They've actually patched this several times since this review and several were related to the controls, so maybe time for a review update GameSpot?
Escape Plan brings action and puzzles to the Vita with style, but awkward controls crash the party.
- Inventive puzzles
- Charming production visuals
- Catchy tunes.
- Awkward, frustrating controls.
Lil and Laarg are two buddies who look like bulging black garbage bags with wiry legs and arms and white masks for faces. Somehow the two chums were captured by the evil Bakuki, a mad scientist who locked them up in his secret space base. Their future looks grim indeed, until one day Lil wakes up from a nap and escapes from his holding cell. He frees his pal, and the resourceful duo work on a plan to escape the clutches of their captor. Reminiscent of PlayStation-era games by Oddworld Inhabitants, Escape Plan stars weak heroes lost in a hostile environment where their wits are every bit as important as their agility. Their adventure is a difficult and often frustrating one, but it's ultimately engaging enough to make enduring that frustration worthwhile.
Lil and Laarg are controlled using the Vita's two touch surfaces, though you rarely move them both at once. When a stage requires you to guide the pair to one or more exit gates, you can tap icons in the corner of the screen to switch whom you control. In most cases, though, you find only one of the characters in a given stage because they get split up frequently. Even when they're in the same room, they rarely work as a team. In a handful of areas you need to guide one fellow to stand on a switch to open the way for the other guy to eliminate a hazard, but such cases are the exception, not the rule.
Regardless of the character you're actively controlling, most actions are managed using the front touch screen, and the camera is manipulated with the right analog stick if necessary. You can swipe at a character to make him start moving forward in the specified direction until either you tap him to halt his movement or he brushes against a non-fatal obstacle. The rear touch pad is used to interact with the environment. It's possible to push out beams that can serve as ledges, for instance. That's not to say that the front touch screen doesn't manipulate your surroundings, however; often, you need to use it to make oversized fan blades whirl or to knock objects out of the way. Sometimes, you might be trying to tweak the environment and accidentally set your character on an unwelcome march.
The control scheme works reasonably well in low-stress situations where precision and timing aren't necessary. However, the game frequently presents you with more dangerous situations where you figure out what you need to do to succeed but you still can't triumph because the control scheme isn't up to the task. Of particular note are those moments when Lil sucks up gas and floats like a balloon. You're supposed to swipe the screen to change the direction he faces, and you need to tilt the Vita to control his angle. Often, you have to do that while also being prepared to squeeze the front and back touch panels at the same time so that Lil can fart to lose altitude and avoid a hazard.
The only negatives mentioned in the article are control nuances, yet GS knocks four points off for that? Seems a bit harsh, though as others have stated, that seems to be the trend for GS-reviewed Vita games. I played Escape Plan on a demo unit and found it quite entertaining. The controls take some getting used to, but they're not as bad as GS makes them out to be. When I buy the Vita, I will definitely be picking this game up.
Although the game is far from original (think Limbo meets machinarium), I give the game a 7.5 for the nice art direction and as said below, a perfect run through each stage is what gives this game a good addiction factor.
the concept it's really good and at the same time new hardware meas a lot of experimental games, it's still a good experience not as great as when I played exit on psp a few years ago but worth playing
Lol gs's low vita scores are becoming a running joke for those that know better. The controls perform as intended. The only frustration lies with occasionally making a gesture to early, when the game isnt accepting input, which can throw off your timing. Whether you like the controls is simply a matter of preference. I love them. The game looks and performs great. My only complaint is that the edges could be crisper, at least on the character models. The vita could definately handle some aa in this game, assuming there is no more room for increasing the res. The game is a bit on the short side, but achieving full trophies does offer some replay fun. Trophies aside, shooting for a perfect run is very addictive, albeit frustrating. As i said in the little deviants review thread, this game is an 8. I still stand by that, having spent even more time with the game.
I love this game, I have some problems with the controls too... but honestly I don't think that this game deserves a 6.0...
@EKGProd Yeah reading the review, I was thinking, how much of it is forced touch screen support. Bit unfortunate how much more complicated it makes things. I really like the art design and personality of the game.
@MafiaMusic That's a little pre-mature don't you think? It hasn't been out long enough in EU, USA and other regions around the world (Only Asia). I can only see your post as a fanboy towards other consoles, since you brought up the PS3 (which has been a decent console to some extent). Now back to the game, I've played a good hour or so of Escape Plan. I was really excited to play it before owning the Ps Vita, since it reminded me of the indie game Limbo. But after doing a good handful of levels, Escape Plan started to loose it's unique feel. I ended up having to use more touches per level and ruin a good 3 star reward. Sometimes you end up hitting the back touch screen on the device more often which was annoying. Also, blindly touching a screen isn't the smartest thing to be honest (Still really unsure why it's there, it feels less of a gain and more of a hassle). Escape Plan is still worth a try for any Vita user, but it isn't the game to brag about how well the console can do (So far things like Uncharted, shows of the power of the device from what I've experienced from it).
I keep hearing these control complaints, but I honestly don't have much of a problem with them. I've been having great fun with it so far. With the exception of the farting when you're floating in the air, I've found the controls responsive enough. I have trouble determining what direction you'll go in when you sqeeze to fart, and have had some annoying deaths because of that. But that aside I've found the controls fine. I don't even have a problem with the levels where you have you use multiple fingers to cover up holes and stuff. Definitely worth the £5 I paid for it. I got £5 off for pre-ordering the Vita though, and I doubt it's worth the regular £10 asking price.
Yeah this review is spot on. The game itself is a lot of fun in small doses. Pick it up and beat 4 or 5 levels and then put it down. Don't try and play more than that, since the awkward controls will just test your patience. Many, I don't know how they designed this game and didn't stop to think about how people would control the darn thing!? Honestly, the way they have you trying to do 4 things at once AND hold on to the Vita is so frustrating most of the time. There was no need for many of the control frustrations. Actually, there was no need for the entire thing to be designed on the touch screen. It screams of Sony pushing their will on them. If they can patch the game to allow for better control, I would be all over this game. As it is, it is a fun diversion for a few minutes a day. Anything more and you're just asking for trouble.
I really love almost everything about this game except for the controls. It was an interesting control scheme at first, but then it became difficult to hold the console. It's almost as if the game developers had three hands or something. Damn shame.