Want to take on the exciting challenge of escaping from a heavily guarded prison once again? Want to create your own version of Prison Break with a friend? Well you’re in luck! The Escapist is back and better than ever. Not only does The Escapist 2 improve the quality of the series’ graphics and introduces co-op, it generally has improved the formula of what the original was all about.
From the get go The Escapist 2 introduces you to a tutorial that has a slightly comedic feel to it, having dialogue about a famous prison inmate escaping from a high security prison to where he reminisces about his escape, ending up relaxing on a foreign coastline soaking up the rays of his success – This is how the game teaches you the bare bone basics of how to play and to escape with your life, most importantly. The Escapist 2 is very much similar to the original with a few tweaks here or there and much better graphics.
Like the original, The Escapist 2 takes a while to get off the ground, it has a very slow start due to learning what you can and cannot do, and just simply surviving the day to day life in prison can be a daunting task; in all honesty, if you haven’t played the first one you might feel overwhelmed with every possibility, all the varied items, and the multiple methods of escaping or simply that you can undertake – Where do you start? Although it can feel very frustrating, The Escapist 2 does make you feel as if you are locked away trying to break free, and that nothing is on the table when it comes to your escape.
So what stops you from just escaping out the door, or getting a shovel and digging your way out? To put it simply, your daily activities that you must fulfil restrict your movement around the prison at specific times. Just like the original these act as another challenge you must face to blend in with your fellow inmates and avoid detection – Fail to do so and a suspicion meter at the side will increase each time you miss a certain activity; the higher it is the more aggressive the guards will be to the point where if you even set so much as a foot outside of the complex, you will be sniped on sight by every guard on duty. The activities are there to balance out the game and to even help you out in earning money, to getting buffer, and increasing your strength, on top of other benefits.
With The Escapist 2, however, there really isn’t much you can say in regards of differences between this title and it’s predecessor… That is apart from the two obvious things, multiplayer and the way it looks and feels. The Escapist 2 mainly focuses itself on improving the series’ combat, giving more elaborate ways to escape and new items to mess and experiment with; it definitely feels as if The Escapist 2 is about refining the original formula and improving certain aspects to create a game that forces you to think strategically and outside of the box, acting very much more like “The Escapist 1.5” – That’s not a bad thing, however – If you want to feel as if you are part of the great escape or simply want to experience a truly challenging game with a twist, then this is the game for you.
Overall although I may utterly suck at this game, I really did enjoy the challenge and the comedy it brings to the table; The Escapists 2 is very much an evolution of the ‘Escapist Formula’ rather than a revolutionary and huge leap forwards – For that I believe this game deserves an 8/10.