When I was invited to a press-only event at SEGA's SoCal offices to demo Two Point Hospital spiritual successor, I was optimistic but skeptical. Since the rise of mobile gaming in the past few years, its become almost expected for a classic and beloved PC game to return only to completely turn into a typical pay to win service game. In the process, the original's charm is ruined, as is what made the original so special and fun. Thankfully, Two Point Hospital is a worthy spiritual successor of Theme Park in every way possible.
The gameplay itself is incredibly intuitive and understandable from the get-go. As someone who hasn't played many sim games since the PS1 era's Theme Park (long live Disneyland 2), I've always felt a tad overwhelmed when I've given the genre a second chance. While I appreciate titles such as Sim City and Cities Skylines, I always felt like the game was moving faster than I wanted it to, and after a while, the game was just a series of checkboxes and making the numbers go up. Two Point Hospital didn't feel that way in the hour I had with it. I was building my hospital at my own pace and could spend time focusing on the small nuances such as adding in a makeshift Arcade and firing my awful overpaid nurses. The game hooked me into its world and left me wanting so much more after my short hour of hands-on time.
I also had a chance to sit down with the studio's founders Mark Webley and Gary Carr and briefly talk to them about the game, its upcoming multiplayer plans, and why Two Point Hospital is one part of a much bigger world.
Two Point Hospital builds its world in a way that not only let me feel like I was running a hospital for an actual town of individuals, but it also sparked my imagination in ways video games just don't seem to be able to do for me anymore. Two Point Hospital is definitely worth looking out for, even if you're not the biggest fan of the genre, there's something in here for everybody.
Two Point Hospital was played at an exclusive hands-on press event held by SEGA. The game is due to release on Steam sometime this year. It will not feature an Early Access period or a public beta prior to launch.