Developer Mouldy Toof Studios and publisher Team17’s top-down prison break-style title, The Escapists, received much praise for its unique art style and the variety of options available to the player to escape each prison. The studio managed to take advantage of everything done right in the first entry and improve upon it in the game’s sequel.
The Escapists 2 features a number of new features to the series, including a multiplayer versus mode, a new and revamped combat system, more craftable items and much more. The multiplayer versus mode offers a local, online and co-op options, where all players are given 24 hours to escape from prison, without having to attend any prison routines, accomplish quests or be obliged to stay in their respective cells at night. The mode provides a very fun and enjoyable experience if you have enough people on board, especially when you start noticing how different each player approaches their escape plan.
From the get go, you will definitely notice a great improvement in the game’s art style and sprites, even if you are only playing with pixelated characters, they can still look good. This is definitely an important improvement when playing the game and will definitely be felt once you start playing. It was most apparent when trying to distinguish different inmates and items. The visuals weren’t the only improvement implemented in The Escapists 2, as players will also get to experience a much improved combat system. The combat now feels much more fluid and reactive than before compared to the original Escapists. One of the most noticeable addition to the combat system is the ability to block your opponent’s attacks. This allowed for some heated confrontations and tense fights. For example, there was a component required to craft an item I needed to fulfil my escape plans. I discovered the item was with one of the inmates, so long story short, I had to fight him to get the item from him and the block option proved very useful in this situation.
Another vastly improved features include crafting and character customisation. Don’t get me wrong, the customisation options featured in the original Escapists was by no means limited, but Mouldy Toof Studios still managed to find a way to expand upon an already extensive list of character creation options to choose from. Another feature that stood out in The Escapists was its unique and vast library of craftable items, and players should expect an even more impressive list of craftable items in the game’s sequel. Players can craft better items depending on their intelligence level, which you can improve by reading books and educating yourself during your free time between prison routines. The preview build included Center Parks 2.0 and Precinct 17 as the only playable prisons, however, the final build of the game will include a total of 10 different and unique prisons,
All in all, The Escapists 2 proved to be a step up from its predecessor, even with the limited content available in the preview build. The game looks and feels much better already, and with time still within the development team’s hands, we can see more improvements on the way. The only downfall was some performance hiccups and crashes but that is completely understandable given the early state the game is in. Keep The Escapists 2 on your radar as it looks much more promising than the original and will probably satisfy those who played the first entry.