A Way Out – Best Co-Op Game In A While – Meta-Review

A Way Out

Release date: March 23, 2018

Mode(s): Multiplayer

Developer: Hazelight Studios

Director: Josef Fares

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Engine: Unreal Engine

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

AButtonGames Take

If you are looking for an awesome game to play through with a buddy then A Way Out is the way to go. It’s short and sweet and looks like a ton of fun (especially if you’ve ever seen prison break). You get lots of choices, options, and dynamic gameplay with alternate endings! Of course it’s not without some short comings but no game is perfect right? Well take a look at some reviews below and find out a bit more!

Game Description

“Get ready for an action-packed co-op experience unlike anything you’ve ever played with A Way Out, from the creator of Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons.

A Way Out is designed to be played with two players from start to finish. You can team up with a friend on your couch and play, or you can invite any of your friends online regardless of whether or not they’ve purchased the game.” — ea.com

Metacritic – Rating: 78/100

PCGamer – By: Chris Shilling – Rating: 64/100

“Five years ago, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons seemed to have established Lebanese filmmaker Josef Fares as a bold new voice in games, expertly interweaving story and systems to memorable and moving effect. As such, A Way Out, Fares’ new game, is something of a comedown. Essentially a boneheaded B-movie you play with a friend, it’s not a very good game by most standards, yet between its goofy charm and a handful of creative flourishes, it’s a hard one to dislike.

This isn’t a game that can be played alone, and while you can go through the whole thing with an online pal, A Way Out is definitely best experienced over two or three evenings with someone sitting next to you. We’re introduced to Vincent—who’s about to start a 14-year sentence for embezzlement and fraud—and Leo, six months into an eight-year stretch for armed robbery. Placed in adjacent cells, the two form an uneasy alliance over a couple of skirmishes in the yard and the prison canteen, before they discover a shared objective that convinces them to join forces and make their escape. ”

Kotaku – By: Heather Alexandra – No Rating

“It helps that A Way Out is just as invested in its characters as its mechanics. It would have been easy for the game to maintain a momentum that didn’t allow for much personal development but a lot of time is spent giving Leo and Vincent a chance to feel like real people. The dialogue is sometimes stiff and the voice acting doesn’t always hold up, but a range of action-packed events and quieter moments give the lead characters depth. We learn that Leo is afraid of heights. We see him visit his family, fix a motorcycle and build a treehouse. Even while on the run, Vincent finds time to sneak into a hospital after the birth of his daughter. These moments don’t last long and trouble usually follows on their heels, but the extra care spent on the protagonists means that each new scene is a delight to play. A Way Out struggles with the rest of its cast but Vincent and Leo shine through.

A Way Out is a marvel in its presentation. It feels like it has been filmed with a camera that has physicality and heft. Cut scenes are staged deliberately, hewing closely to established rules of cinematic presentation. There has rarely, if ever, been a 3D game whose creators cared this deeply about the “180 rule,” the idea that cameras shouldn’t cross an invisible 180 degree line through the scene so that the audience can follow the action. It’s not enough to say that A Way Out looks like a movie. Many games have action set pieces and emotive cutscenes. Many games strive to be “cinematic.” This is a game that is deeply inspired by specific pieces of media, like The Shawshank Redemption, the work of Martin Scorsese, Heat and even Scarface, but also understands that cameras in video games can do things cameras in movies cannot. You don’t have to set up a crane or have your actors walk back to their marks. You can transition straight from a foot chase, to a close up, to a slow motion wide shot across a valley at night, and not only will it not feel gratuitous, it’s breathtaking to watch.

The beats of the game’s plot are usually easy to predict. In A Way Out, that is more strength than weakness. It’s much easier to absorb the story and empathize with the characters when your head isn’t spinning from twists. It’s just a story of two desperate men trying to get home—the basis for many classic narratives.”

Gamespot – By: Oscar Dayus – Rating: 6/10

“If it’s not the dialogue dampening moments of tension, it’s the game’s numerous QTEs. While A Way Out does use timed button-tapping well in some instances, such as when our characters must time their pushes up a vent shaft while standing back-to-back, it also wastes scenes with gimmicky implementations. The final playable section of the game–the crux of this entire plot and hours of journeying and escaping and chasing–boils down to mashing Square / X. A Way Out’s third and fourth acts are by far its weakest: save for one inventive story beat, all creativity is lost and the game turns into a mediocre action romp with anemic shooting and little else to do or care about.

Luckily, the rest of the game (which is much longer than the mercifully contracted finale) contains more interesting and varied environments. Throughout your journey, you’ll travel from the prison to a forest, a farm, a cinema, a trailer park, and more, and each is filled with objects to interact with, puzzles to solve, and people to talk to. These diverse areas are small but dense, and they add color to what could otherwise be a monochrome world of good and bad. The trailer park was a personal favorite, offering a chance to pause and play some baseball or chat to secondary characters. There’s even a Trophy / Achievement for exposing the aforementioned couple to the man’s jilted wife. That this captivating space comes during what should be a time-sensitive moment, when playing baseball or exposing adulterous men would be the last things on anyone’s mind, says everything about A Way Out’s story and tone, however.

A Way Out has problems. By the time the credits rolled, my partner and I didn’t really feel like we’d been on much of a journey with Leo and Vincent. We’d been on a geographical tour, sure–one that was often trite, gimmicky, or cringeworthy–but we didn’t feel the pair had learned anything or grown in any meaningful way. I did, however, enjoy the journey I’d been on with my friend sat next to me. We had to look out for each other while escaping prison, work together to solve puzzles, and save each other’s life on multiple occasions. Our characters might not have grown closer together, but A Way Out’s forced co-op is worth it for the few standout moments it provides.”



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About the Author

Chris Mumpton
AButton Games Administrator

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