The Escapists 2 (PC) Review

By Eric 22.08.2017

Review for The Escapists 2 on PC

Previewed earlier in the month, Mouldy Toof Studios' latest sandbox escape simulator, The Escapists 2, sees players attempting to free themselves from different jails through any means necessary, managing their stats and daily routines, and battling through both other characters and the larger level puzzle at hand. Following the success of the first game and a Walking Dead spin-off, Cubed3 finds out if this sequel does enough to break out of prison itself.

The Escapists 2 is not going to have widespread appeal with its heavy emphasis on puzzle elements, but within the scope of gamers this appeals to, it is an interesting title that many will likely enjoy. The majority of the gameplay revolves around methodically figuring out how to get out of various jails. There is a lot going on here, and it is going to take a long time to understand the various idiosyncrasies of each jail. One particular example of how progress might be made is to go through the normal daily routine to ensure the police do not get suspicious; run around learning patterns, locations, and possible escape routes, for instance.

Different tools can be formed from pieces found, such as making a shovel to tunnel into a new room, making sure to cover up your tracks, then discovering another new item, which could be a grate in the roof, allowing access to another entirely new room…and so on. Life, Stamina and Heat determine the status of a character, with health and their ability to work represented by Life and Stamina, respectively, whilst Heat affects the effort of the guards in looking for the prisoner. Strength, speed and intelligence can be upgraded through gym workouts and reading, and items can also be crafted, partly limited by the character's creativity and intelligence.

Screenshot for The Escapists 2 on PC

There are over 100 items to craft, based on what is found and the intelligence stat. These can be weapons, guard lures, shovels, files, and so on. This is where there is going to be some divergence for players on whether they will like the game or not. To put it bluntly, escaping and options can be overwhelming. There is little clue on what to do, and so many things to try out. Sandbox fans who like puzzles will adore The Escapists 2, but anyone looking for something easier or with consistent and visible progress will be turned off.

Also, just as in the preview build, there are still control problems, sadly. At its root, this is a puzzler, with not a lot of item manipulation going on, yet it still often becomes troublesome. A single misplaced click can have the character punching instead of searching, and then a guard can come and beat you down, causing whatever progress made so far to be lost. The simple menu and inventory management is oddly hard to navigate despite so little happening, as well. Often, simply trying to talk to a character, or switch to the right item, is unintuitive, which is something that should have been ironed out given its occurrence in earlier builds and the feedback provided from previews.

Despite very light RPG elements, and even the sandbox style gameplay, The Escapists 2 is essentially a puzzler-simulator hybrid. Going through the routines and trying to figure out how to escape can be fun when everything is going right. However, based on how tight many schedules are, it can be frustrating that a menu/control problem causes issues. It is somewhat forgiving in that a trip to the emergency room or solitary confinement is not actually that long, but losing progress is what really hurts.

Screenshot for The Escapists 2 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

The Escapists 2 is not going to appeal to a large audience, but for those that fit the niche, they will most definitely enjoy this. Simulator fans and anyone that favours heavy puzzle elements in their games will be more than happy with what it has to offer. It can be hard to figure out what needs to be done, or how next to proceed, but it will definitely scratch the itch for puzzle aficionados.

Developer

Mouldy Toof Studios

Publisher

Team17

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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