A Way Out Xbox One Review

March 3, 2020 by  
Filed under Xbox One, Reviews & Features, Xbox

Publisher: EA  Developer: Hazelight Studios  Genre: Action Adventure  Players: 1-2

Age Rating: 18+  Other console/handheld formats: PS4

Josef Fares’ Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons was a forced cooperative game, with the twist being that it was a cooperative game for a single player, giving you control of two characters. Now, Fares’ follow-up game, A Way Out, is also one that can only be played in cooperative, but this is a proper cooperative game for two players, and also happens to be a very memorable experience.

Taking place in 1972, A Way Out’s plot sees the game’s two characters Vincent Moretti and Leo Caruso meet in jail. Initially, they have a strained relationship, but soon mastermind a plan to escape the prison. The characters are distinct in their personalities, with Vincent being the more subdued of the two and Leo being more fun and outgoing. It’s this clash of personalities that makes up much of the fabric of the story, with each of the characters also having differing but shared motivations, hence their initial teaming up. While there’s clichés aplenty, the game still tells an enjoyable enough yarn.

Regardless of if you play the game in local multiplayer or online, A Way Out is played with a split screen, meaning you can always see what the other player is doing, assuring that you never miss out on any story. While the split screen is used in a number of effective ways throughout the game (such as passing an object between jail cells in order to keep the guards from seeing it), I do think that it could have been brought into play in more novel situations. The game is also very cinematic with some flashy camerawork (Fares‘ other job as an acclaimed film director definitely shows through here), and will also switch to full screen on the very odd occasion.

Here, one player drives and the other player shoots.

The gameplay events in A Way Out are varied as are the environments, meaning that it never gets dull throughout its duration, and with stealth, gunfights, fighting, car chases and more, it really is an engaging experience. You’ll even get the chance to make a few decisions throughout the game, with you and your cooperative partner having to either carry out a task via Leo’s or Vincent’s ways. There’s also plenty to interact within the game itself, and it’s nice to see each character interacting with the world in different ways, with some amusing results at times. One example being Leo drawing a cartoon moustache on a painting when he interacts with it, while Vincent will wipe it off if the other player interacts with it. There’s even some competitive mini games, with the likes of Connect 4 and darts being available to play for the two on- the-run convicts.

Where the game falters is in its lack of cooperative puzzles, with little brains being required to progress through what is a mostly linear experience. My own expectations before playing the game were for a lot more cooperative puzzles than what it actually presents, so I do, admittedly, find this rather disappointing.

Then we have the shooting, which is functional enough, but it does feel kind of off at times, and it offers little satisfaction. Fortunately, the game isn’t bursting at the brim with gunfights by any means, but there’s enough of them to take more of the shine from the game. It’s just a shame that these sections couldn’t have turned out a lot better.

Despite a number of disappointing and spoiling flaws, A Way Out is still a memorable two player multiplayer experience across its 6-8 hour run time. The story has its clichés, but it’s still very likeable thanks to the relationship between the two central characters, and as this duo are hardly as unsavoury as the likes of Kane and Lynch, I did find myself wanting them to succeed in their goals. With everything said, this is a flawed but unforgettable experience, with an idea that deserves to be expanded upon in the future.