I picked this game up recently for a Black Friday in July sale, even though I was supposed to wait for the actual Black Friday sale. One of the main reasons I played this game so quickly was because it didn’t require much space on my PS4 hard drive and I’m down to just about 25 GB’s. My PS4 won’t let me go any lower and I have no idea why, anyway that’s not the point. The point is if this game is good enough to get my seal of approval, so keep reading to find out.
The one thing I wasn’t expecting was for this game to have an actual story. I thought it was going to be just another one of those sandbox build games. I was sadly mistaken as the basic tutorials for the game are shown in a story mode. In this story mode, you’ll learn that all the prison stories are connected in some way and that each man, I really thought there would be some women prisons so that it would be like I was playing Orange is the New Black but I digress, is in prison for a reason. Can they be redeemed or will they be stuck in the system forever? You’ll see how the story goes and decide how you’re going to run your own prison either by helping these men or damning them for their crimes.
I really enjoyed this game, so much that I spent three whole weeks playing it. The story mode was something unexpected and I liked that it showed you how to play the game while also telling a story. The story was well thought out and I couldn’t have asked for more when it came to this game. The sandbox mode was the highlight of the game, of course, as the whole point is to run your own prison without someone telling you what to do. I have to say that I found this game a lot easier to play and really get into than I did Tropico 5, which is a good game in its own way as well. As with Tropico 5, I did have to start a bunch of different sandbox games until I was able to find the right kind of prison that worked for me and was efficient to run. Overall I had over 10 different prisons, not including the prisons in Warden Mode, and I didn’t regret any of them. Now Warden Mode, while similar to sandbox mode, is different because you’re coming into run an already established prison. While not as fun as the sandbox mode, it’s yet another aspect to this game.
The playability of this game was rather simple and even though there is a lot to learn about this game in order to run your prison efficiently, it’s all very simple and doesn’t require you to be a genius. Even the most unexperienced time management / simulation game players will still be able to play this game with ease. Throughout the game I didn’t experience any glitches or game breaking bugs at all. Everything ran smoothly and was actually really enjoyable since I didn’t have to worry about saving every five minutes. The only complaint that I have is that this game moved from the PC to the PS4 and it shows because the writing in the game is super small and I had to sit really close to my TV in order to see it all. Not really all that comfortable when you’re trying to relax.
The graphics for this game were something that I really liked. I liked that instead of the realistic look that Tropico 5 had gone for, this game did the complete opposite and made everything cartoon like. The snapshots that you collect throughout the game were done graphic novel style which was in contrast to the actual graphics of the game. Overall it all worked out for a pretty awesome visual presentation of the game as a whole. When it comes to graphics in a game, it has to work for the game itself and this game had all the right things going for them in the graphics department.
There are total of 31 trophies for this game, including an almighty platinum trophy. Believe me though, the 30 trophies that you have to collect in order to get the platinum is no cake walk. No matter where you look at it, on your PS4 or on PSNProfiles.com, the platinum is Ultra Rare and it’s for a reason. Do not play this game thinking that you’ll be getting a super easy platinum trophy because you’ll be in for a rude awakening.
While there is no multiplayer for this game, there is a system where you can upload and download different prisons and in order to get one of the trophies you’ll have to do so. This works great and you get to see what other people are building and all that, but the only problem I had with this was that you had to create a Double 11 ID, which was something that I didn’t want to do because it seems like more and more game companies are trying to get you to do this in order to experience the full version of their game.
Overall I give this game 4 out of 5.
+ Original story in the form of a tutorial that gets you ready for the meat of the game which is the sandbox mode.
+ There’s so much to do that the story, sandbox mode, and warden mode will have you playing for hours on end.
+ Really great graphics that fit the game and enhance the gameplay.
+ No bugs or game breaking glitches, make each and every playthrough a smooth one.
What’s Not So Great:
– There’s a lot of reading for this game, which is really not a problem, except that the writing in the game is super small and you’ll have to sit super close to your TV if you want to be able to read anything.
– If you want to upload your prison or download other people’s prisons you’ll have to do so by getting a Double 11 ID, and if you don’t because you don’t want to sign up with another game company you’ll miss out on some good content.
If you’re a fan of time management / simulation games, then this is one that you can’t pass up. It’s really rare that when these types of games come on the PS4 that they’re any good, but this one is. It not only lets you build the prison of your dreams, but it also walks you through each step with a tutorial that has an unexpected story to go along with it. This is a great game for beginners as well as experienced players that shouldn’t be passed up.