I don’t think anyone wants to be in prison but the idea of breaking out of one is an exciting one indeed. Team 17 and Mouldy Toof Studios allowed you to live out this fantasy in the original The Escapists which found quite a following. Now they bring you The Escapists 2 which aims to arm you with even more ways to bust out of some brand new high security prisons.
If you’ve never played the original Escapists game fear not as you’ll start off with a tutorial level in this one that should hopefully give you a good understanding of what you need to do. Once you finish that it’s off to some real prisons for you as the game gives you a choice of a select few to start off with. The game has 10 in total which is a good amount and should keep you busy for quite some time. There is even a pretty awesome new one where you are on a train and have to escape within a certain amount of time. Also some of the prisons now have multiple stories to them making them more complicated but also giving you more options to escape. Much like the original game in order to escape these prisons you will have to study them and perform your duties in order to not get into trouble. So that means make sure to go to your meals, do jobs etc. Other prisoners will ask things of you that you can help them out with which in turn earns you some money that you can then use to buy items that can be used to help you plan an escape.
Your main goal though is to figure out creative ways to escape of course. Sure we’ve all seen those movies where the prisoners try to dig their way out or blow up a wall or something and those are viable options here make no mistake. If you want some other ways though you’ll have to work towards them by studying the prison and talking to people. You’ll also find that you’ll need to improve your character and craft things in order to complete your objective. Yes you can still improve your character’s stats just like the first game so things like intelligence and fitness are important to work on. All you have to do to improve yourself is play a few mini games such as working out or reading books which are pretty simple. Then once your stats are improved enough you’ll be able to craft things such as shovels or pick axes using materials you have gathered.
For as fun as the game can be it can also be very frustrating especially when you lose hours of work due to a mistake. The guards in the game are always on the lookout for anything suspicious so you have to make sure to cover your tracks very well and not get into fights with other inmates. However that feeling you get when you do just manage to escape is so rewarding and fulfilling and one of the reasons why I’ve enjoyed this series so much.
Should you tire of playing alone you’ll be pleased to know that The Escapists 2 now supports multiplayer which to me is a huge addition. You can play multiplayer either locally or online and either cooperatively or versus. Each is as you would expect as if you play versus you and up to three others are competing to see who can bust out of prison first where the co-op mode has you working together to escape. Being able to plan a prison breakout with friends just turned out to be a total blast in this game and really adds to the replay value. Visually The Escapists 2 also got an upgrade as it looks quite a bit improved over the original despite sticking to it’s cartoony look. The characters look great and you even have hundreds of options to customize your prisoner.
The Escapists 2 is still probably not a game for those who have little patience but for those who were fans of the first there are very welcome additions for you. More intricate prisons allow you to flex your creativity while the addition of multiplayer allows you to work together or against your friends to see who can break out first. There are quality of life upgrades here but The Escapists 2 is still that same challenging, unforgiving prison simulator that you either love or hated.
*The Escapists 2 is available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Review code provided by the publisher. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro.