The Escapists 2 is the sequel to 2015’s The Escapists, a top-down prison simulation developed by Mouldy Toof and Team17, an independent British developer that was created in 1990. Team17’s most popular games are from the Worms series. The Escapists 2 was released on August 22nd, 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, PC, with a Nintendo Switch release later in 2017.
As an inmate, you live the prison experience with authoritative guards, bad cafeteria food, exercise, and social hierarchy. Using your fellow inmates and items in your environment, you must escape from the prison. This is the third official game in the series following The Escapists: The Walking Dead spinoff.
There are 11 total prisons in the game: Air Force Con, Area 17, Rattlesnake Springs, Center Perks 2.0, Cougar Creek Railroad, Fort Tundra, H.M.P. Offshore, H.M.S. Orca, K.A.P.O.W. Camp, U.S.S. Anomaly, and the pre-order bonus map, The Glorious Regime.
The tutorial, like the PC version takes less than 15 minutes, which may make newcomers to the game wanting more information. As you start the game, there are a few prisons to choose from, Center Perks 2.0, Precinct 17, Rattlesnake Springs, and Cougar Creek Railroad. In the full version of the game, you need to acquire keys to unlock the other maps.
Loading in, you are given a tour of the prison by the warden, which is a one-time thing, you must remember where things are, as there is no real directory in-game. After roll call, I approached an inmate to perform a favor in exchange for money, I had to help an inmate locate new painting supplies after his old ones had been flushed down the toilet by other inmates. First, I had to locate paper by scavenging through my fellow inmate’s rooms. This favor was difficult has I had to hide from both guards and inmates from coming near me as I trespassed into other cells. I eventually got caught by a guard and I had my paper confiscated, which cancelled my favorite mission.
To take on more challenging tasks, I headed to the weight room where you can increase your players strength to be able to fight against other inmates without being escorted away by a nurse each time. Like before, you can go to the prison library to read and increase your characters intelligence which helps when you want to craft higher level objects. One of few issues that I had while playing the game is that the scheduled times for roll call, breakfast, and free time seem to be very repetitive, which is understandable for a prison game, however, almost every time I was close to finishing an objective, I would always have to put everything down and run across the prison to get to the mess hall.
Overall: The console release from The Escapists 2 is undoubtedly an upgrade from its predecessor. The controls felt smoother than in the PC preview. The controls in the console version worked nicely. Along with new mechanics and expansive character customizations, the game helps execute the potential that it had in both the development stage and the Preview. However, there are still some drawbacks like a limited HUD, which leaves you frustratingly wandering the prison trying to find what you’re looking for.
Final Score: 7.5/10
Here is The Escapists 2 Launch Trailer:
The Escapists 2 is available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam with a Nintendo Switch version to follow.