Team 17 Digital bring The Escapists: Complete Edition to the Nintendo Switch, you can now experience the whole story and all of the DLC on the go but this time with the exclusively designed Fhurst Peak.
The Escapists is a game that is easy to get into but can be hard to master. The basic plot of the game is to complete each level by escaping from the prison. Each scenario puts you in a varying security type of prison, presenting different degrees of difficulty and a unique set of obstacles to overcome in a bid for freedom. During the tutorial, you learn the basic controls and, usefully, one of the most common escape methods – the classic, stealing a guards uniform before digging your way under the fence.
With the tutorial out of the way, the game starts you off in the first prison which is called Center Perks. It is the lowest security level type of prison that you are asked to escape from, it also somewhat reminds me of Centre Parks in England which, to be honest, feels a bit like a prison while you are visiting. Each level and different prison type has its own set of escape routes to be found but essentially they all boil down to the same obvious ones. The kind you instantly remember when thinking of any prison escape movie, well apart from the Great Escape because disappointingly I never did manage to pick up a motorbike and hit that massive jump Steve McQueen-esque.
Anyway, back to the game in hand, to successfully perform most of the escapes will require you to build up your character’s inventory levels to such a point that you can then craft multiple key items out of the random things collected. One of my favourite items to craft are the nunchucks, made out of two wooden sticks some duct tape and wire. I know, not really the most useful thing to help with an escape but it made me laugh when someone asked for nunchucks and I had them.
As you progress through the game you talk to a number of different characters who in turn ask you to perform favours for them. The favours tend to fall into three categories – fetch something, beat-up someone or simply distract the guards – this becomes a very useful mechanic and one that can be taken advantage. Each of the computer-controlled prisoners will either love or hate you as a reaction to whether or not you offer them support with favours. In the first prison, I decided to beat everyone up. If anyone saw me running around they would immediately chase after me subsequently causing the guards to notice the commotion and would then proceed to knock them out. It didn’t actually get me any further in the game but was immensely entertaining and kept me laughing maniacally every time it happened.
I mainly played The Escapists on the bus to work, it is the perfect game to play in short bursts as you can do a couple of things, progress a level or two in-between the journey and other games. The only noticeable performance difference from the main Xbox/PS4/PC outings I found was with the loading times. On the Switch version, they aren’t all that great but are at least they are not as bad as Lara Croft Go on the PSVita, which in turn is almost as bad as a pre-patched Bloodborne. This package really is the complete edition and offers great value for money with the amount of DLC packs included: Alcatraz, Escape Team, Duct Tapes are Forever, Santa’s Sweatshop, London Tower, Banned Camp, Jingle Cells, Paris Central Pen and Fhurst Peak.
The Escapists: Complete Edition thankfully is still a fantastic game and you can spend as much time as you want with it because all of the additional content and maps are included. For the price you are paying it is absolutely worth getting even if you have played it on any of the other formats previously. Whether you play the game like I do, just being a dick to the prisoners or properly by meticulously planning the best escape route the possibilities are endless and fun! On the whole, I would give this 8/10 as the game is good fun. Extended load times and that upon longer play sessions it can become very samey are the only a minor down points.
Beard Score: 8/10
Genre: RPG, Strategy
Release Date: 25/09/18 (Switch)
Publisher Team 17
Platform: Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch