The first Escapists was certainly surprising not only with the level of fun, but also how much depth was provided for those wishing to escape. For those unfamiliar with the series, in The Escapists you’re put into a prison whether it’s realistic or mystical and need to find whatever way you can to break out. While I wasn't particularly amazing at breaking out of jail, it was still a blast and something so many people enjoyed playing. With this sequel I got the chance to move around one of the latest desert-like prisons during E3 this year. There wasn't any sort of pressure to escape as the goal here was to go over what's new. On the surface the game plays like you remember the first game with significant smaller improvements.
This includes things such as environmental details, the larger use of space and better animations. The characters have an extra bit of depth to their design with many customization options. This is carried towards each of the fine other prisoners you'll spend your time with. The prisons are of course larger, quite varied and full of new activities. The core concept of what you do in a day is unchanged, just now there's so many more activites and ways to get things done.
I'm somewhat of a trouble maker since I personally have issues getting out of jail and like to make the most of my time behind bars. It seems that combat is relatively the same as well as my hit and then move a bit before hitting again technique. That's not to say combat hasn't been overhauled, as it has had changes in how you fight. I just wanted to note that to me it felt similar in how I go about taking on the guards. After fighting some folks I obviously got knocked out not having anything useful to fight with. I took this time to see how crafting was and it's much easier than before.
This was a welcomed improvement as it'll make escaping more accessible. It's more focused of a system to create things with a helpful UI to handle the change. Aside from working out to get better at things, you can also participate in hobbies. These are fun activities and just like with doing workouts everything will have a mini game. This adds some better engagement to activities instead of just pumping iron, it's well welcomed. For those wanting to play together The Escapists 2 will have many coop options including local or online options with drop-in/drop-out play which is impressive. I'm looking forward to taking a look at the full game in the future and for now I was impressed with the improvements.
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