A Way Out: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

I finally got to clear some space on my console and checked out the games on Game Pass! I downloaded a bunch of new games that I have been wanting to try and one of them was A Way Out. And after playing it—wow, what an experience it was!

A Way Out follows the journey of two inmates who meet in prison. Through various conflicts, it becomes apparent that they have a gripe with the same antagonist: Harvey.

What I loved most about this game is the unique co-op experiences it offers. Being stuck indoors during COVID means the boyfriend and I are always trying to find cool games to play together. While we’ve been playing a lot of Rainbow Six Siege and Apex Legends, sometimes you just want to sit in front of the TV on a couch and share a co-op experience. I also recently sunk about 80 hours into Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and while it was really fun for me, my boyfriend mainly watched now and then. He has been working his way through Hades on the side on our Switch. We were definitely craving a good game we could play together.

A Way Out is not a long game. It’s about six hours, and we divided up our playtime into around three play sessions. It’s also a split-screen co-op, which is quite rare these days. Each time we sat down, we’d be met with some new ways to work together in interesting situations! It always made us look forward to resuming the game after our dinners during the week.

Playing as Leo and Vincent, you’re both inmates working together to escape prison and hunt down Harvey. You end up facing situations where you are keeping a watch out for the other player as they try to hide smuggled resources in prison, or navigating a shed to find parts for a car as you plan your getaway—just as a few examples.

In between doing various team-based puzzles while running away, you’re also met with the robust stories of Leo and Vincent. Leo is a hotheaded thief, but he has a wife and kid who he loves dearly. Harvey screws him over while they were stealing an invaluable diamond together and his family is now forced to run while he faces a lengthy prison term.

On the other hand, Vincent is a banker who got allured by easy money via the life of organized crime. His brother was killed by Harvey in a deal gone wrong. His choices in life caused a rift between him and his now-pregnant wife. He opens up to Leo about this, and Leo is supportive and constructive. They both eventually build up trust and through their camaraderie, they become almost like brothers.

It’s a lot of fun to not only see what new challenges await the two characters we controlled, but also to live through epic chasing and shooting scenes. The game wants to make sure you have action-packed, satisfying moments to celebrate after getting through tough situations. On the side, you also frequently run into little mini-games that the two players can challenge one another to. My boyfriend and I really exhausted our hands smashing buttons trying to beat the other at an arm wrestling mini-game.

While I loved about 95% of the game, the last bit I got quite turned off by. I’m not going to spoil anything, but I do wish it did not end the way it did. Overall though, if you’re looking for a good game to play with a friend or your significant other, I’d highly suggest trying A Way Out! Even if you don’t love the story, it’s a wonderful fresh way to experience a co-op game. I imagine that given how unique it is from most co-op games in the market, it required a lot more game design rather than building off a repetitive gameplay mechanic. I truly appreciate the game for what it has brought to the market.

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