If you’re in a prison, there’s a good chance you’re not reading this, but, I think we all understand the idea of wanting to escape from somewhere. This sandbox lets you explore that dream, even though you might just have fun sticking around and getting in trouble.
In this sandbox, you jump into a set of prison coveralls and start living life in a cell. Your mission: Escape the prison with your knowledge, skills, and anything obtained within the walls. The difficulty? You’re not very strong, or smart, and building the supplies you need might take time. Don’t piss off the correctional officers or other inmates, and you’ll have an easier time getting around and getting what you need. In order to build funds, or friendships, you’ll have to get help from certain inmates, usually at the expense of others, but, it’s all about managing relationships and building up your skills and abilities.
As far as games I have early access to – this game is a real treat, no major bugs, and only a few glitches, but, these things are likely to be addressed before release, so, I won’t mention them as a negative. Overall, the game runs wonderfully, and even when I found a glitch, it really didn’t happen often enough to be a problem.
The simple graphics and audio aren’t terrible. They just allow you to understand the world without being distracted by graphics or annoying music. I think the point is that while a bunch of morally questionable stuff is going on, the graphics and music, almost Harvest Moon style in nature, keep the nature of the game lighthearted, instead of being this brutal harsh world, which, is what the game would be depicting if it was fleshed out in 3D. To me, the style of the game is supposed to be lighthearted, and the graphics and music help carry that point home.
One of the major things you need to do in this game is level up your physical and mental attributes, which, are things that are easily remedied when you work out and read books. These have little mini games that themselves are fun little distractions, but, the real benefit is the damage increase for physical levels, and the ability to craft bigger or more powerful equipment through the crafting system.
The big challenge in crafting is taking the stuff you’re allowed to carry, and the things that are considered contraband, and putting them together, which almost always makes them contraband, and hiding that during raids and through metal detectors. Once you get what you need to where you need it, you’ll have the ability to do the things you need to break the rules to escape. A good example is building a strong pick-axe, and use it to dig through the floor and then escape under the fence. (which, is something you’ll do during the in-game tutorial.)
I think one of the more frustrating pieces of the crafting system is not realizing what you have available to you in your hidden spots at your table, or, the things that are available to you around the prison. It takes a lot of memorization and placement to keep everything where it needs to be so you have access to it quickly, but, once you master this, and master understanding what you need to build each thing on the crafting menu, the game is built really well and doesn’t hinder your progress aside from having to level up your abilities to get you to the point where you’re able to construct what you need, and being strong enough to survive any missteps with other inmates.
The game’s simple, but entertaining. The most fun in the game would definitely be had playing multiplayer with your friends. If you’re working within a network of affiliated prisoners, having a guy with high stats in crafting would be beneficial, and the rest of your team can get away with hiding goods and being effective in combat, should the need arise. There’s a VS. mode, where it’s every man for himself, and there are no quests, snipers, or routines, but, the co-op mode is really where the game shines.
When you wake up in the morning, you have count, then, onto your daily routines. These routines are where you’ll have to take time to build relationships or catch somebody off guard. Of course, there’s free time also, but, eventually, you’ll be forced back into your cell. You can set up an escape from there, or during some of your free time, the ways you escape are pretty much endless.
The create-a-character system is really neat, and you can make all your friends as NPCs, either as inmates OR guards. Beating up your friends or bribing them seems like good fun, but, like I was saying earlier, having them escape the prison with you is the easiest and most fun way to get through the game.
The game is a simple concept, but it’s got a lot of deep game mechanics under the surface. The whole thing is memorization of concepts and layouts, then sneaking past the guards and escaping when you can. Once you start putting together a plan and are searching for specific items, it takes a lot longer to find exactly what you’re looking for, but, there’s a sense of satisfaction in completing the tasks you plan for yourself.
As far as a single player offering, I suppose there’s some enjoyment to be had, but, I’m firmly of the belief that once you memorize each prison and guard layout, there’s not much extra to be had there, unless you’re looking at breaking out in various ways. The brutal difficulty, and knowledge that at any moment, all of your goods can be seized really keeps you on edge. One mistake and you’re back at having nothing but your brains and whatever muscle you’ve managed to get, so, working out and getting smart is probably the most important thing one can do to be successful. (Kind of like real life?)
Keep an eye out for this game, as it releases on August 22nd, though, you can pre-purchase the game now by heading to it’s Steam or Playstation Store page.
Disclosure: We received this game for free.
Published by: Team17 Digital Ltd (<– Twitter Link)