The Escapists is a great little indie title that is a throwback to a forgotten age of gaming. With 8 bit graphics and 80’s electro music making it feel like an older game to a fault, this sandbox prison break out game is a lot of fun and surprisingly detailed. You can check out our review for the game here.
With the new DLC Alcatraz, you get thrown into a re-creation of the famous prison in the San Francisco Bay. The game simulates the real life Alcatraz and this lead to me using countless quotes from The Rock in a poor imitation of Sean Connery’s voice. There were very little references to Nic Cage during the same period, for obvious reasons.
“Steal a guard uniform, fashion a pickaxe and buy your way on the ferry to your new life. Sounds simple enough, right?”
As an inmate of Alcatraz, you simply have to bribe, steal and dig your way out of the prison to freedom. Steal a guard uniform, fashion a pickaxe and buy your way on the ferry to your new life. Sounds simple enough, right? Except it’s not. You have to work long hours in order to procure the money and that means keeping your job which means you have to stay out of trouble. But in order to find the perfect wall to dig through, you have to explore which could lead to you being caught which lands you in some serious trouble. What about if you get fired from your cushy laundry job? It’s going to be a lot harder to get that guard uniform. And you better hope there isn’t a riot, because that will put your plans back yet again.
The thing that impressed me most about Alcatraz is how much effort was put into recreating the legendary prison in Escapist fashion! I was half expecting to see a pixelated Michael Biehn try to enter the showers. While I don’t have statistics about how accurate the layout actually is, it truly felt like a genuine facsimile. There was a certain level coolness to wandering around a place so full of mystique as an 8 bit inmate looking to go all Wentworth Miller on the place (last celebrity reference, I promise).
As far as DLC goes, Alcatraz is exactly what you want from an add-on. With a difficulty somewhere near the middle tier, it’s everything you loved about the near over the top homage to the beginning of gaming with the addition of the most legendary prison in the pop culture lexicon. The incorporation of Alcatraz gives you the ability to do what one else ever could (supposedly) and break out of the prison. The inclusion of the ferry ride to safety shows that the developers were trying to change up the gameplay as much as they could and give you a new way to finally break free. The other selling point for me was the low price tag. Hitting the PSN/XBL stores for $2.99, it’s a tight add-on to a great little game that won’t leave your pockets hurting.
If you’re a fan of the game and are looking for a little more or you’re simply looking for a new indie game to dive into, Alcatraz is a great addition to an already solid game that will leave you feeling like Tim Robbins (not sorry) in the end!
*** Reviewed on PS4, code supplied by the publisher ***