Review – Two Point Hospital (Xbox One)

Back in the day, there used to be a company called Bullfrog. Founded by Peter Molyneux, that company’s main specialty was coming up with humorous management simulators, such as Populous, Sim Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper, and Theme Hospital. The company closed in 2001, but its legacy lives on through its former staff members. Some of them decided to found a new company in 2016 called Two Point Studios, with the intention of bringing back the glorious days of the lighthearted Bullfrog simulators. Their first outing was the widely acclaimed Two Point Hospital, which has just been ported to consoles. We’re looking at the Xbox One port today.

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If there’s something strange in your hospital, who you gonna call? Your janitor!

Two Point Hospital‘s main premise couldn’t have been more obvious. This is all about building and managing a hospital, hiring employees, creating new rooms, researching the cure for new diseases, and so on. If you think that you’re doing all of this in favor of science or the dream of ridding the world of diseases, think again. This game is all about the money, the cash, the benjamins, the dolla dolla bills y’all. Invest in new doctors and machinery in order to serve more patients at once and make a bigger profit, then invest said profit into even more staff and machinery. Rinse and repeat as the cycle of life goes on.

Suffice to say, this game is very entertaining. It’s not exactly hard to make money in here, unlike other management games like Sim City and Cities. As long as you don’t overspend on a hedge maze or twelve soda machines in the reception, you’ll be able to make a profit. Keep curing patients and offer medical consultations and exams (which are ridiculously expensive), because it seems like nobody in this virtual world has ever heard of health insurance.

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I’m treating a patient who suffers from… lightheadedness. Get it?

This continuous growth cycle is ridiculously addictive because the game knows how to slowly reward you with new rooms, staff, and machinery by giving you a steady set of objectives for you to complete. These range from simply curing half a dozen patients to making a million bucks in profit. Even though I’m a big fan of management games that just let me start a brand new sandbox mode without ever needing to worry about finances (looking at you, Tropico 6), I have to say I love Two Point Hospital‘s overall progression system.

Now you might be wondering, how does a PC-focused management game fare on a console that mainly uses controllers? The answer is pretty freaking well. I am still impressed with how intuitive Two Point Hospital‘s gameplay has been ported to the Xbox One, with an easy control scheme and quick access to all necessary menus with only a few presses of a button. It’s hard to explain it with words, but all you need to know is that it’s much more intuitive than any other console port of a management simulator I have ever played on a console, be it Tropico 5, Railway Empire, or The Sims 4.

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You can fix expensive machinery by smashing them with a wrench. Just like in real life.

Being an Xbox One port, I was wondering if the game was going to run decently on the console’s already dated hardware. Even though I played it on an Xbox One S, I witnessed no framerate issues whatsoever, even when I had a mammoth-sized hospital with a ton of patients walking around onscreen. Granted, its visuals are far from being something that require beefy hardware, but they’re still really pleasing for the eyes. I love Two Point Hospital‘s Wallace & Gromit-esque art style and goofy animations, as they fit perfectly with the game’s delightfully ironic British sense of humor.

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“So doc, could I ask for some filet mignon?”

Worry not, dear viewer. Playing Two Point Hospital on the Xbox One might sound daunting, but the game looks, runs, and plays excellently on that console. Sure, I’d still recommend playing it on a PC, but if that’s not possible for you, this Xbox version is still more than enough for you to have tons of fun with. Being able to come up with the most ridiculous of health centers, witnessing the wackiest of diseases the developers could come up with, and draining every single patient’s wallet dry is enough to put a gigantic smile on my face. Now, if only Two Point Studios could come up with a spiritual successor to Sim Theme Park as well…

 

Graphics: 8.0

The Wallace & Gromit-esque art style is by no means a hardware-demanding feature, but it fits perfectly with the game’s overall sense of humor. The framerate is always consistent, even when you have a mammoth-sized hospital.

Gameplay: 9.0

The developers have managed to come up with a control scheme that works pretty well on consoles. Of course, it’s nowhere near as intuitive or comfortable as a mouse and a keyboard, but it works very well. Way better than I could have expected.

Sound: 7.0

A collection of chill tunes, a sarcastic radio DJ, and some small bits of voice acting. It gets the job done.

Fun Factor: 9.0

Running your dream hospital is a challenging task, but nowhere near as impossible as it used to be back in the Theme Hospital days. The intuitive controls, interesting progression system, and charming sense of humor are more than enough to captivate you for hours.

Final Verdict: 8.5

Two Point Hospital is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.

Reviewed on Xbox One.

A copy of Two Point Hospital was provided by the publisher.

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