Prison escape is a fascinating and thrilling idea, which has been done exceptionally well in movies, but rarely ever in video games. Or at least, never with enough strategy involved to make you feel like a person masterminding a complex web of events that ultimately lead to the escape. However, The Escapists did exactly that, and The Escapists 2 does it even better in many ways.
Presented in a top down pixel art style, The Escapists 2 puts you in the jumpsuit of inmates, trying to escape from different prisons. The tutorial gives you a brief idea of how events unfold and some of the options available for you to make your way to freedom. The later prison levels, however, are the real experience, with interesting twists to them, one of them being escaping from a transport and it offers excellent new challenges.
Early on you learn the routines, schedules and the importance of toeing the line in the sight of the prison guards. Run afoul of them in any way, and more often than not, you’ll end up in solitary confinement, and it’s game over. Learning the ropes is incredibly fun, and with the many new avenues of escape at your disposal, failure feels more like a lesson learned instead of a setback. The combat has also been improved, along with the level layout. This makes for tougher challenges, which ultimately lead to more satisfying outcomes if you succeed.
The game also has local and online multiplayer, and this is a must try for anyone playing the game. Up to three players can team up, and come up with devious ways to defeat the system. Sure, there’s a higher chance of things going wrong as well, but the chaos that ensues often offers some laughs too. Nailing the co-ordinated effort can feel immensely satisfying, and this feels like the best addition to the game so far.
The Escapists 2 might seem like more of the same at first, but the added depth to the strategy, improved combat, fun multiplayer, and better levels are a significant step up from the previous game, and is an easy recommendation for anyone looking for this kind of experience.