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Prison Architect's refurbished Psych Ward opens today

After a two-year sentence, Prison Architect‘s Psych Ward DLC is out on PC, Mac and Linux today. The game’s first DLC pack came out on console back in 2017, before Paradox picked up Prison Architect and handed it over to current developers Double Eleven. Psych Ward brings a bit of medical mayhem to your prison, letting you build entire wings of unpredictable, mentally unstable inmates. The upgraded Warden Edition of Psych Ward even comes with some free goodies for PC players who’ve waited years to run their own virtual Arkham.

Wow, we’re really playing with fire here, huh guys.

At least that wait comes with a few bonuses, with the Warden Edition of Psych Ward adding free new objects, floors and walls – including padded cells for troublemakers. It’s out today and will set you back £4.79/€5.99/$5.99 on Steam and GOG.

With “criminally insane” prisoners wrapped up in face-masks and straight jackets, Psych Ward’s feature list sure is a bit of a teeth-clencher. Nate gave Psych Ward a bash for us at PDXCon last month, and reckons the game’s slapstick satire may be up to handling this topic with the nuance it needs. Personally, mental health care is a real sore spot, and I’m leaning on keeping my distance from something that suggests “lock them away in a padded cell” as a fun and interesting gameplay choice.

Maybe I’m being harsh. Maybe Psych Ward’s power fantasy is in letting me improve on the absolutely dire treatment of mentally ill prisoners? Who can say?

Of course, this isn’t the be-all and end-all of Prison Architect. Next year is expected to bring Prison Architect’s first proper expansion. Of course, there’s no date beyond 2020 and they’ve still not named the bugger, but we do know from a teaser that it’ll have you running high-security strongholds on the roaring sea.

Who amongst us can ignore the gentle, all-consuming roar of the ocean?

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Natalie Clayton

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