Kill or Be Killed With “The Esc4pe Download”
“A primitive shooter meant to be played in a few minutes”, as its developer calls it, “The Esc4pe” was made with Unity 3D in less than a month.
Addressing this game as anything other than the practical exercise that it is would be unfair, but that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
The game does appear incomplete and clanky, but then again, it makes no effort to hide it.
In the game’s website, the developer states quite explicitly that the game is not stable and that it won’t be receiving any updates or fixes.
Three Parts Nostalgia, Half Part Innovation
Veteran first person shooter players will immediately recognize the classics from whence “The Esc4pe Download” draws its inspiration.
The game’s aesthetics are heavily influenced by shooter mega-hit “Borderlands”, incorporating the series’ signature comic book-like graphics and oversaturated colors.
At the same time the weapons, power-ups, and level design will remind you of another fps legendary title: Quake 2.
Hell, the firing animation and even the projectile shot from your pistol are almost identical to the energy pistol in Quake. That said, the final touch comes from the spring from which every first person shooter was born. Doom.
The enemies move in the same two-dimensional fashion as the enemies of the classic installment of Doom back in the 1990s; always facing you, more animated flat pictures than three dimensional entities.
At some point you’ll face a minigun wielding dude who you’ll swear is the long lost cousin of Doom’s heavy weapons guy.
Kill, Escape, and Repeat…
“The Esc4pe” holds few surprises in terms of gameplay, even fewer than the game’s weapons arsenal.
You pick up weapons, you walk around, you shoot.
You do so using a pistol, an assault rifle, and a shotgun, with the only twist being that you get to pick up and shoot two pistols at the same time.
The whole concept is as basic as it can be, but without the light-hearted, over-the-top fun that games like “Serious Sam” bring into the equation.
Again, the fact that this is not really a game becomes painfully apparent with every cardboard enemy you mow down.
Some have described “The Esc4pe” as difficult in the beginning, but if that’s the case you’ll be hard pressed to notice.
My Final Thoughts on the Game
Actually, “The Esc4pe Game” has little purpose but to demonstrate its creator’s technical expertise in game development.
It looks like the seed for something potentially worthwhile, if it ever grew to become something more than a portfolio placeholder.
Now, it is so much of “a gem in the rough” that it is impossible to determine if it is a gem at all.
At the same time it feels real enough that it makes you wonder about the possibilities, even makes you feel a bit disappointed for not being, well…more.
With the first person shooter market so oversaturated with reboots and overused tropes though, “The Esc4pe” does little to contribute anything particularly meaningful to the genre.
Which to be honest, is clearly outside its scope to begin with.