Coming later this year to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC, from label Team17 and developer Mouldy Toof, The Escapists 2 touts the most fan-requested feature since the series’ debut in February 2015: multiplayer mode.
The Escapists was well received upon its release in 2015, and featured five DLC packages before it had been out for a whole year, plus a standalone spin-off based on The Walking Dead. Critics praised the wide variety of approaches players could take in beating the game, from riots to tunnels to vents. IGN writer Richard Cobbett described the game as “a mix of sandbox, puzzle, and open-world action”, but noted that the game required “a long series of days to gather and assemble the bits that you need for an escape, and it’s easy to lose all the important ones with just the slightest mistake.”
Perhaps Escapists 2 won’t frustrate as many players, since similar approaches to crafting and interacting with guards and NPC inmates seem to be in place. While there’s no indication that the sequel’s tutorial will be any more revealing than the original, at the very least players (who have had the opportunity to play before) will not be left quite as clueless. Just as in the first game, players will have to balance following the prison schedule and shifts at a prison job with exploration of the prison for weak points and potential escape routes.
Multiplayer may also have an ameliorating effect; players that are new to the series can play with friends or online, in teams of 2-4. Offering co-op and versus modes, players can drop in and out of multiplayer games, allowing people to join games already in progress. The entire campaign of The Escapists 2 can be completed solo or multiplayer, but some areas and methods of escape are only available in co-op.
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