Hello readers! Today I bring you A Way Out review. It’s the second game directed by Josef Fares; the first being Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (which is amazing if you haven’t yet played it). I’m often searching for a co-op game in game shops. Every time I ask I leave empty handed.
It was a breath of fresh air, to be handed A Way Out. I found out the game wasn’t just some gimmicky arcade game. No, this was a game with both story and heart in abundance.
A Way Out: Story (Minimal Spoilers)
A Way Out is the story of two incarcerated inmates. It follows their joint plot to escape prison and plan their revenge.
Their backstories are both very in-depth. They explain why they struggle to trust one another for a while, and why they are hellbent on getting revenge.
Set in the late 1970’s, following the Vietnam war, the game switches scenes a few times. From the duo sat in the back of a helicopter to them back in prison.
The actual prison scenes are simply flashbacks of their recent events, with the scenes in the helicopter being present day.
A Way Out: Characters
Vincent: A calm and controlled individual who uses his intelligence over aggression.
Leo: Leo is a younger man, with a temper. He is hardened from his life of crime. He will hastily pick a fight over perhaps a more peaceful alternative.
As you can imagine with these two very different personalities there are a few conflicts of interest within the game. These often cause players to choose a side, and choose between the smart or aggressive approach to a situation.
This also means that playing the game more than once can have different ways to play and alternative outcomes. Thus increasing the replay-ability of the game.
The two (not so) gentlemen are housed in adjacent cells. This helps them plot out, and eventually, carry out their escape that much easier. You’ll be faced with passing tools from one cell to another, ensuring precise timing not to be caught.
As I was playing the initial prison scenes within the game, I couldn’t help notice some similarities to The Shawshank Redemption. At one point as I was tarring the roof, I accidentally referred to my character (Vincent) as Andy.
At one point in the game, you find yourself timing bashing a door in with the thunder storm outside. Remind you of a particular part of an old movie?
The story progresses outside of the prison, but I will leave you to find out for yourselves. It would be too easy to accidentally ruin the story here (nobody wants that)!
A Way Out: Co-op
I often find there is a long wait between good local co-op games being released. I must say seeing games like A Way Out in co-op gives me confidence that between all these modern online co-op games coming out, there is still life yet in the local co-op genre.
The game doesn’t simply say “here’s a two player game, now go do your thing”. It forces you to work together.
There are many scenes within the game that requires one of you to create a distraction so that the other can steal an item, or some other form of criminal activity to aid your escape.
In the scene above, the player as Vincent must distract both the nurse and guards to ensure that Leo can walk around the ward without being detected. After that Leo should get back to bed without anyone ever having noticed he had left. However, one wrong move, and the guards will come down on you like a ton of bricks.
Furthermore, there are scenes in the game that require double take-downs. If you see two guards standing next to each other, chances are you will need both of you to take them out together and time it perfectly, one wrong step and the guard left standing will call it in.
A Way Out: Gameplay
Gameplay is smooth and is backed up by some visually pleasing graphics, playing on the Xbox one X I faced no stuttering or issues at all.
The duo’s combined stories are well thought out and make the game much more interesting, as the story really does draw you in, making you want to play and find out more.
The only real issue I could find is the ease of escaping prison in the first place. The main premise of the game is a prison break style game, where much of the games isn’t actually played within the prison.
There’s a fine balance between too difficult, and not challenging enough. As a result, I felt A Way Out bordered on the latter, I wanted to feel the pain of failing at challenges but didn’t get to enjoy this.
I found breaking out of the prison could be done without ever getting caught, in one sitting in a short amount of time.
in one sitting in a short amount of time.
However, as much as I liked the story, personally I would have been happy if almost the whole story was based on breaking out of prison, for instance a 3D version of The Escapist which is solely based on breaking out of different prisons.
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