Skip to main content

HXR Review - Prison Architect Xbox One Edition


The first time I ever set eyes on Prison Architect was way back in September of 2015, as visiting EGX at that time, the game had a fancy yet small cell-like setting right next to the YouTube stage where my eldest son had me standing most of the time. Not having the time to actually give the game a go, it was a still a game that I always remembered thanks to the setting it had at that event.

Not normally a genre  of game that I play on a regular basis if I'm honest with you, Prison Architect looked to be a game that needed a lot of time sunk into it to see any sort of return, and as I've told you guys plenty of times before, time is something I just don't have. Getting caught up with other reviews, summer holidays starting earlier in the week, add in a wife at home not being well for a good month and a half, and time has never been such a valuable commodity to me right now. None the less, I've sat down with the game now for a good seven hours or so and find myself feeling comfortable enough to give it a little review for you guys to read.

Prison Architect started off in the game preview program for the Xbox One around March I believe, but not so long ago finally saw itself getting a full release onto the console. Thinking of games I've played that reminded me of this game on my Xbox One, Zoo Tycoon instantly came to mind, swapping prisoners for chimps and elephants of course. The game concept is very simple. Build a prison from scratch and make it the best damn prison the world has ever seen.

You have a few modes of play in the game, but the place I started my time with the game was with the thoroughly enjoyable Prison Stories. This mode while essentially being a tutorial portion of the game turned out to be a lot more the more I played it. Offering a small story in each of the five chapters available, it turned out being the most accessible portion of the game for me. Holding your hand all the way through teaching you the simple ropes, it also has a few moments where it allows you to go off and do a few extra requirements and complete additional quests before you finish the chapter. I'm not sure if because it had a story based element to it was the reason it was more my cup of tea. None the less, a great portion of the game that I hope is added to with some DLC at a later date.

Then we have the main building mode, which sees you bringing what you've learned from those prison stories and putting your imagination to work. The main mode has two options available to you, with Architect giving you an empty plot of land to work with, or Warden mode giving you a set amount of pre-built prisons and areas to work with and add too if you wish. From there you can mess with the game options before you begin on what will be a tough learning experience, even if you've messed around with the prison stories I mentioned earlier. The options offer things such as what warden you wish to have working at your prison, game difficulty, map size, and most importantly your budget that you have.

Once that's all out the way things get going, but I can't lie to you all and sit here typing this review saying that I have a Prison that I can be proud of just yet, but slowly I'm getting there. Away from the safety net that the prison stories offer, everything is under your control. That means everything from building your prison and hooking up power and water for it, right down to hiring janitors and cooks to keep what prisoners you allow into your prison happy. It can be a bit daunting to those who are not familiar with this sort of game to begin with, but while it does have a tough learning curve to it for a novice like me, I imagine players who dabble in these games will get to it like a duck to water. That's not to say guys and girls who are noobs like me won't get much from it, but it will depend on your patience with it all, as it can be easy to just give up with it all rather than giving it a chance.

Overall: Prison Stories were fantastic, and a great little way of giving the basics to you while being bloody enjoyable. The same can't be said sadly for the main meat of the game, as it's less forgiving and has a harder learning curve to it for novices to the genre like myself. Controls can also be a bit fiddly at times too.

Pros
Prison Stories are great
Will give you hours of enjoyment if you get to grips with it

Cons
Will soon be forgot about if the main mode isn't for you
Can be too many things going on at once, with a control system not accessible enough to keep up with the pace of it all

Popular posts from this blog

HXR Plays - Overwatch Opening Intro + Reaper Gameplay

Today I start a little series on here where I have a little play with 1 of the 21 characters available in the massively addictive game that is Overwatch.

Today sees me show off the opening intro, as well as playing a game with the character known as Reaper. He falls into the offense side when it comes to character selection, and is great if you enjoy a bit of right in your face combat.

Reaper like the other 20 characters in the game has a few specials to play with outside of his standard weapon. Not only do his standard Hellfire shotguns pack a mean punch at close quarters, but he also has Wraith Form (invincible for a short few seconds but not able to shoot), Shadow Step, which is a fancy way of saying teleporting from one place to another, and finally we have his charged special known as Death Blossom. This special sees Reaper spin around for a few seconds while unloading his deadly shotguns, killing anyone who is stupid enough to get in the way.

More gameplays on the way with me h…

Review - Venom Twin Rechargeable Battery Pack

If you thought my last review about a charging dock must have been hard work to make an interesting read, how do you think I feel doing it for a Twin Rechargeable Battery Pack? You have already read (I hope) my thoughts on my previous way of getting all that power to my controller of many worlds, with this one being less shorter than that just because this pack is a lot more basic when it comes to what you get in the box. It's also worth noting that for a few quid more you can hook yourself up with the docking station version of this pack if you wish, so be sure to check out links to both products at the end of this post (neither of which will give me anything if ordering off. Just so you know).

I've dealt with Venom a few times in the past when it comes to reviewing their items. With me being lucky (depending on how you look at it) enough to getting my hands on some of their headsets and reviewing them elsewhere in the past. The one worry I had spending some money on a Venom…

Earthlock: Festival of Magic (XB1) & Forza Horizon (360) Now Available With Games With Gold

You can now download the two brand new choices seen in the title above on your Xbox One and 360, as late last night they were added to Games With Gold section of your console. I'm really keen to get digging back into Forza Horizon myself, but Earthlock is always worth a look, as with it being free you don't really have nothing to lose. Here are both the trailers and links for you to go get downloading. Let me know what you think of either game in the comments below or over on the Twitter & Facebook accounts.

Earthlock: Festival Of Magic (Xbox One)

Forza Horizon (Available on both 360 and Xbox One via backwards compatibility)