With the first title originally developed by Filthy Toof Studios, The Escapists 2 sees you taking the role of a prisoner hoping to break out using any method you can think of. Now Team 17 have taken the reigns with its sequel, but is it worth robbing the bank for?
The good thing with titles like these, is that you don’t need to familiarise yourself with the prequels with regards to story and such. Yes, there is a loose story in this title, but if you don’t follow it, it’s not going to hinder your experience whilst playing.
There are some new features but the mechanics of the game stay the same. Find a way to escape using any means necessary. Whether that is crafting the required tools to simply dig your way out through your cell, or simply disguise yourself as a prison guard and walk straight out. There are numerous ways you can escape, providing that that noggin of yours can think it up. Things don’t always run so smoothly – this is prison, after all. And with such, you are required to follow the day-to-day routine of prison life. Wake up and it’s roll call where guards will select inmates for a random cell shakedown, then it’s off for breakfast. Spend some time chilling in the yard, grab your lunch and if you’ve acquired a job, then earn your pay and it’s back to your cell for bedtime. As long as you follow the structure, breaking out should be simple, shouldn’t it?
Partaking in these daily regimes is definitely good to make your time spent in prison that little bit easier, but we don’t want an easy time – we want a shorter time on our sentence so some parts of this regime will need to be skipped in order for you to carry out your plans for escaping. The problem with this is, is that this can make you get noticed and guards will give you a tougher time in prison, making them more suspicious of any activity you do. So the key is to plan carefully and not do everything at once. It may take many of in-game days for you to accomplish one part of your plan, but at least you’ll be doing it with as little attention as possible.
Other new features now include multi-story prisons, a revamped combat system for when you just gotta fight your way through prison, and lots of customisation options for your avatar, but let’s talk about the big addition to the sequel. What can you expand upon that made the original a great title to begin with, considering the genre of the game. More inventory? More craftables? More prisons? All of which the developers have managed to include in this sequel, but we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about multiplayer. And what a beast of an addition this is. And to be honest, if they never included some form of multiplayer this time around, they may as well have just added DLC onto the original, as it is more-or-less the same mechanics as the first Escapists. But multiplayer adds a whole new level of strategy to escaping. Do you choose to work with other inmates and co-ordinate your escape together? Do you do it solo and run the risk of other inmates ratting on you? Or do you tattoo the blueprints to the prison on your body and plan your escape before even setting foot in a prison? Scratch that last one…you get the idea. Multiplayer allows you to do exactly the same as you would in campaign or sandbox mode, but with friends. There is of course matchmaking, so you can attempt to try to break out with inmates you don’t know, but don’t be offended if they shank you when you least expect it.
If you’ve played the first game, you will know that it wasn’t exactly easy to break out. With this title though, it seems as though the developers had made it easier for you to escape. We’re just assuming they’ve made it more ‘accessible’ for casual players who want a quick break (no pun intended), but there is a wide variety of prisons to choose from including a P.O.W camp and even a moving train prison, which makes breaking out more entertaining.
All in all, they’ve kept everything that was great about The Escapists and made it twice as large and twice as fun – more so now that they’ve added local and online multiplayer. This is the closest thing to being Michael Schofield and Lincoln Burrows as you’re gonna get (and yes, we’re not counting that TV-show tie in game Prison Break: The Conspiracy).
The Escapists 2 is available to download digitally from the Xbox Store, priced at £19.99.
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They’ve added more customisation and more crafting into The Escapists 2, but it is still the same game with the same art style, with some new (and more entertaining) prisons, with an excellent multiplayer addition woven in. This is the greatest Escapists yet.