A WAY OUT
Developer Hazelight Studios Publisher Electronic Arts Format PC, PS4, Xbox One Release 2018
From the looks of the reveal trailer and the sounds of the title,
A Way Out is a two-player co-op Prison Break simulator. But in our demo, jailbird lead characters Leo and Vincent have long flown the clink and are wandering about a petrol station they’re planning to rob. On one half of the split screen, the player controlling Leo decides to warn a customer away and enters a cutscene conversation. Vincent strolls past in realtime in Leo’s background, sabotaging the phone in view on his screen to prevent any inconvenient outgoing calls.
We can’t help but think of a David Cage game, with its focus on choice, consequence and gently generic action scenes. But the two-player entry requirement – preferably local, we’re told by director Josef Fares – is a bold move in an era of online- only blockbusters. While the finer details lack the elegance afforded by Quantic Dream’s technological clout (facial animation veers towards the uncanny), the award-winning director’s cinematic vision wins out. On a laptop, we’re shown in-progress gameplay footage of a hospital chase. The camera sweeps in one continuous shot through vents and around corridor corners before the full screen view lands on the other character, and it’s player two’s turn to run.
Whether the sudden player switches will handle as smoothly in open play as they do in Fares’ footage is another matter. Then again, Fares was the man behind the inventive PS3 adventure Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons – hopefully A Way
Out will be as technically solid as it is conceptually intriguing.