A Way Out is a co-op only game, made by Hazelight Studios, the people behind Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
In A Way Out you are able to pick between two characters, Vincent and Leo. Leo is a bank robber and Vincent has been framed for murder. In the opening minutes of the game, both characters are trapped behind the walls of a prison and quickly become friends after Vincent saves Leo’s life. It quickly turns out that Leo and Vincent have the same enemy, by the name of Harvey, who abandoned Leo and murdered Vincent’s brother, so the duo set out to escape the prison and hunt down Harvey.
One thing that I can safely say about A Way Out‘s story mode that it is without a doubt one of the most intriguing stories I had the pleasure of playing. You get attached to the characters of Leo and Vincent and you genuinely start to care for them in situations that look grim. You get so attached to the duo you really feel the blow of the ending cutscene cut right through you, which is what every story-driven game should do.
Story is told from the perspectives of both characters, so when playing a bunch of different stuff happens that only one of the players can experience, for example in the opening hour of the game when Vincent arrives in prison and he meets the warden, it plays out as a cutscene for the player that plays as Vincent, while the player playing as Leo can explore the prison or do his own objective, which is a really cool feature.
The graphics in A Way Out are pretty impressive, considering the game is an indie game. A lot of detail is put in environments and characters and not to mention each section in the game is entirely new, so you never visit the same location twice. You go from Prisons to trailer parks, woods, hospitals and shooting ranges just to name a few. There is one negative I can name and that is that some character models are not the best, but apart from that the game is top notch in the graphical department.
Considering A Way Out is a story-driven game, a lot of the time characters spend interacting with each other, so the voice acting should be top notch, but most of the time, the acting is rather bland. However I can safely say the two main leads aren’t all that bad, apart from Leo’s weird accent.
The music is also really good. It fits every moment, from emotional to intense and a lot of the tracks are really good. It really feels like a lot of care was put into the music and where it actually ends up in the game.
Before A Way Out came out, I saw a lot of people worry that the game was gonna end up as just a story on rails, something alike a Telltale game, more than an actual game, yet after playing it, it’s nothing of the sort. The game has a bunch of variety in gameplay, so much so, that after doing one thing you will never do that thing again. Each level has something different for you to do ranging from stealth segments, puzzles, action sequences and a bunch more which I don’t want to spoil here.
Considering the angle of the game where each player has something else to do, this works wonders for gameplay. It really feels like if you want to make it through to the end you need to work as a team to make it, which is reminded to you throughout the entire story mode.
For example in one sequence, the two main characters fix up a vehicle and have to escape from a bunch of police chasing them. One of the characters drives the vehicle, while the other uses a gun to fight off the police and that entire sequence is amazing and epic to say the least, but that is not even the highlight of the game and each levels top the previous one which is amazing to say the least. Also after all the action Leo and Vincent can relax and compete against each other playing games like basketball, baseball, darts, arm wrestling or even Connect 4 just to name a few. There’s a bunch of variety in the game if I didn’t make myself clear before.
A Way Out is a phenomenal game, one of the best I’ve played this year. My expectations weren’t high after the E3 reveal, but I was still excited. After pre-ordering the game I can say that what I got blew past my expectations and made this game a must play. From the amazing intro, to the gut-wrenching finale A Way Out is an experience that will stick with you for a very long time. If you have a friend to go through the campaign with, this is an absolute must-own.