GAME REVIEW: A Way Out

Title: A Way Out

Developer: Hazelight Publisher: Electronic Arts

Release Date: March 23rd, 2018

Reviewed on: PlayStation 5

Introduction: A Way Out is an action-adventure game for the PlayStation 4 that requires two players to experience its story

Synopsis: This game tasks two players to play as Leo and Vincent as they attempt to escape to freedom through the power of teamwork and motivation fueled by revenge.  

A Way Out starts out with Leo and Vincent experiencing prison in different ways. It is Vincent’s first day in lockup, and Leo is making his way back to his cell from the yard. Over the course of being confined within the prison walls, they become partners in order to escape their sentences together. After finding weapons, tools, and constructing makeshift bed sheet ropes, they finally emerge from their concrete purgatory.

Leo and Vincent find themselves in the wilderness trying to reach their goal of finding Harvey, the man that landed them both in lockup. They catch food, rummage through a farmhouse, and steal a truck. They escape the authorities multiple times and rely on friends and family to get them into Mexico.       

Ultimately, you reach your destination, taking out the threat that ultimately binds the two men together. What the result brings forth is ultimately up to the players, which leaves for an even more creative ending than what my mind had envisioned. This story, though about 5-6 hours in length, left an imprint in my mind that I will always remember. It will forever remind me that there is a way out.

Analysis:

The World of A Way Out: Set in California 1972, the game starts you off in a prison, letting both players explore the yard and the various places in which they are limited to. Once you escape, you are thrown into the California wild, crossing narrow bridges, fishing in shallow riverbeds, releasing horses from a stable, and ransacking and old couples’ farmhouse–all on a journey to find Harvey. Along the way, you will meet Leo’s family in a trailer park, visit the hospital where Vincent’s wife is in labor, meet up with an arms dealer, and visit an associate of Vincents to fly them into Mexico to pursue a lead. The landscapes are varied and beautiful and interacting with it is fun and satisfying. I was both visually and audibly impressed with the game, and it added on a layer that helps define the story for its participants. Overall, the tone of its various mediums does an impeccable job.

                 

The gameplay: Right from the beginning, you learn that pressing a button repeatedly can change the outcome of the story and prepare you all throughout the game. I did find that my appendages would hurt after an intense session of this repeated motion, which really was the only issue I had with the gameplay. You mainly work together on goals within the scene to accomplish the task at hand. One part in the prison, which was interesting, was working together while you are back-to-back climbing up an air shaft. You must hit the buttons correctly in a pattern, to accomplish the feat without failing. The game play varies over the different scenes. When you fish in one scene, one person must scare the fish towards the other player who needs to spear it. You can play instruments at the farmhouse, which can be a challenge to synch each players tune together. One player drives a truck while the other player fires upon the authorities. You skydive from the plane into Mexico and take on the enemy with four different weapons to choose from. Riding motorbikes to escape was a fun part of the game, while you try to get on the airplane at the end. A Way Out has a lot to offer in the various mechanics the player can partake in.

 

FINAL SORE–4.5

A Way Out – Was one of the most amazing two-player experiences I have come across. It was a joy to participate in this stellar storytelling along with my brother Nathan, who played as Vincent. I asked him what he had thought of the game, and he said,

The game feels like a movie. The two different personalities of the characters allow you to make choices based on your playstyle, which leads to a more engaging experience.  

– Nathan Kelley-

For me, the story left me wanting more. The gameplay was varied but not complicated, and the art and music glued the experience altogether beautifully. I applaud the team who created this experience because it is a work of powerful art.   

Shane Kelley is a Staff writer for Boss Rush Network, as well as a writer for Another Zelda Podcast. His favorite game is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. You can find him on Twitter to talk video games, Marvel, and axe throwing.

              

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