‘A Way Out’ video game review
By Lauren Kelly, Graphics Manager
A Way Out is a new game by developer Hazelight Studios and directed by Josef Fares. This is Fares’ second game, as he previously created the critically-acclaimed Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
In Brothers, you play as the two titular brothers, controlling one with each joystick. This seems like an opportunity to have a co-op game, but the story and experience require single players to play it by themselves. In Fares’ new release, gamers will find the exact opposite. A Way Out is a forced split-screen co-op game and is unplayable by only one person. Luckily, you only need one copy of the game, whether the two of you are sitting next to each other or playing together online. However, even if you are playing online, the game will still keep the split-screen.
A Way Out stands out as a split-screen game due to its genre. It’s not a shooter, or a racing game—it’s a QTE-centric adventure game more along the lines of Heavy Rain, Until Dawn, and any of Telltale’s offerings. In it, you play as Leo and Vincent, who are two inmates trying to find—you guessed it—a “way out” of prison. They start off as strangers, but quickly become tentative partners in this quest when they discover that they both want revenge against the same man on the outside.
The game’s graphics aren’t the hyper-realistic style found in Until Dawn or Beyond: Two Souls, but they are a large step up from Telltale’s. The two leads look like real people who act believably and immersively, which works well in a game where the primary focus is on telling an engrossing story.
The co-op style opens up tons of options not seen in games of this genre. In one early segment, Leo gets attacked in the cafeteria, and the player can only delay the assault until their friend comes in and saves them as Vincent. In another scene, Vincent’s player needs to use their brain to distract nurses and workers while Leo’s player stealthily steals a hammer. There is also time for players to explore their environments and interact with NPCs. Both characters play differently and have unique approaches to their problems, so players will have different experiences even while playing together.
The game is being sold for $39.99 and is available on PS4, Xbox One, and Steam. It should last around 10 hours, and if you split the cost with your friend or SO, $2 an hour is incredible value for what this game offers. If you’re a fan of cinematic games, prison breaks, or split screen gaming, make sure to take this one for a spin—just be sure to find a friend committed to playing it with you first, so you don’t have an unplayable game sitting in your library.