A Way Out - Finding a way IN, to my heart that is. Also fuck the Oscars.

A Way Out is a two player split-screen co-op game where the players take control of one of two characters, each with their own viewpoints. The basis for the game are that these two characters, Leo and Vincent, meet up and decide to help each other break out of prison to get revenge on someone who has wronged both of them individually.

The game takes place over several unique scenes, each with its own sense of style and tone, that take you into all different kinds of challenges.

The game, really, reminds me more of a David Cage game but... not insurmountably janky. The voice acting is spotty, but the story and overall scope of the game is actually quite fun.

Each player acts as the main character, with their own role to play during each scene of the game. Sometimes the game takes you to two different areas with you acting on your own for a little slice of time. But due to the split-screen nature of the game you are always aware of what your partner is going through.

The most fun in this game comes from the several different activities you can get into. One scene had the two characters in a farm that had a small area for horseshoes and so me and my co-op partner spent probably 25 minutes trying to get the high score. Another area had a Connect 4 board game to play. Another one, basketball, etc etc. It was a nice change of pace that lets you take a slight break from the severity of the story while also appreciating the "quiet moments", and boy does this game take advantage of that.

For example, when the game starts to open up in the very beginning, there is a part where you can work out in several different ways. Pushups, crunches, lifting weights. We spent roughly 20+ minutes trying to get higher scores than each other and in the end our actual real life hands were hurting quite a bit, and even had to resort to using the pen trick to try and win quickly.

While one player tries to get the plot going, the other gets some sick gains.

The game really takes advantage of the co-op nature of the game to a surprising degree, allowing players to really dig in and help the other, letting one take the lead in something, or working together in different areas to achieve some goal. But sometimes it's not easy. Sometimes you're in a row-boat going down a running river and your co-op partner(me in this case) wouldn't stop fucking up and rowing on the wrong side of the boat, causing us to crash and almost die a hundred different times. In the end it felt like we were fighting against each other as much as we were helping.

For example, there's one section of the game that left quite an impression on me with fishing, one that could only be possible in co-op. There's nothing quite like listening to your friend struggle and get mad at you for easily catching any and all fishes that he simply cannot.

There was another section in the game relatively early on that I found incredibly fun. The character's each have a jail cell right next to each other. So eventually they begin preparations for their "Way Out" and have to dig out and unscrew their cell toilets. One person has to be on the look out to make sure their partner can do so without getting caught. The grand joy of this part of the game, as with many other aspects of this game, is that while the characters are currently employed in the task of looking out for each other, the drama created is entirely by the people playing. For example, when guards are coming the characters don't yell "OH NO LEO THE GUARD IS ON HIS WAY", it's up to YOU to warn your friend and convey the message. Because, while the game is splitscreen, they are better off paying attention to the prompts on their screen to make it go by faster.

This kind of experience permeates the entire game and brings a certain level of joy and excitement that is hard to explain fully. It empowers both the players and the characters and deepens the connection between the two facets of fact and fiction, real and fake, by giving the players the power to both notice and respond to what is happen to their partner and vice versa.

It's a unique experience that really goes all out, I feel, in providing this heavily narrative driven game. For example, one unique aspect of it is: I didn't even pay for it. My friend bought it, and those who own the game can invite their friends to play it, completely free of charge. You don't get trophies or anything, but it works. All you have to do is download the demo and the "invite" acts as the licence and let's you play for free. All the way through the entire game.

I give A Way Out...

My name is Ryan. I like to play video games and Dungeons and Dragons and all kinds of other cool stuff. I also like to write. This is my website, it's nothing special, but I write about topics from time to time that probably make no sense. But if you think they do make sense, then hang around and check out some other articles. My friends call them "blogs" but goddamnit I've got a URL and everything, so they're "articles".

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