison. Most of the time there is only one of four jobs already available. The only available job usually takes some training before you can take it. You have 3 abilities you can work on: fitness, strength, and intelligence. Fitness and strength can be improved in the gym during either free time or exercise time. Intelligence you have to increase by reading books during free time from a bookcase you mostly find in places marked by Social.

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All the abilities have a fun way to be able to increase them with a “mini-game”. You have to either press or tap the right buttons to be able to increase that specific skill. Increasing your skills requires stamina. Stamina, health, and heat are the three bars you have to keep an eye on. Heat increases when Officers see you acting suspicious, find some contraband, see you stealing or see you in a fight. When heat increases beyond 80, officers will beat you up and beyond 50 officers will follow you and keep an eye on you. You can escape officers by hiding in a locker and waiting until the heat bar lessens. Of course, dogs can sniff you out, so hiding in a locker is useless when dogs are deployed.

When you, other inmates or officers get knocked unconscious, the medic will come get you and bring you to the infirmary. This means if you want to steal something you have a limited time to do so. Stealing in front of officers will make them beat you up. So you have to make sure you’re alone when you beat someone up and steal or be prepared to run away and hide.

Inmates have jobs/requests for you. Which you can choose to accept or just decline. These jobs are mostly an easy way to make some cash. They range from picking up an object to flooding someone’s toilet or beating someone up. These jobs appear in your journal. When you select a job; a convenient joystick shows you the place or person you need to go to for your objective. Sadly, when you finish a job, the next one doesn’t appear automatically. This can be annoying when you’re doing a lot of jobs at the same time and want to finish them faster.

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Some jobs also require you crafting something for an inmate. Crafting has different amounts of intelligence requirements, with 70+ being the highest. There are some craftable objects blacked out but most of them are available with the recipe. An inmate’s request might reveal the blacked out craftable. So fulfilling demands has its perks. Crafting is the most useful option to have so intelligence is important. You can craft tools and bags to hide contraband. This can help you escape easier.

In the tutorial of The Escapists 2 you get an example of an escape but it’s harder than it seems. You literally only get tips on how to escape from a payphone. This means you actually have to get used to the game and discover your options when you haven’t played the original game. Though some tips appear when you first try something, for example when breaking an air vent placing a fake one in its place. Most of the time it’s just trial and error. An error has a steep price to pay. When you fail an attempt you can get thrown into solitary, you always lose all your contraband on you and all contraband not stashed away in your hidden compartment from your desk. This could mean that you might have to start all over when discovered. Escaping the prison really needs proper planning and a strategy, that you get through: multiple errors or playthroughs (or the internet).

Conclusion

The Escapists 2 is a strategy game that requires a real-life plan to be able to actually escape. There are many ways to escape and some might result in different escape cutscenes. So it’s fun to try and discover them all or just try a different prison which requires different strategies because of layout or routine changes. Basically, this game keeps you busy for a while and curious in the other ways to escape. Some people might go to the internet for help or out of curiosity but the diehards will keep trying every strategy they could think of. This is a great game to play and keep playing until you just get every achievement possible or can escape blindfolded. It really is an Indie game that deserves to be on everyone’s wanted list.

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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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The Escapists 2 - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Theotakutem


The one and only slowqueen! 😀 -student multimedia-

1 Comment

  1. […] Of course, to be able to play The Wicked Ward DLC, you need to have The Escapists 2 which is out now for Xbox One, PS4, PC and the Nintendo Switch version is currently in development.Check out our review of The Escapists 2 here. […]

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