I generally don’t enjoy co-op. This is the predicament I found myself after watching the reveal trailer for Hazelight’s new action adventure game, A Way Out. It’s not that I am against playing games with other people, but I prefer to go at my own pace and not feel rushed. The greatest compliment I can give this game, is that looking back on my experience after completion, if I could do it all over again I would still choose to play with a partner.
A Way Out is the tale of Vincent and Leo. Both have found themselves on the wrong side of the law and are spending 8 and 14 years respectively in the slammer. As you and your partner start the journey you will quickly realise the different characters traits the two guys have. Vincent is a lot more cool, calm and collected. He is smarter than Leo and can get extra bits of information out of people in conversations as well as manipulate certain items in a unique way. Leo on the other hand is more of a shoot now, ask questions later type of guy. Emotional, yet tough, he let’s his heart and his anger rule his head.
I don’t want to give away any key plot points or spoilers, so in terms of the story, I’ll just say that initially your goal is to sneak out of a maximum security prison. The story is one of the games strongest areas and even now a few days on I find myself searching for people who have finished it so I can discuss plot points and their overall thoughts. If you are a fan of the Telltale or Dontnod style adventure games I definitely think this will be right up your street.
Gameplay has been kept simple, but requires you and your partner to work together. There is some light puzzle solving to advance the story, but nothing that’s going to cause you too much distress. This is definitely a game that can be played with a significant other who normally doesn’t enjoy video games. The story and bond the two characters share is likely to draw in all types of people.
Trophy wise you can go through the entire gaming without unlocking anything. Everything is tied to miscellaneous activities that can be missed. I would recommend playing through the game without a guide first though to make sure you don’t ruin any of the plot. Thankfully the chapter select post game is very generous and can also put you a minute or two away from any trophy related objectives. A Way Out does have a platinum trophy and with a guide you are looking at a 1/10 difficulty.
In closing I would say buy this game if you have any interest in strong narrative experiences. The gameplay mechanics are solid without being spectacular, but they only serve as a backdrop for the immense story that is playing out before you. I have been intentionally vague during this review because I don’t want to risk spoiling anything for people jumping in. Games come thick and fast, especially in 2018, but A Way Out is one I will remember for a very long time. An essential experience.