Very rarely does a game combine so many great elements. At a glance it looks like an okay game for wasting a couple hours on with a friend. After all, it can only be played co-op, split screen. I know it sounds a bit gimmicky. But once I started playing I was captivated by the complex story and rich dynamic characters. After half an hour I was dedicated to breaking out of prison and clearing my name. It was truly hard to put the controller down.
There are two characters you can choose from. Vincent Moretti, is level-headed and rational. And Leo Caruso is the exact opposite: headstrong and down to do whatever is necessary. This makes the main characters a great pair for ethical dilemmas that you will face during the course of game play. This will often lead to exciting debates and conversation from which actions will be decided between the partners.
You can play either with a controller or on keyboard and mouse – or you can play with both. I actually found myself switching between the two. The controller was for rapid button pushing and the mouse and keyboard for third person shooting parts.
There is no solo mode, so you have to play with a friend. You can invite them online through the origin client. The game is split screen and each player has their own separate experience. Most of the game play requires you to figure out how to logically accomplish objectives. However, I never really felt like it was a standard “puzzle game.” The type of play will change dynamically throughout. You will be running, racing away in various vehicles from captures, pushing button checks, and it’ll flow into some third person shooting. There were mini games scattered throughout, but they had no bearing on the story. I found that I was so invested in the story that I didn’t want to stop and play baseball, horseshoes, or connect4. After all, you’re trying to escape!
I instantly found myself caught up in the story. The characters where well written, and the plot took many unexpected turns. There were also several opportunities where your character’s choice could determine the obstacle that you would face. However, due to such a linear storyline and limited options, I would say the replay value is minimal.
The ending is something that I won’t spoil, but it makes the game. I don’t believe there has ever been a concept like this in a game. Being that it was a surprise, I now see why this had to be a 2 player co-op only. I would recommend that you get a friend and play through A Way Out without looking up spoilers. It’s worth your time.
Suggestions for the Developer:
Overall I feel this is a great game. I would take out the mini games or integrate them into the story. It would be nice if the each of the choices that you made throughout the game had a bearing on the story has a whole instead of being limited to the challenge that you are immediately facing. In my opinion, this would also give the game more replay value. The game definitely left me wanting more.