When a small indie studio with an immense passion and desire to work decides to devote himself to such an ambitious and unpublished concept, the dream of the videogame industry is fulfilled, a fantasy that becomes reality thanks to the work of EA Originals , where the slogan is to leave developers free.
Otherwise, when dealing with Josef Fares, exuberant director of A Way Out , new playable action only in local co-op or online, by the Swedish team Hazelight, among other creators by Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. In the short interview we knew better, he believed that his game would be the best co-op experience ever seen so far and honestly the premise to become really there. Between saying and doing, though, there is so much code and a very demanding audience.
Co-op or nothing
Way Out is part of the need to find a true co-op experience that was not just drop-in / drop-out but that pushed two friends to deal with choices to discuss and find an agreement throughout the game. Sharing is so important that even in online co-op each player continues to see in split screen what’s happening to their mate, whether it’s a real cutscene or game. This is because, apart from a single scene that has shown us as “extra”, the whole story is based on a direction designed to convey emotions in the same instant , without having to leave too much space on the cutscene or interrupting the continuity of the game .
The scenario we tried, about three hours from the start, sees us in preparation for a robbery in front of a refueling station.
Choosing the character you want to control begins right away with the first decision, which can not be done without the consent of both players: this immediately tells us why A Way Out, according to Mr. Fares, gives the best of himself with a friend to his side or can only be dealt with online only with the same companion. Choose well then with whom you want to play because to go on will not be allowed substitutes.
The amount of choices and possible scenarios we see really looks great but apparently the narrative line follows a precise track whatever our decisions are, although not knowing how many finals will be available at this point. Taking a look at what is happening on the other side of the split screen is also essential to be able to go ahead and it is true that such a deep co-op concept has never been seen.
If this comes to the attention to the plot and passion of Hazelight about the emotions to be transmitted we can really hope to face a ‘
Indie or Triple A?
If we want to summarize in a few words A Way Out would suffice for a more action version of Heavy Rain, with its choices and minimalistic controls aimed at a simple but articulated interaction in the possible choices. In about 10 minutes of gameplay, we only pressed the “Action” button and little else but we did not notice a sense of total passivity: we sabotaged a phone, removed a client, and made sure everything went as expected during the robbery , and then we are still confronted with unexpected and unpredictable obstacles.
From the additional scenes we’ve been shown we figured out howthe style of the game changes scenarios to offer new experiences and to convey the potential of the story of Vincent and Leo, two criminals fleeing a maximum security prison, both with their background and their goals.
A complete evaluation will be made in the game, but Josef Fares has already challenged us to go to Sweden if we are not astonished at A Way Out . Meanwhile, we can only admire the efforts that this team (started with 12 people and grown up to 40 in two and a half years) continues to do technically to improve what can not be defined as a triple A (at least graphically) but which certainly does not leave you wanting.
Now we can only wait in the first months of 2018 to be able to test the final version and express our judgment to good Josef Fares and Hazelight guys.