One of my most anticipated upcoming PC games is Two Point Hospital, an upcoming hospital sim helmed by the creators of the original classic 1997 sim, Theme Hospital. This year at E3, I had the chance to meet up with the developers at Two Point Studios to check out an early build of the game, and from what it saw, Two Point Hospital looks like it will be a worthy successor to the classic game in almost every way.
For those of you who don’t know much about Theme Hospital and this successor, the game is a business management sim where players construct and then upkeep various aspects of their own medical centers. Players will be able to build hospitals in a variety of different locations, and will have to build them up to at least a one-star rating before moving on to
the next one.
Outside of gameplay, one of the most immediately noticeable things about Two Point Hospital is its Aardman Animations-esque art style. According the developers, they wanted Two Point Hospital to have a more timeless look to it like Theme Hospital does with its pixel art, so they opted to go with an aesthetic that is cute and cartoony over something that looks realistic, but could appear outdated within a few years.
Before getting to build one’s hospital, a location must be chosen. Depending on where the level is located on the world map, the hospital’s clientèle will have to deal with different problems and illnesses. In addition to these unique building areas, there are also different kinds of hospitals that players can build. This includes Teaching hospitals, where players must train new doctors, and Public hospitals, where no money is received by treating patients, so players must work off of a government-allocated budget.
While the original Theme Hospital was linear and level-based, Two Point Hospital tries to improve upon the original game’s formula. The game does so by letting players return to old hospitals at any time in order to test out or use new equipment and skills they’ve acquired to achieve a three-star rating. I do love the original Theme Hospital and the linear format it used before, but I am still open to this small but important change as it seems like it will only extend my playtime and add to the game’s replayability.
The developers who were showing the game to me then chose a location and began to construct a hospital. The level they chose had around fifteen plots for players to build on, but we started small and just built one with the basics like a reception desk, a staff room, and a room for general checkups.
Sicknesses are fairly tongue-and-cheek in Two Point Hospital. For example, “Lightheadedness” literally has the patient’s head turned into a light bulb, and treats it with a wacky contraption. If people die, their ghosts can also be sucked up Ghostbusters-style in order to learn new ways to treat illnesses. Two Point Hospital never takes the medical side of things too seriously, and that’s not a bad thing.
At its core, Two Point Hospital is about building and business management: players will need to stay afloat financially while constructing a hospital of their own that meets the game’s requirements. While staying in business may become tough in some areas, the game seems to have enough content so that players will always be able to find something to do and won’t hit a progression wall.
As a fan of the original Theme Hospital and this overall simulation game niche, seeing Two Point Hospital in action only added to my excitement for the game. The developers at Two Point Studios, many of whom worked on the original Theme Hospital, are super passionate about the title, and that passion oozes into pretty much every different aspect of Two Point Hospital.
Two Point Hospital is currently in development for PC and expected to arrive in Q4 2018. For a closer look at the game, you can check out some more in-depth gameplay footage from E3 2018 here.