After three hours with Two Point Hospital I see similarities with Jurassic World Evolution. Okay, Frontier’s game sees you putting more people in hospital than getting them out the door, but it’s a similarly welcoming management game. You can read that as simplified and slow (as Fraser did in his Jurassic World review), but as an abysmal multitasker I appreciated a campaign that drip-fed ideas that could later stretch their legs in sandbox mode. Two Point Hospital’s career is similar in the way each new site introduces a wrinkle to keep you on your toes, and is one area where it clearly steps up from 1997’s Theme Hospital. The other areas? Why, they would be handily condensed in a video feature.
Reading the comments on Alec’s hands-on preview, it was interesting to hear what others would consider a ‘step up’ for a Theme Hospital sequel. The general vibe seemed to be ‘let me build hospitals with several floors’ or any variations that freed your buildings from constricting floor plans. As far as I can tell, that isn’t happening in Two Point Hospital. The areas you have to build in are generally more sprawling than before, leading to vast structures (and cold sweats for me), but won’t scratch that freeform itch. But what it lacks in height it hopefully offers in depth.
It’s there in the nitty-gritty work of hospital finances, letting you tweak prices from big bucks surgery right down to individual snack machines - raising pertinent questions about your dual role as businessman and caregiver. Yes, you too can walk a mile in Jeremy Hunt’s shoes (be sure to pour the reptilian slime from them first). It’s there in the new personality traits that add a frisson of danger to every new hire; is the world’s greatest saucepan-on-head-remover really worth the dosh if he refuses to wash his hands and spreads his filth? These micro-behaviours lend the game a smidgen of chaos to keep any manager from getting complacent. Although I thought that about Jurassic World’s dinosaurs, too, and they ended up being boringly well behaved.
Can a grotty psychologist pose more of a threat than a velociraptor? I guess we’ll find out when Two Point Hospital arrives on Steam - covered in sores and coughing into a handkerchief, I’d imagine - on August 30th. It will be £24.99/$31.49/31,49€.
While you’re here, why not subscribe to the RPS YouTube channel for more videos about virtual hospitals and a few videos about other stuff, too.