A Way Out Review
Disclaimer: There will be No Spoilers in this review, please enjoy and read with ease.
The first time I heard about this game was last year during the VGA’s and Josef Fares as we all know worked on Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons which was a beautiful and unique experience as an indie title. This time around the developers with EA Originals takes us on not just a new video game adventure, but a cinematic interactive experience. This is A Way Out.
Two men one Leo already in Jail meets Vincent a newcomer that has no clue on the path that he is in store for after he walks through this new gated “community” of criminals. The best way to make friends with anyone is to have a common interest and that revolves around one man named Harvey that screwed up both their lives. This is your revenge story with it starting with you two having to first escape this prison and seek out the guy that turned your world upside down.
It took me a minute because this is a full co-op experience in which you can’t go in solo, but there are options that can remedy this. You can either both have the game and join each other for a shared campaign or someone will just have to download the demo portion in order to play with you. My cellmate is Lady Arsenic who takes on the role of Vincent and for many reasons which were accurate I took on the role of Leo. Both with different backgrounds one being a Hot Headed thug that answers everything with a bit of violence. While the other half of this friendship is someone with a level head and tries to find solutions in a more diplomatic way. It is the perfect pair.
There will be scenarios where you will have to be in sync with one another to accomplish your goals. In a video I will show below you can see where Arsenic and I had to climb this wall by pressing the buttons at the proper time. There, of course, are your action scenarios where you have to counter attacks and dodge in chase situations. It has a nice balance of quick time events and switching you up into actual skills when it comes to the shooting which you will get to towards the end.
The best feature is the split screen mechanics which has never been done before. It is like being in two different games while in the same area. As if you were in an MMO world where you know your buddy is off doing something somewhere else while you are on your own doing a mission. It has some similarities and shows how creative both players can be in figuring out things to help one another progress. That’s what it is all about, an interactive buddy system that can be played differently each time.
Being that the storyline is based on the 70’s you definitely get that feeling, not so much in the music or anything. It was all in the atmosphere of it all. Even though I and Arsenic were trying to guess the era between the ranges of 60’s and 70’s we were pretty close. It has a sense of authenticity with the hairstyles, the outfits, and the all-around scenery.
You will have to think together or you can’t progress. There is a fluid puzzle system in this game where it is not only about figuring out your way through a situation, but rather which one will work best for the two of you. You will have to choose your way out in many cases and I found it enjoyable that Lady admitted that she would not have expected the choice I made in one scene where we have to get a tool smuggled out. I said I would not spoil anything, just giving you an idea here that was cool how I was playing off my own instinct on what I might do in this situation.
Damn is an understatement being that this is running off the unreal engine. There were numerous times that Lady Arsenic and I would just stop and take in the environment to just bask in the art direction. The water effects, the beauty of the sunset and even hunting fish were all enjoyable experiences. There weren’t that many glitch hiccups, except for that one time in the sewer under the prison where I was kind of hovering over the water for a bit, but that was mostly humor than annoying.
The voice acting all around was professional and each character showed their own weight in their persona. There are even a few tear-jerking scenes that will pull on your heart strings which helps you relate better to the characters as they make the harsh decisions on their journey. A Way Out found a way to humanize not just Vincent and Leo, but the whole world in this game, especially when you interact with random NPC’s (Non-playable characters). I encourage you the player to talk or try to interact with everything in order to get a full experience.
(crickets) This is a stretch to pick something bad to say about this game, but if I would say anything it would be that you can’t pause. You are stuck for the long haul and you will have to time your breaks right, but to be fair you will never notice it unless you need to go to the bathroom or something. Once you pick your partner you are stuck with them and that means if someone else wants to play with you they will have to start a whole new story and can’t continue on from where you left off. I find fair, but it would be hard to find someone to dedicate their time like that if you aren’t lucky enough to get a proper co-op buddy.
A Way Out deserves an Oscar or at least a Nomination for taking us beyond a gaming experience. I have not experienced something this beautiful since Bioshock Infinite where I was compelled to sit through it all paying attention to each detail and take in all of the journeys. As a gamer this made me appreciate where we have come in gaming from being involved seeing decades of evolution when it comes to games. I can’t express anything deeper than a thank you for taking the time and actually putting in work into something that shows video games is art and how it can be defined as a masterpiece. Also, the best feature is sharing the experience with someone that doesn’t own the game. All they would need to do is download the demo and you can invite them to experience it with you. That is perfect.
Yup, A Way Out gets 5 paws out of 5 in my book and if that score is not too your liking then you can fight me. I loved it and I am glad my buddy was there to experience my reactions, my tears, and my surprise. It is a $30 dollar experience that deserves $20 more added to the price tag. Clocked in at 6 hours and 4 minutes of non-stop gameplay. I kid you not, you can check my stream timeline right now and I think we could have ended it in Five if we didn’t have a few mistakes, but still was amazing.
You can pick up A Way Out right now on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for $29.99 and if you are still not convinced I will take you on a journey with me so you can play it yourself. However, you will need a copy of your own in order to get the trophies. All right, I am going to set up myself for a second playthrough this time as Vincent, but please be sure to check out this game and please leave a comment in the section below if you already played, I want to hear your thoughts. Thank you for checking out my review. – Beast Out –