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Review of Inescapable: No Rules, No Rescue
|Subject||Inescapable: No Rules, No Rescue|
Inescapable: No Rules, No Rescue - Download Edition
Vote: 5Unalo on 2023-11-18
|Review||When I picked up Inescapable kinda made a simple mistake all consumers do grab the product without considering well its general quality, played recently through all my Ps4's visual novels which includes most of its catalogue so got this one along with the promising Anonymous:Code.|
First and foremost this game was apparently marketed as a dead game or a "budget" Dangaronpa, this strategy didn't catch me off guard as I've purchased it because the artwork looked cool but it tricked many, the demo apparently didn't show enough of the game and the hook was well hidden, deceptive marketing is intolerable and Dreamloop games should apologise openly for the troubles as console customers cannot get their money back through the Playstore(only the lucky PC users).
What I found was an average story with routes that either were rushed or bordering the offensive with the expected saving grace, the focus is a reality show/contest ran by the mysterious-and awfully voiced-DeWinter twins for the Dark web(and that's all we get about the context or overall motivations for its creation really), Harrison is a really weak main character in terms of development and clearly suffers from the blank state syndrome even with a supposedly tragic background which they barely talk about "the fake Prodigy story" his personality mutates by the moment to a point where you wonder if he is a person or a placeholder, some have described him as a "man child" and honestly that's far too generous as he is a blank canvas only pretty to look at.
The rest of the characters include a cast full of Europeans, from Isak the Norwegian emo(best voice actor in the game by far), Eva the Estonian shit poster streamer(used lots of annoying/repetitive slang but a personal favourite), Annika the Sweedish maid that speaks in third person as "Anni", Lumi the Finnish born scientist daughter of African emigrants(she seems to be the developers love or critical letter to Finland giving they are a Finnish studio) , Maria "Mia" the German lass that comes from a big family big sister type and Harri's best friend(unlikable character with workplace harrasment as a backstory), Sasha the wonder the non binary character(overly sexualised with horrible voice acting), Giovanni "Gio" the mafia boss that postulates as a restaurant chain owner/famous chef(enjoyed his voice acting), Valérie "Val" the French brat that exploites Annika(bad voice acting but captured the French kiddo character), Francisca "Chica" the minhota or northern Portuguese woman that is a bit of a tomboy and a mechanism by trade and finally Daan "Daanike" the Dutch cyclist promise.
Talking about the routes, like any other visual novel depending on your actions in the prologue the game automatically directs you to one of the paths, three vices(Greed,Lust and Suspicion) and a virtue(Trust) that's the layout for Inescapable.
The first I've played the Lust route is the worst stuff(or controversial at the very least,before NTR there are some enjoyable parts) you can encounter in visual novels truly with Harrison becoming an obsessive boyo(for his girlfriend and the audience's attention, as a critique of what many participants of a reality show become just to feel important) and all his love interest the three well endowed girls(Eva,Francisca and Annika) either NTR him or just leaving him, it was deserved to boot but a slap to the face to those readers that sticked with the plot for 150 days, it is a boring route whose unique system is a popularity contest with a special app on the MC's phone that barely gives an impact, the alliances between characters play an important role and Isak "Master of Puppets" is the saving point of the route being an absolutely entertaining beast, Chica's actions being motivated by the kidnapping of her baby is revealed on this route and apparently is a constant through all routes but really they only make use of this fact in two(really Chica could have done lots of crazy stuff just to see her baby again but the developers didn't explore this not really).
Next is the Greed Route, great context and classical TV program guidelines, they just had to rush it and of course made it a matter of two teams one lead by Valerie and other the mafia boss Giovanni, centering the action in monetising everything involving even poor Anni's food, you gotta believe even if Gio is full mafia boss mode here the true bitch here is Val who abuses Anni openly slapping her and belittle it at every moment, my run was pretty great with 3 million € piled up for Harri but the developers couldn't just give us a normal ending and had Gio go crazy after one of Harri's stupid moves and bam dead MC dead route. That being said this route depends heavily(you could even say it promotes gambling) in a slots machine mini game, the only way to compensate the money they take from you on different events and we'll it's not for anyone it specially sucks when all you collect is taking away from you when the game inevitably gives you a Game over, it sucks and if you ask me the developers should complete this route with a free route or something as the Lust route was awful but the Greed route was corporative greed.
Regarding the Suspicion route this is what the targeted demographic was promised and we'll it delivers sorta, for me the first investigation case was introduced decently a little fight and oops unlikeable Val is dead and by Eva's hand in a "let me stab you first" fashion meaning Eva killed Val in self defense,Harri is giving a new App(where he gathers clues and is appointed by the De Winters sisters as the only official detective which causes some tension, Eva particularly despite being tossed aside by the cast in game plays an investigation role(after Harris fights with the unlikable Mia) pretty interesting and showcases to the readers how Daan treats the killers when they are under room arrest basically not directing a single word to them, Eva takes this particularly bad and you see how her bubbly personality just crumbles it made me sad honestly, then comes the second case with Isak and Lumi murdering Gio without the game giving you much reasons but you can guess Lumi is pretty distrustful with her ethnic minority parents kinda poisoning her mind in that regard and Isak you know being the kind of guy who can see a kill as "art", the group here loses it after this assassination and everyone but Harri conspires to poison the killers but oh they also want to kill Harri because they are tired of his shit but they get Mia instead (which ends in cheap drama and no one really taking responsibility for her ending even Sasha's apology felt superficial). How suspicion can turn anyone into a monster if you are ruled by fear is portrayed here just the little agency/respect the MC gets is grating and perphaps is the route where you are truly alone.
Worst thing about the Suspicion route how awful Daan is as I've commented before he is the one who pushes Annika to poison the killers(when they are under room arrest) because of his extreme view of "Justice" the fool believes himself Mumen Rider from One Punch, Sasha who is always an asshole save one route in this game turns into a full on bitch that snaps at Harri at every point(which considering we are talking about Harri is kinda funny) but yeah the better detective just sits on her ass has a relationship with Francisca only to throw her under the bus when it suits her and generally is a piece of shit.
Finally the trust route, it is the therapy route or reconciliation route, if you cannot stomach these characters any longer this is your chance to find if you care about them or not, particularly liked how Harri finally does stuff/takes the initiative leading the route against the DeWinters sisters and their imposed "death game", Dreamloop makes use of that here but as the premise is trust and friendship it all falls out of the window really, seeing the cast bond and destroy the show is fun though and makes the route worth it, Sasha the non binary kiddo redeem themselves kinda here with faking their death and sabotaging the sisters from the inside becoming a part of their staff without them realising it which is hilarious, Chica's baby also comes back and Val gets also a more humane portrait after the horrors of others routes being really a young girl full of doubts, Chica is the best and really along Isak my favourite character(Damn you Dreamloop for not giving us a true love route with her), Mia's harrasment backstory was a good touch as these kind of social problems often are set aside in visual novels or worst even tolerated(see Japanese vns with gender violence) but Mia is just too bossy,unlikable and doesn't respect boundaries her overall character sucks and avoided her like the plague whenever I could.
To sum all of this mega mess up, for me the game is playable but really falls in the generic more times than one can count and loves to use prejudices or variety regarding sexual orientations(like Gio the gay mafia boss reveal, that felt swallow or Lumi the asexual that wants to get with Mia at the end just because) to save an underwhelming product, do not spend 50€ in this hell perphaps not even 20€, you'll be bored most of the time and honestly there are more visual novels out there that deserve your attention.
Even so thanks for trying Dreamloop games, keep experimenting guys, just find better writers!