For a game that seemed like it was heavily inspired by Danganronpa, Inescapable: No Rules, No Rescue is surprisingly lackluster. The concept of the game is intriguing, but the way it was executed just doesn’t sit right with me.
I absolutely love Danganronpa – it’s easily one of my favourite franchises. So, understandably, I was very excited to delve into a game that looked like it was going to give me that same amount of thrills and suspense. Sadly I ended up largely disappointed.
The start of Inescapable: No Rules, No Rescue is painfully slow and uninteresting. I will admit, it just about had my attention during the first 40 minutes or so as you get kidnapped and meet a bunch of strangers. Sadly, most of these strangers are extremely annoying. The game doesn’t get into the more gritty stuff for a while, so you’ve really got to stick with it. At first, it just seems like all you’re going to be doing is getting involved in boring drama between the characters.
There are a few characters that I could actually stand to talk to, but some of them were so over-the-top that it just seemed forced. Eva did start to grow on me, but I was constantly suspicious of how nice Maria was, and Isaac’s character design fooled me.
The whole point of a visual novel game is to have characters that you can connect with, but when 80% of the roster is unlikable, it makes the whole thing a slog. Maybe it’s just me, but when personality stereotypes are turned up to max levels – for comedic effect or otherwise – it doesn’t work. Main characters in this genre can often be dull, but Harrison really does take the biscuit (he’s as dry as one too).
Visually, Inescapable: No Rules, No Rescue looks great. The character designs are effective, with multiple expressions, and well-thought-out outfits. The different environments around the island are incredibly dynamic and give you a glimpse into the daily surroundings – and what they’re all being forced to look at for 6 months straight. It’s a bit jarring to have the characters appear as plastic standees when you’re ‘exploring’ the resort, but somehow this was still oddly charming.
I do like the addition of the mobile phone. I can’t explain it, but I love having a little device that I can open in-game to read texts from characters. Maybe it’s because it gives the feeling of additional character development on a personal level. The overall UI is simple enough and doesn’t clog up the screen when you’re trying to read or navigate the menu, which I can appreciate.
So, do I recommend Inescapable: No Rules, No Rescue? This is worth a shot if you like pouring hours upon hours into a visual novel – especially since there are multiple routes. However, you’ve really got to push yourself to get through the first few hours – don’t go into it expecting a predecessor to Danganronpa, because this game is nothing like that.
- Character designs look great
- Environment designs are effective
- UI is simple and easy to follow
- Unlikable and annoying characters
- Incredibly slow start
- Takes a while to get to the ‘thriller’ aspect of the game