Overall - 70%
The Escapists 2 is an good prison break game that could use a few more additions to make it a great one. If you don't like RNG, this isn't for you, but fans of the first one or purveyors of co-op modes will be satisfied with the title.
The original Escapists came out of nowhere and became a YouTube sensation. Can The Escapists 2 capture lightning in the bottle like the first game, or is it just more of the same? Check out our The Escapists 2 review and find out what we thought.
The Escapists 2 Review
I’ll start off by saying that I did not play the first game, so I don’t know much about it. The Escapists 2 places you in prison and your job is to escape. How you escape is up to you for the most part. However, you can’t find a gun and shoot your way out. Instead, in each level (of which there are 11), you are given objectives that help you to escape the prison. You are allowed to dig or cut your way out of each level, but the real challenge comes from the objectives. Some of them involve disguising yourself to blend in and walk right out, while others involve building something to aid in the escape. All the objectives have a name that hints at what you have to do, but none of them actually tell you what needs to be done. This added more than I expected to the game, because just digging out each time can get boring very quickly. It’s hard to put an hour number down, but you can easily spend 30+ hours in The Escapists 2 and still not complete everything.
Something that is new in The Escapists 2 is co-op. I find that co-op is a welcome addition to nearly any game, and in The Escapists 2, it can truly shine. I mentioned how each level has certain objectives for escaping; some of those are co-op objectives. At first, the co-op objectives are actually really easy and you can get out within a day, making co-op the way to go for the first couple prisons. As you progress, they become more and more difficult. One of them has you building a glider so you can escape off the roof, but building it is very difficult, and you can easily lose the items to the guards. Despite this, collecting items, beating down inmates and guards, and pretty much anything else is quicker in co-op.
So you might be asking yourself, “How do you actually escape prison?” Each prison has other inmates and guards who all follow a routine. You also have to follow your routine, or else the security level goes up and you might even be put in solitary confinement. In between routine shifts, you are searching for items or beating people up for their items so you can build what you need to build to escape. You can also do side quests for people, which involve collecting items, beating down people, and flooding toilets. You get cash for doing this missions and you can use the cash to buy contraband items to also help with your escape. Pretty much everything you do is meant to help you escape.
Crafting plays a very large role in the game. Intellect is one of three stats you can boost, and it will help you with crafting higher level items. You can also boost stamina and strength, but those don’t help with crafting. You can craft basic items such as a sock mace or a rope made out of two sheets. You can also raise your intellect and craft a stun gun, a fake gun, or high-quality tools for escaping. There is a catch though – each level has a metal detector that actually only detect contraband. If you go through one of these with something that is contraband, the guards rush you and beat you down to steal your items. You can get them back from the guard desk, or you can craft a bag that lets you slip through the detectors with contraband items. This is just another thing you have to keep in the back of your mind on top of the routines and requests. The game does a great job of adding a bunch of smaller things for you to keep track of and also lulls you into thinking you have everything figured out until you trip an alarm.
Something that is missing from the game is a sneak attack system. Whenever you attack a guard, even if no one else is around, the other guards know and when they see you they attack. This also applies to the snipers in the yard – they will shoot at you even if you took a guard out inside and they had no way of knowing. Something like a silent takedown that let you get away with it unless a camera was around would be great. Another problem with the game is RNG. I’m going to give you a quick lesson in RNG: RNG is a random number generator and it is used in a ton of games. Basically, it is the thing that decides what loot you get in The Escapists 2. It is also in Destiny, which decided what weapon you get from an engram, and can also be found in any MMO after you defeat a boss and see what loot it drops. Sometimes, and honestly it felt like more often than not, you need a single item to escape and that item does not spawn. After 10 in-game days, it still might not spawn. The quickest solution to this is to restart the level and see if it spawns day one. It isn’t a good system to use in a game like this.
As usual, I will end with the problems I ran into…and there were a few. The game did crash on my somewhat frequently but this was only when leaving or joining a co-op game. Another problem I ran into was the co-op doors. Some doors take one person to open while the other goes through. When your partner gets on the other side the hit a switch and you come through. On a couple of occasions, we ended up getting stuck behind the doors with no way to escape. As you can see, most of the problems were involved with co-op. I don’t recall any framerate issues or any major glitches outside of what I just mentioned. On a side note, the soundtrack is really catchy, which is good since you spend upwards of five hours on some levels.
The Escapists 2 is an good prison break game that could use a few more additions to make it a great one. If you don’t like RNG, this isn’t for you, but fans of the first one or purveyors of co-op modes will be satisfied with the title.