A Way Out is an action-adventure, prison-break video game by Electronic Arts that is played strictly in online or local split screen co-op. Without any single player gameplay, I found the game to be both interesting yet challenging with a fair bit of depth in terms of the game’s narrative.
The game follows Leo and Vincent, convicted felons who must work together to break out of prison in order to exact revenge on a mutual enemy. The narrative is relatively short but certainly interesting, keeping the reasonably short game fresh, exciting and leaving players wanting to learn more about the plot as well as reach a resolution. Narrative-wise, A Way Out was very much like a typical cop show only this time, the story is told from the perspective of the convicts.
Unlike most action-adventure games I’m used to, A Way Out does not come with a single player mode. Instead, players are forced to play cooperatively and work together in order to progress in the game. This means that in order to play the game, players must have a friend to play with, either online or locally.
I had asked my partner, a rather competitive gamer, to play the game with me. At first, I thought that we’d struggle as he is the kind of gamer who enjoyed exploring every nook and cranny to discover secrets in a game, whereas I am the kind of gamer who is rather inpatient and prefers getting right to the point, often going in guns blazing without a thought about strategy.
However, when playing A Way Out, we both discovered that we worked incredibly well together when it came to common goals, which in this case, was to escape the prison and ensure both our characters progressed. There were definitely plenty of challenges to working together. Communication was key, as not talking and working out a plan together meant that one character would fall behind and the other wouldn’t be able to move forward.
Narratively speaking, this cooperative play helped us both be more invested in the game as well as the characters. Despite the entire game taking under ten hours to complete, there was enough of a plot to have us interested in each character’s motivations and driving force to escape the prison. Not only that, but having the game be played completely in split-screen made things a lot more interesting as we managed to watch what we were each getting up to.
The visuals and soundtrack in the game were reasonable and fairly decent for a short and affordable game. There isn’t anything stand out or highly innovative but this wasn’t off putting and didn’t really affect gameplay. I doubt the game would have been any better with improved graphics.
There isn’t too much to A Way Out to critically analyse. A game which encourages co-op gaming and communication, the game is decent enough to provide several hours of enjoyment, albeit being relatively short. With a thrilling narrative and characters that players can easily identify with, A Way Out is definitely an affordable game to play with friends.