There was something special about Two Point Hospital. It was a fantastic blend of old and new ideas that sucked you in, delivering a rewarding and overall fun experience. With the silly tone, flexibility and overall solid design, it was a game that was hard to put down once you got into the flow of things. Now, Two Point studios are back with its sequel, Two Point Campus, and it is everything I could have asked for, and more.
Due to the design of Two Point Hospital, it would have been very easy for the studio to just mix up the setting and call it a day. Thankfully, Two Point Studios did not go down that path, and gave Two Point Campus their all. The concept is ripe with potential. From the look of the first hour or so, the studio ran with the concept and are building a very exciting sequel to an already amazing game.
What is potentially most interesting is the way Two Point Campus feels much more flexible, letting you push forward with an educational institution that is built for you. As you go through the game, you will have the opportunity to build a campus and tailor it to what sort of people you want to attract. As you choose the courses and facilities, the students you attract will change. If you opt for all food-based courses, you will find yourself with a school full of food and cooking lovers. You can also diversify or specialize as much as fits your style, making each campus unique to the player.
“People would often ask us with Hospital, if there is some way that we could edit the shape of the building, and we really liked that idea, but it was very difficult to do with that game,” explained design director at Two Point Studios, Ben Huskins.
“So we thought let’s actually focus on this and make it a pillar of Campus. It is that creativity we give the player that makes the game more about you deciding how you want to lay out and design your campus anyway you want. Beyond that, we also wanted that creative freedom to extend to other parts of the game. So you, as the player, can decide which combinations of courses you want to run, and what clubs you want to offer to the students and things like that.”
The flexibility goes to all levels of the experience. The player is able to craft and build as they see fit (provided requirements for the rooms are met, that is), making the campus you build as diverse as the people creating it. While playing the demo, I experimented with what could and could not be built, and Two Point Campus managed to give me the tools to build all the nonsense I wanted.
This is good since, unlike in Two Point Hospital, the people attending your school will be there for a while. This is a school, and the students attending will come back year after year until they graduate. This means you will get to know the characters that walk up and down the halls, and you will very quickly get a sense of what works, and what does not work at your school.
“While still a little way off, Two Point Campus is already looking like a solid contender for people who love management sims.”
As more building options unlock, the game opens up, giving you a real sense of freedom in your designs and concepts. From student unions, to dorm rooms, the school you build will be reflected in the students you have attending, giving plenty of ways to try out new ideas, and making each new location in the game unique and something to be proud of.
The visuals also feel right at home in the new setting. Much like in Two Point Hospital, this instalment has the feel of a Wallace and Gromit stop-motion cartoon, all the way to how the characters act and move though your school. The expressions and style help give life to what could be a very flat experience, and the way each character feels unique helps add to the overall campus experience. It is easy to forget about nameless, shapeless drones, but give them personality and each year in the game feels alive with potential and life.
“We felt like the life and the journey of the students through a three-year course, actually gives you the opportunity to get to know some of them a bit better than you would have patience in a hospital.” Huskins detailed when asked about how the game will differ from Two Point Hospital, “Obviously a patient is diagnosed, treated and sent home, but if you look at the life of a student over a three-year course, it just gives you that opportunity to see them on that longer journey. It gives you the chance to see how they change over their time at university and how you can shape them effectively, both academically and also in their social life.”
While still a little way off, Two Point Campus is already looking like a solid contender for people who love management sims. There is still plenty more to explore, but only so much can be experienced over a preview. From everything the team have shown off, the game is shaping up to be a fantastic sequel in an already amazing series.
Two Point Campus is looking to be a very fun instalment indeed, one that I am excited about losing countless hours too as I work to build the ultimate school filled with only the most ridiculous courses. Until then, excuse me as I dive back into Hospital, I have rooms to build. Two Point Campus is launching on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on August 9, 2022. The game will also be available on Xbox Game Pass for console and PC Game Pass on day one, so you don’t have long to wait to jump in and play this new Two Point experience