The Escapists 2 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Shane Jury 11.01.2018

Review for The Escapists 2 on Nintendo Switch

First released back in 2014 on Steam Early Access, and given a couple release the following year, the original The Escapists was developed by Mouldy Toof Studios through Kickstarter funding, and gave a unique playable insight into prison breakouts. The game was received well with many praising the unique concept of the game and its charming art style, with a common critique being accessibility. After a spin-off game adapted to The Walking Dead franchise, the numbered sequel has arrived, marking the series' debut on Nintendo hardware. Will it be the glorious taste of freedom for The Escapists 2 on Nintendo Switch, or potato-peeling duties in solitary confinement?

For both series fans and newcomers alike, the first aspect of the game to garner attention will be the 16-bit-esque 2D pixel art it employs, and it does so magnificently. The first title was already quite the looker, and its sequel takes things even further with more detail in the environments, and more character expression and animation. The background music successfully embodies the sneaky yet subtle theme effectively, as well, with certain sound effects like the alarms and dog barking not getting lost in the tunes.

The Escapists 2 is ultimately straightforward in its mission objective for the player. Begin as a convict in one of many prison types; now do whatever is needed to escape. As such, a narrative to follow is rather sparse, although the beginning tutorial does an amusingly entertaining job of an introduction with Robinson, a previous inmate that details how he escaped as he guides the player through his methods. Whilst a very unique way of putting an effective tutorial into The Escapists 2 as it is something its predecessor lacked, it isn't quite sufficient enough, as the one sequence of events depicted is a far cry from the sheer amount of possibilities open. Great as a teaser, but very little guidance comes afterwards.

Screenshot for The Escapists 2 on Nintendo Switch

The Escapists 2 has strong elements of a time-management sim. Generally the prison maps have no overall time limit in which to escape barring a few exceptions, but a typical day has hourly events, many of which are mandatory attendance. Not doing so raises guard alerts and may even cause lockdowns and confinements. Free Time hours are where exploration and learning guard patterns comes into play, as well as investigating potential escape methods. The Escapists 2 is impressively varied in how many options there are for jailbreaking. Impersonate a guard by stealing his uniform and walking out? Create a makeshift shovel and dig to freedom? Start a riot and leave in the confusion? Get sent out along with the mail? It's all possible with enough planning and preparation.

Those two bullet points will make The Escapists 2 a very polarising title for most. Strategists will love the many possibilities that can be undertaken and the intricate outlining needed for results, but straightforward players will hate the high likelihood of something going wrong and being pushed back to square one resources-wise. Menu navigation and crafting have been streamlined more in the sequel, the latter being clearer in what will work where and when, and the fighting mechanics now have more depth beyond just a punching button.

Thankfully, helping this tougher approach to time and inventory management are the multiplayer functions. Anyone can start a map and have up to three friends or random players online jump in to aid in their escape, or to hinder if so deviously wished. Two-player split-screen is also present, and ready for two Joy-Con play, even with a separate Versus mode that pits inmate against inmate in escaping first. Even without company, there's plenty for the solo player to enjoy with an achievements system tucked away in the Criminal Record profile page, and online leaderboards for best times in a map. The Escapists 2 can be in it for the long con on many maps, but the feeling of successful liberation can be more than worth it.

Screenshot for The Escapists 2 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

More of a refinement of the original than seeking to right its wrongs, The Escapists 2 on Nintendo Switch adds more of what fans enjoyed in the first place, whilst still not quite advocating enough time to entice a newer crowd.

Developer

Mouldy Toof Studios

Publisher

Team17

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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