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Prison Architect vs Prison Architect 2



Prison Architect vs Prison Architect 2

Prison Architect is one of the most popular simulation games in its genre. This beloved game is now getting a sequel after almost a decade since its release. Interestingly, Prison Architect 2 has caused excitement and controversy, with many players doubtful of whether it will outdo or even match the original version and others just curious to see what’s new.

While Prison Architect 2 hasn’t launched yet, the developers have shared enough information to give a fairly good idea of what to expect. Here is a comprehensive comparison of Prison Architect vs. Prison Architect 2.

What is Prison Architect?

Prison Architect - Launch Trailer | PS4

Prison Architect is a simulation game about building and managing a prison. Players start by planning and building the prison. In addition to building a prison, the bulk of the gameplay involves managing the facility and inmates. Notably, managing the facility is a balancing act because of the tight budget and numerous requirements. Overall, the objectives are to maintain order and efficiency within the prison while making profits.

Launched in 2015, Prison Architect has dominated its genre for the last decade. Notably, the game’s developer, Introversion, continually improved and expanded the gameplay through regular updates. It is worth mentioning that the game features simple 2D graphics characterized by a top-down design and oblong-shaped inmates. The game is available on multiple platforms, including PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and mobile (Android and iOS).

What is Prison Architect 2?

Prison Architect 2 - Announcement Trailer | PS5 Games

Prison Architect 2 is a sequel to Prison Architect. Overall, it maintains the original game’s core concept: building and managing private prisons to rehabilitate the inmates and make profits. However, it also differs from the original in several ways. Most notably, it features 3D graphics, which is a significant transition from the original version’s simple 2D graphics. Other notable changes include smarter inmates, an upgraded career mode, new building tools, and more control over everything.


Prison Architect vs Prison Architect 2

Both versions of Prison Architect are based on the same story. In a nutshell, you own and manage a private prison. Overall, you have two objectives. First, you must manage the prison well to ensure that it runs efficiently and humanely while also maintaining discipline and order among the inmates. Second, you must manage the tight budget properly to ensure that the facility gets the resources it needs and ultimately turns a profit.

However, the story in Prison Architect 2 differs slightly from the original version. In particular, it features an upgraded career mode that enables you to build multiple prisons within the same city, taking the enterprise to a larger scale.


Graphics and settings of the prisons

Introversion Software is the developer behind Prison Architect. However, the company sold the game’s IP rights to Paradox Interactive in 2018. Interestingly, the latter has partnered with Double Eleven to develop Prison Architect 2 without any input from the original developers, stirring some controversy. It is worth mentioning that Introversion Software has since gone on to launch The Last Starship, a hit in the sci-fi genre.

Notably, some fans are concerned that the change of developers may cause the game to lose some of its original charm. However, Paradox Interactive is confident that Double Eleven can replicate the original developer’s style.

Prison Architect 2 is still under development and is scheduled to launch on May 7. Notably, it was scheduled to launch earlier, but the developers have delayed its release to optimize it for all platforms and fix some bugs. It will be available on multiple platforms, including PC (via Steam), PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.


Gameplay scenarios

Both versions of Prison Architect are based on a prison construction and management simulation. The construction part of the gameplay in both games involves erecting buildings, setting up perimeter fences, installing utilities like electricity and water, furnishing the interior and exterior, and more. Notably, building your prison requires strategic planning.

However, Prison Architect 2 promises more construction tools to build state-of-the-art prisons. Moreover, the 3D graphics design enables players to build multi-story prisons over several floors. Additionally, the upgraded Career Mode also enables players to construct and manage multiple prisons in the same city. To this end, the prisons in the latest version will be grander and more detailed.

The construction part is only a fraction of both versions’ gameplay. Most of the game involves managing the inmates to rehabilitate them. For example, you must formulate policies to regulate all activities in the prison. Additionally, you can decide how many guards to hire and how to equip them. Moreover, you can launch constructive activities like therapy and training.

However, this is easier said than done, as inmates can cause various problems, such as fighting, smuggling contraband, escaping, rioting, and more. Moreover, you work on a tight budget, requiring you to make tricky compromises when trying to balance everything and turn a profit. Interestingly, Prison Architect 2 asks, “Will your prisons end up being monuments to rehabilitation or retribution? Most importantly, will they pay the bills?”

Interestingly, the inmates in the original version have unique reputations and personalities that affect their behaviors or earn them special perks. However, Prison Architect 2 improves on this feature by making the inmates smarter.

To this end, the inmates can form distinct relationships based on their wants, needs, and mutual interests. For example, two inmates can clash and start gang warfare. Notably, everything you do can enhance or compromise the inmates’ correctional journey, necessitating a strategic approach to managing your inmates.


The verdict

Prison Architect has already earned a spot as one of the best simulation games in its genre. Notably, its detailed gameplay offers hundreds of hours of an immersive and enjoyable playing experience. To this end, some fans feel that a sequel is unnecessary. However, Prison Architect 2 still promises to retain the original version’s core concept and expand on its gameplay, making it even more fun and engaging. Time will tell.

So, what’s your take on our comparison of Prison Architect and Prison Architect 2? Are you looking forward to playing the game’s latest version? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below. 

Cynthia Wambui is a gamer who has a knack for writing video gaming content. Blending words to express one of my biggest interests keeps me in the loop on trendy gaming topics. Aside from gaming and writing, Cynthia is a tech nerd and coding enthusiast.