Indie games don’t usually have sequels, considering how much work the studio needs to do to get a title off the ground. When a small indie dev does put out a sequel then, it usually builds on the original and tries to set itself apart. Did The Escapists 2 manage to build on the concept of the original? Let’s find out.
The Escapists 2 starts off with the foundation of the first game, which was a silly pixel art title that revolved around escaping from prison. The core gameplay revolves around the daily routine of a prisoner, during which you plot out the route you’re going to take. What The Escapists 2 does is add in a number of other options to allow players to tackle the challenge in a number of ways. The tutorial of The Escapists 2 starts you off with a basic understanding of how everything works, but then it’s your job to start getting creative.
Every day begins early with the guards lining you up for call and gathering you in the courtyard. At this stage you get a chance to trade services with other inmates, or to buy contraband. Virtually everything about The Escapists 2 involves this exchange. The inmates socialize, break rules, talk smack, and then grab a bite. The day is organized around sports, shower, work duty if you have a job, meals and of course the evening gathering before the curfew which imposes the return to the cell.
In this busy schedule, you will have to find the time to refine your plan a bit, so that you can make all sorts of objects to properly prepare an escape plan. It’s not easy to juggle the time, especially considering if you miss too many scheduled tasks, the guards will start taking notice.
By and large, The Escapists 2 is Escapists with more toys. The real change, however, is the brand new multiplayer mode. First of all, for those who have already made good progress in solo, there will be the competitive mode. In this mode, the challenge is being the first one to escape. You can find similar pleasure in this dirty competition, like a game of Spy vs Spy. You indeed have the choice to put sticks in the wheels of your partners, or just try to be the fastest by implementing the most effective method to make you look like a boss.
But it is undoubtedly in cooperation that things are the most interesting. You can then be up to four players to work together to find a solution and you spread the tasks. Daily routines do not change, but each is capable of providing others with useful materials for future escape. There are especially places that can not be reached without assistance. Some doors, for example, must be kept open so that an accomplice can enter an important room. Do not forget to go back and search for the infiltrator, otherwise the alert will be triggered at the time of the rally. He will also need you to come back!
The strength of The Escapists 2 lies in the many opportunities it offers for problem solving. You can also predict moments of frank laughter in front of the many delusional trials you might imagine with your friends. But beware! The fact remains that many hours of play await you if you want to master all the strings.
The Escapist 2 was reviewed using a PC downloadable code of the game provided by Team 17. The review was tested by Mazen Abdallah on a PC running Windows 10, with an 8GB NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1070 fitted on a 4th Generation Intel i7 4790 3.6Ghz CPU and topped with 16GB of RAM. The game is also available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and coming soon on Nintendo Switch via digital release. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published.
• Improved pixel art
• Gameplay that lends itself to multiplayer
• Open-ended gameplay
• Some bugs still need to be ironed out
• The core gameplay hasn’t changed that much