A Way Out (video game)

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A Way Out
A Way Out Logo.jpg
Developer(s) Hazelight Studios
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Director(s) Josef Fares
Programmer(s) Anders Olsson
Artist(s) Claes Engdal
Writer(s) Josef Fares
Composer(s)
Engine Unreal Engine 4
Platform(s)
Release March 23, 2018
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Multiplayer

A Way Out is an action-adventure game developed by Hazelight Studios and published by Electronic Arts under their EA Originals program. It is the second video game to be directed by Josef Fares after Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. The game has no single-player option: it is only playable in either online or local split screen co-op between two players. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on March 23, 2018, selling over a million copies in two weeks.

Gameplay[edit]

A Way Out is an action-adventure game played from a third-person perspective. It is specifically designed for split-screen cooperative multiplayer, which means that it must be played with another player through either local or online play.[1] In the game, players control Leo and Vincent, two convicted prisoners who must break out of prison and stay on the run from authorities. As the story of both protagonists is told simultaneously, their progress may not be synchronized, which may result in one player being able to control their character, while another is watching a cutscene.[2] Players need to cooperate with each other in order to progress, and each situation can be approached differently, with both characters taking different roles. For instance, during a early segment of the game, the player controlling Vincent needs to distract a nurse and guard, so the player controlling Leo can find a chisel needed to aid their escape. These roles are not fixed, so Leo and Vincent can swap their roles in another playthrough. Players can interact with many non-playable characters, and there are dialogue options for players to choose.[3]

Similar to the PlayStation 4 version of Far Cry 4, players will be able to join online sessions (hosted by the player's friends) whether or not the joining player owns the actual game.[4]

Plot[edit]

In 1972, Vincent Moretti (Eric Krogh) is freshly incarcerated and sent to jail for murder. In jail, he meets thief Leo Caruso (Fares Fares), who has now been inside for 6 months for grand theft auto. A thug sent in by crime boss Harvey tries to murder Leo, but Vincent intervenes, later resulting in both of them being sent to the infirmary while the thug is killed by guards in the cafeteria. While the two recover in the infirmary, they get to know each other and Leo requests Vincent's help to steal a chisel from the office. Vincent complies. After the theft, Vincent senses that Leo is planning on a prison break and offers to help so he can escape too. Leo initially refuses, but begrudgingly agrees to collaborate when Vincent reveals he also has a grudge with Harvey.

Leo and Vincent make progress on their escape plan, stealing sheets to make a rope and smuggling a wrench to open a grating. Using teamwork and gathered tools, the two escape from the jail on a rainy night. After evading the police in the wilderness, the two find an empty camp and fish to make food, while Vincent reveals that Harvey had him launder money before he murdered his brother as a warning and framed Vincent for the murder. The two steal new clothes, a shotgun and a truck from an old couple's house, evade the pursuing police, and reach a city after surviving through rapids and a waterfall on a wooden boat. Leo tells Vincent that he and Harvey stole a valuable gem named the Black Orlov. When they tried to sell it, Harvey betrayed Leo by killing their dealer and escaping with the Black Orlov, leading to Leo's arrest.

At a trailer park in the city, Leo confirms the safety of his wife Linda and his son Alex. Leo and Vincent go to a construction site to find one of Harvey's underlings, Ray, who is working as a construction foreman. After a chase, the two capture Ray and interrogate him to find Harvey's location, which is in Mexico. To take revenge upon Harvey, the duo robs a gas station to buy guns from an arms dealer, Jasmine. When the two leave, Jasmine betrays them and gives their location to Harvey. Vincent calls a pilot named Emily at a telephone booth to fly to Mexico, and Emily tells Vincent that his pregnant wife Carol had just gone through childbirth. A hitman sent by Harvey arrives to kill the two, but the two kill the hitman after a struggle. They then go to a hospital to see Vincent's newborn daughter. At the hospital the police surround the building, but the two manage to escape.

The next day, Emily flies Leo and Vincent to Mexico and the two find their way to Harvey's mansion. After a firefight with Harvey's guards and Harvey himself, the two overpower Harvey, force him to return the Black Orlov, and kill him. Escaping with the Black Orlov, Vincent and Leo return to the United States on Emily's plane, but are immediately surrounded by police upon landing. The police take the Black Orlov and hand Vincent a gun, revealing that Vincent and Emily are both undercover police officers. Leo and Harvey's Black Orlov deal was actually arranged by the police, and the dealer killed by Harvey was Vincent's brother Gary. Devastated by his brother's death, Vincent volunteered to go to jail and gain Leo's trust so they can reach Harvey.

Feeling betrayed, Leo subdues Vincent and takes him hostage, and hijacks a police car to escape. Leo crashes the car into water and tries to escape on a boat, while Vincent is picked up by Emily in a police helicopter and tries to stop Leo by shooting his boat. The chase ends at a portside warehouse, where Leo ambushes Emily and takes her gun, ordering her to leave while he and Vincent fight. The fight ends with both sides injured, unarmed, and exhausted on the top of a roof. Seeing that one of their guns is dropped nearby, both try to reach it. Either Leo or Vincent reaches the gun and shoots the other, and the two share a final moment of friendship before the person shot dies from his injuries.

If Leo survives, after laying low for some time, he finally delivers Vincent's apology letter to Carol, then proceeds to leave town with his family while Vincent's funeral is taking place.

If Vincent survives, he informs Linda of Leo's death and then returns to Carol, and makes amends to save their marriage and raise their daughter by revealing he resigned from the police, proclaiming that it's over.

Development[edit]

A Way Out was developed by Hazelight Studios, a small team of developers in Sweden led by film director Josef Fares. Both Fares and several members of his team previously worked on the acclaimed title, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons from Starbreeze Studios.[5] Production of the game began in the second half of 2014.[6] The design philosophy for the game is that the team wanted to create a cooperative game that is unique and different. As a result, the team opted not use the traditional drop-in and drop-out cooperative format featured dominantly in mainstream cooperative games, and instead, they team decided to create a full game that must be played cooperatively with another player.[7] According to Fares, the game was his passion project and he cancelled an upcoming feature film in order to devote more time to working on the game.[6] The game uses Unreal Engine 4.[8]

Despite the game's heavy focus on multiplayer, the game was described as an "emotional adventure".[9] As a result, cutscenes will play out even during online play to ensure that players can understand the story of the other character.[3] The game features a wide variety of gameplay sequences from stealth to driving to ensure that players are often presented with different gameplay situations and generally make the game and its characters more interesting.[7] To make the two protagonists more realistic, the team ensured that Leo and Vincent have distinct personalities and that they have different opinions and responses while interacting with the game's world.[10] Fares Fares, a Swedish-Lebanese actor and Josef Fares' older brother, plays Leo.[11]

The title will be part of publisher Electronic Arts' EA Originals program, dedicated to funding small independent games. The partnership came to fruition when Patrick Söderlund, the Executive Vice President of Electronic Arts, approached Fares personally for collaboration after being impressed by Brothers.[12] EA offered $3.7 million for the development of the game and gave Fares and his team complete creative control over the game's development.[7] According to Fares, all revenue from sales of the game will go back to Hazelight.[13] The formation of Hazelight Studios and the partnership between Hazelight and EA was officially unveiled at The Game Awards 2014.[14] The game's title and gameplay was revealed at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2017 during EA's press conference. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on March 23, 2018.[15]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(PC) 80/100[16]
(PS4) 78/100[17]
(XONE) 79/100[18]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Edge6/10[19]
EGM8/10[20]
Game Informer7/10[21]
Game Revolution3.5/5 stars[22]
GameSpot6/10[23]
GamesRadar+4.5/5 stars[24]
IGN8.3/10[25]
PC Gamer (US)64/100[26]
Polygon7.5/10[27]

A Way Out received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[16][17][18] It sold over a million copies in two weeks.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lemon, Marshall (June 11, 2017). "A Way Out is a fully co-operative prison breakdown adventure". VG 247. Archived from the original on June 10, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2017. 
  2. ^ "E3 2017: EA Reveals A Way Out, New Co-Op Action Game From Brothers Dev". GameSpot. Archived from the original on August 19, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b McCaffery, Ryan (June 10, 2017). "A Way Out May Be the Gutsiest Game of E3". IGN. Archived from the original on June 11, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 22, 2018. 
  5. ^ Makuch, Eddie (December 9, 2014). "EA to Publish Brothers Director's "Very Special" Next Game". GameSpot. Archived from the original on August 19, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Vlades, Giancarlo (June 11, 2016). "Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons' creator canceled his next movie to work on a new game (exclusive)". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on August 19, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c Grubb, Jeff (June 10, 2017). "EA debuts A Way Out from the creator of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on June 10, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2017. 
  8. ^ Cowley, Dana (December 18, 2014). "Hazelight Studios Builds New Game With UE4". Unreal Engine. Archived from the original on December 9, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2018. 
  9. ^ Falvis, Elise (June 10, 2017). "EA Reveals A Way Out, A Co-Op Game From The Makers Of Brothers". Game Informer. Archived from the original on June 13, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2017. 
  10. ^ Phillips, Tom (June 11, 2017). "A Way Out crafts a cocky new forced co-op concept". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on June 11, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2017. 
  11. ^ @josef_fares (June 10, 2017). "My big brother Fares Fares plays Leo..." (Tweet). Retrieved June 14, 2017 – via Twitter. 
  12. ^ Batchelor, James (June 10, 2017). "EA Originals program continues with A Way Out". Gameindustry.biz. Archived from the original on June 10, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  13. ^ McLeand, Kirk (March 14, 2018). ""EA is not making a single dollar," says A Way Out dev". VG247. Archived from the original on March 14, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018. 
  14. ^ Campbell, Colin (June 11, 2017). "Hazelight game to be published by Electronic Arts". Polygon. Archived from the original on August 19, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2017. 
  15. ^ Sarkar, Samit (December 7, 2017). "A Way Out's co-op trial lets one partner play for free (update)". Polygon. Archived from the original on December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017. 
  16. ^ a b "A Way Out for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on March 24, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2018. 
  17. ^ a b "A Way Out for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on March 23, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  18. ^ a b "A Way Out for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on March 23, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2018. 
  19. ^ "A Way Out". Edge. Future plc (319): 114–115. June 2018. 
  20. ^ Staff, EGM (March 22, 2018). "A Way Out DoubleTake review". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Archived from the original on March 22, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  21. ^ Kato, Matthew (March 22, 2018). "A Not-Always-Dynamic Duo - A Way Out - PlayStation 4". Game Informer. Archived from the original on March 22, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  22. ^ Tamburro, Paul (March 22, 2018). "A Way Out Review – An Easy Escape". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on March 23, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  23. ^ Dayus, Oscar (March 22, 2018). "A Way Out Review: A Tale Of Two Prisoners". GameSpot. Archived from the original on March 23, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  24. ^ Loveridge, Sam (March 22, 2018). "A Way Out review: "Elevates co-op gaming in a way nothing has before"". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on March 22, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  25. ^ McCaffrey, Ryan (March 22, 2018). "A Way Out Review". IGN. Archived from the original on March 23, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  26. ^ Schilling, Chris (March 23, 2018). "A Way Out Review". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on March 24, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2018. 
  27. ^ Campbell, Colin (March 22, 2018). "A Way Out has a lot of flaws and a lot of heart". Polygon. Archived from the original on March 23, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  28. ^ Sirani, Jordan. "A Way Out Passes 1 Million Copies Sold". IGN. Retrieved April 13, 2018. 

External links[edit]