A Way Out surprised me! I generally hate having to rely on someone else in a game but here I didn’t mind it, it takes real teamwork. The story sets up nicely, putting players in control of either Leo or Vincent as the duo partner up to escape prison and regain their freedom. Peppered throughout the adventure are cliche moments found in almost every prison break themed book, movie or video game but there’s enough creativity that the developers made this adventure feel distinct. The mandatory cooperative gameplay meant that I always had to trust my partner but surprisingly it never felt like a handicap, instead, it helped build tension throughout this tale. A Way Out has its weak moments but it blends together action, emotion, and cinematography for an adventure worth taking.

I Need A Friend

In A Way Out players take control of either Leo or Vincent. Both have been sent to the same prison but their relationship doesn’t grow until Vincent has to help Leo out during a fight. This encounter then leads the two on a mission to break out of prison, relying on one another to reclaim their freedom on top of other things that I won’t spoil.

The story shifts between the past and the present as the duo recall events that lead up to the current time period. The transitions between past and present keep the story alive, providing more details with each time shift that lead up to their current situation. Questions were raised and later answered keeping me engaged from start to finish.

A Way Out is interesting in that it doesn’t support matchmaking cooperative play, instead, players who purchase the game can invite a friend online to play the entire game without having to buy a second copy. During this adventure both player see what the other is doing at all times. Sometimes the screens change size or another screen is added during shootouts but for most of the game, both players are aware of the others actions. This can lead to some frustrating moments, however, as sound overlaps between the two screens. If both players are engaging in a conversation you will be able to hear both dialogues being spoken which can get confusing.

 

Sneak, Shoot, Climb, and Connect-4

The gameplay is fun and challenging, with a heavy focus on cooperation and timing. Quick-time events are densely used but here it works. Players have to constantly be in sync but the game is forgiving enough that if we failed it never felt frustrating. Even when faced with defeat, load times were fast and we were back at it.

A Way Out is saturated with minigames. This includes baseball, darts, and even Connect 4 but none of them play particularly well compared to other games that include similar minigames. These minigames almost felt like an add-on but nothing that really was necessary or impacted the game in a notable manner. In addition, parts of the game that require shooting have subpar controls when it comes to aiming.

We’re Not Friends

Both Leo and Vincent have their own ways of how to handle things that fit their persona. Vincent is much rougher while Leo is a bit more level-headed. Dialogue options don’t really change depending on which option is taken but the consequences of those actions are seen in the game’s story.

While outside characters tend to be boring one-dimensional avatars whose only purpose is to push the story forward Leo and Vincent aren’t like that. They compete with one another, lie, and keep secrets but those barriers begin the break down as the story advances. A Way Out does stumble across a lot of predictable territories but the finale immediately made those boring moments worthwhile. Not to spoil anything but the ending is one you’ll remember.

Both Leo and Vincent never act as friends, and that benefits the story. Both constantly keep their guards up but rely on one another when things get out of control. These hectic moments use the split-screen ideally as I didn’t need to constantly ask my partner if he was done or needed more time since I could see everything.

A Cooperative Journey Done Right

A Way Out hits a lot of highs with its cooperative focus gameplay. Playing throughout the campaign it’s hard to see it in any other way. The minigames are stale and the only way to play is with friends but these are small issues. A Way Out’s story combines the best parts of the prison escape genre with an ending that’ll leave you in awe.

A Way Out Review
Positives
  • Great Ending
  • Cooperative Action
  • Excellent Voice-Acting
Negatives
  • Mini-Games Are Average
  • Lack of Matchmaking
  • Poor Shooting Controls
8Overall Score
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About The Author

Adam S
Sr.Staff Writer

Adam is a Senior Staff Writer for GamerAssaultWeekly with over 5 years of experience in writing and is completely obsessed with video games. He holds a BA from Brooklyn College and lives in NY.