Game Review: A Way Out Is Like a Cheesy Crime Movie and I Love It

 

Feature

I grabbed A Way Out recently on Xbox Marketplace and I have to say the game has some incredible moments. Anyone looking for a co-op game should absolutely play this game.

Zack recently wrote about how EA is ruining games and I can tell you this game absolutely proves him wrong.

The game was developed for co-op, and I don’t mean like Gears of War or Army of Two co-op where an AI can basically fill in, no no this is dat real shit.

While the story and writing is sub par at best, it boasts incredible game mechanics that I hope more studios copy. It’s really tough to get over the dialogue in the game, but if you can manage to do that, the game is a must play.

Story

You and your co-op buddy play as Leo and Vincent, two convicts in a prison that looks suspiciously like the one in Shawshank Redemption.

Both characters want revenge on the same mob boss and so Vincent cozies up to Leo and they must work together to escape prison and kill Harvey to steal back the “Black Orlov”, some sort of legendary gem.

So each guy has a stereotypical background:

Vincent is out for revenge because Harvey killed his brother, it’s driven a wedge in the relationship he has with his pregnant wife and he’s REALLY torn up about it.

Leo is a classic bad ass jewel thief who Harvey betrayed. He also has a wife but his wife love and supports him and just wants Leo to have time to spend with his basketball loving son, oh and they live in a trailer park, even though I would imagine if you’re a good thief you would have some better options but hey that’s none of my business.

Drive

Characters

Oh boy, this is where the game shines. You and your buddy have to pick which guy you’re going to play as before you know anything about them.

I got stuck playing Vincent and my buddy took Leo.

Turns out Vincent is the biggest wuss I’ve ever seen grace my television screen. This man is a giant marshmallow. He is constantly complaining, he’s soft spoken and always is looking to not hurt people.

Leo on the other hand, is violent, sarcastic and has that whole “I’m a bad ass cool guy” thing going on. Leo’s problem is that he’s described as a joker but NONE of his jokes are even remotely funny.

It’s probably my favourite dynamic of the entire game. These two are Polar Opposites and they’re meant to be, but they just sound like dysfunctional lunatics. Like I think at one point Vincent says something like “You always try to shoot your way out” and Leo responds with “Well you know me” and then Vincent looks at him lovingly??

The voice acting is so hilariously off it ends up making the characters sound so wooden it ends up being enjoyable.

Game Mechanics

This is the part of the game where I actually hope more studios try to steal/copy.

The “split-screen” is dynamic, meaning it actually gets bigger when one person is doing something interesting while another is say…washing a floor (another of the game’s very weird decisions). It’s a really cool way to tell a story and I end up watching my buddy’s screen because some other convict is trying to bash his head in while Vincent is just walking around.

The game is padded with mini-games, anything from playing horse shoes to tarring a roof. I’m not saying it’s not fun to play basketball with Leo’s son when you’re on the lamb but it’s so weirdly out of place I kind of love it.

The game has amazing driving sections where I drove and my buddy shot out the back, or a scene where I had to stealth my way out of a hospital while Leo went into a Brawler mode and had to fight nine guards.

It’s like the game is actually just 18 slices of different genres merged together but it ends up being such a ridiculous thrill ride. You literally never know what to expect and it was just such a cool experience playing with someone else.

Random Observations

-I want to avoid spoilers but holy the twist at the end is my favourite nonsense logic ever.

-The game was incredibly short, I know the game wasn’t full price but value-wise I got to say EA, you did it again you greedy bastards….

-So the developers and writers have to be non-english speakers right? From the Wikipedia Page of Hazelight Studios “usually to reference the 2003 movie The Room, as many people compared him to the movie’s director, Tommy Wiseau.” If ever there was a way to get me to like someone it’s comparing them to Tommy Wiseau.

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