Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: Out Now
Multiplayer: Two Player (Local Split-screen, Online Split-screen)
“From the creators of Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons comes A Way Out, an exclusively co-op adventure that follows two prisoners, Leo and Vincent, making their daring escape from prison.
Together with a friend on your couch or online, you’ll explore this unlikely bond and work together to overcome any obstacle in your path to freedom.”
How it Plays:
A Way Out is a third-person adventure that plays from a split-screen perspective, regardless of whether you’re playing online or in local co-op. I’ve not always been a huge fan of split-screen games (online has ruined me), but it works perfectly here and I don’t think it would be the same played in any other way.
Seeing what your partner is up to adds to the experience, whilst at times you’ll benefit from keeping a close eye on their perspective. Given that you often have to co-ordinate your actions, it’s a good way to keep on top of things and ensure that you’re both always on the ball.
Oh, and it has one amazing feature too: if you’re playing online, only one player has to own the game. There’s a free trial available that lets you play through the entirety of the game provided that another player who owns the game invites you in. In this day and age where publishers are looking to get as much money from gamers as possible with micro-transactions, it’s an incredibly refreshing approach from EA and it simply emphasises A Way Out’s reliance of ‘playing together’. Bravo, EA.
There’s so much variety in the things that you do in A Way Out that it’s difficult not to have fun. Don’t get me wrong, it can be a little guilty of feeling more like an interactive movie at times (you’re never necessarily challenged), but it has its fair share of ‘hands on’ action-packed sequences too – you can expect to be in the likes of a big car chase, huge shoot outs, a treacherous boat ride down a deadly river, a sprint against police dogs, and even a heist just to name a few of your objectives.
Everything is fun though and you never know what you’ll have to do next. Even the simple things such as arm wrestling, playing Connect 4, or sneaking tools into your prison cell manage to be enjoyable, whilst the story itself is gripping enough to keep you absorbed into what exactly is going on. It blends together the right amount of comical moments to go along with the somewhat serious vibe of the narrative, but it ensures you’re left entertained throughout.
A Way Out cannot be completed without working together. It’s as simple as that – if you and your partner don’t talk or co-ordinate your actions, you’re going to find yourself failing time and time again. Co-operative play is at the forefront throughout.
Completing the campaign should take around about six hours, though there are plenty of moments in the game where you get to make a choice about how you approach an action. It might be something as simple as how you decide to make your way across a bridge (sneaking under it or stealing a car and driving over it) or what approach you take to a robbery. It certainly justifies a second playthrough if you want to see everything it has to offer.
There’s also the fact that players may want to swap characters, with both Leo and Vincent given different tasks in the game. Given the split-screen set up, this probably isn’t something that’s all that important – you can see any action taking place, after all. Some players may enjoy playing through the game as both characters, though.
Admittedly, I couldn’t. When I played through the game with a friend I grew a bond with Leo, so it wouldn’t have been right to go as Vincent our second time through. That’s just a personal preference, though.
Whilst working together is the goal in A Way Out, there are plenty of moments where you’re able to compete with each other too. A wide range of mini-games are found throughout the game, including darts, horseshoes, a rhythm game (which provides one of the game’s best scenes), and even button-mashing workouts which all allow you to amass a score. The game keeps track of your scores and openly displays each player’s efforts on the screen too, which encourages you to push yourself in order to be ‘the best’. Seriously, the amount of time we spent competing in darts got a little ridiculous in the end…
A Way Out is a narrative-focused experience, so you’ve only got the main campaign to play through.
A Way Out is co-op play at its absolute best, with a huge emphasis placed upon actually working together as opposed to just being on the same team. There’s so much to see and do in the game too, so you’ll never get bored – you’re always doing something different and it always just so happens to be a heck of a lot of fun.
There just aren’t many co-op games out there quite like A Way Out. Its varied gameplay caters to all players, and it’s a title I could easily recommend to gamers of all skill levels too.
Simply put, A Way Out is one of the most unforgettable co-op experiences you will have.
Have you ever found yourself stuck with a friend, trying to figure out what co-op game you want to play together next? Well, search no more – our ‘Co-op Reviews’ take a closer look at the multiplayer co-operative elements of a wide range of video games and find out if they’re right for you. We don’t necessarily assess a game on its visuals, gameplay or audio design, but instead how fun it is to play with others. Even bad games can be fun when played with a friend, right?