Two Point Hospital has achieved the perfect balance between indulging nostalgia, and forging ahead with new ideas. It's a faithful and lovingly made acknowledgement of Bullfrog's seminal management sim, retaining a tongue in cheek approach and surprising depth.
There's a reverence for the past within every fibre of this re-imagining, from the snarky receptionist reminding you not to die in the corridors, to the various outlandish diseases with pun filled descriptions.
It's all exceptionally British, with a dry sense of humour and satirical edge that works extremely well. You'll want to dig into the weeds of the diagnosis descriptions, as there's little one liners and winks to the player that enrich the whole experience.
But this isn't simply an HD redressing of Theme Hospital; infact, there's plenty of nuance here for those willing to immerse themselves. For starters, the sheer amount of room decoration and customisation choices border on the obscene, with many items providing tangible benefits to hospital prestige.
There are more metrics that determine patient and staff well being, and quality of life improvements including being able to assign staff to specific locations, and room construction plans that aren't restricted to variants of rectangular shapes.
These are just a couple of examples of how Two Point Hospital goes out of its way to put player choice and flexibility at the forefront of everything you do. Interacting with each level, shaping it to your specifications, and adapting to sudden emergencies or unexpected outbreaks will keep you on your toes, but crucially, the fun is never forgotten.
Later levels (alongside the steady stream of DLC expansions) have kept things fresh with a steadily increasing difficulty curve, forming a sizeable coherent whole that gives you plenty of bang for your buck.
The biggest question surrounding the release of this console port was how the controls would translate from keyboard and mouse to the much less expansive console game pad. Thankfully, navigating menus, mapping out designs, and getting around the game world are incredibly intuitive and well thought out.
This could potentially have been a massive stumbling block, and a significant barrier of entry to players who've been waiting with baited breath to see this jump away from the confines of Steam.
UI takes a layered approach, and while there's often a lot of information crammed on screen at any one time, you'll likely adapt quicker than you think. The tutorial offers a nice refresher for those who've dropped away from sim type experiences, and it's all delivered in a tone befitting the rest of the game.
On the whole, the mechanics, presentation and longevity offered by Two Point Hospital are quite frankly best in class, and we came away from our time grinning from ear to ear. There is a pervasive sense that this is just the beginning for Two Point Studios, and kudos to them for executing their vision and delivering a title that absolutely nails its core premise.
Two Point Hospital is available now, for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch.
PS4 Review copy provided by Sega.