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    A Way Out

    Who I am
    Marie-Ange Demory
    @marie-angedemory

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    Night. Rains. Darkness covers our steps. The guards will be dozing off, hopefully. Our chance to escape from this hellish place is here, in these last few meters of the prison roof.
    “Come on, take a good look at where the lighthouse points, if you go there they risk seeing you!”, “No, I checked! Here the light from the lighthouse didn't come- “,“ DOOOOOOON! ”. And so it was that we were caught by the light from the lighthouse on the roof of the prison.
    This was the moment I realized that the collaborative component of A Way Out it is not simply capable of letting two people play a video game, but it transcends the screen, pushing players to confront, help, talk to each other, organize themselves and, often, insult each other.



    Leave the fairytale tints of Brothers: the Tale of Two Sons (2013), Josef Fares, the less outspoken director, author and screenwriter, now puts us in the shoes of two prisoners who want to escape from prison. To do this, they will have to collaborate, divide up tasks, organize themselves and use their talents in the best possible way, if they want to leave those four infamous walls behind.

     

    A few moments of presentation and you already find yourself, pad in hand, having to choose your alter ego. The choice of the character is accompanied by a description of the same, so as to be able to check the one closest to our character. As it happens, the personalities of the two characters matched the characters of the players: my character, Vincent, more reserved, taciturn, more dedicated to reasoning and with a much more calm and tactical approach, while for my wife Leo, hotheaded, fit perfectly. always ready to fight and to use heavy manners. And, after this description, I will probably test each of these aspects on my own skin.



    The part dedicated to escape is structured in an intelligent and interesting way: preparation, implementation, obstacle, recovering a tool necessary to overcome the obstacle, overcome the obstacle, find another and so on. Any obstacle or impediment encountered on the way to escape will open the doors to a new scenario the following day. From having to go to the laundry for the classic sheets to tie, or in the room dedicated to manual work to retrieve specific tools.

    Intelligent on the part of the developers to divide these sections, creating a good dynamism and a considerable variety, also making the escape plan resume from where it was interrupted before the last obstacle, therefore without having to repeat the entire previous evasion phase every time.
    No successful action would be successful without consultation. Each result obtained is in fact thanks to the collaboration, both on screen and off, of the two players. There are situations in which you have to decide who should distract the guard by letting the other pass unnoticed, or help yourself in a fist fight, pass a wrench from one cell to another, grab your partner at the right time or climb by pressing the keys in sync. . These are just a few examples of the variety that the game offers.
    Every action and every result is therefore the result of the collaboration between the players, who will learn to communicate with each other and support each other as much as possible.

    A Way Out, however, does not end with the mere escape from prison and then everyone on their way, but hides a plot and a really unexpected crescendo of situations. I myself, once released from prison, did not in the least imagine that the story would develop so much, giving then such a varied range of situations. Situations that change both the pace and the genre of the game itself, passing from stealth to action or third-person shooter. The events outside the prison are so well thought out and intriguing that it would be a real shame to reveal some of them to you, just know that the collaboration mechanism lasts throughout the game and the formula of escape from prison evolves gradually with the development of the plot.



    All these positive aspects, however, pay a price that for some could be fatal: simplicity. A Way Out is a game that is as varied as it is simple. Except for mistakes or total neglect of the situation (as in the initial example!) It will be difficult to find yourself in front of Game Over. Even if it were, no type of malus is perceived, you resume playing an instant later by restarting from the last checkpoint. The choice makes sense if you are playing with a person who is not really a skilled player (the best way to enjoy the game, in my opinion), but that becomes a significant gap if two experienced players are playing. Above all because you lose some of that palpable tension that accompanies the very early stages of the game, realizing as, after all, things can be done calmly and without too much anxiety. Too bad, because the sense of apprehension that is felt during the first puzzles is truly incomparable.

    A fair amount of secondary activities have been included to spice up and stratify the game. We have no idea how they managed to insert minigames, mini-missions and other goodies in such a context, but during the escape you will also be able to help some people: these are extremely simple missions, where you just need to talk to a couple of NPCs or collect something for someone. Or you can play darts, baseball, play the piano, and so on, all accompanied by a score table for each of the two players. A nice addition that helps to dampen the pace of the game by competing with the escape partner, thus stimulating the more experienced players.

    From a technical point of view, the work of Hazelight Studios does its duty, making good use of the Unreal Engine and giving truly remarkable views and landscapes, with a rendering of colors and materials and really pleasant expressions, especially if you consider the fact that, although distributed by Electronics Arts, it is an indie game. It is the animations that make your nose turn up a bit every now and then. Not always at the top and with some uncertainty during the jumps and during the race. Also when Vincent and Leo are close, it is more noticeable that their movements are exactly the same, which makes some situations a little grotesque.
    The same goes for the dubbing and the sound: a quality dubbing and an excellent soundtrack, ruined by some decidedly out of tune sound effects. I still have in my ears the sound of Vincent's shoes as he comes down the mountain. Each boulder a jump, each jump a decidedly out of tune "TOC". Nothing serious, mind you, but in a decidedly positive context such a critical issue is really out of place.



    USEFUL INFO

    I played A Way Out on PS4 for about ten hours, all spent in the company of my faithful cellmate: my wife. I bought the game for something less than the suggested price, a deal that makes your wallet smile and that for a scant three tens of euros, gives you wonderful hours of fun in company.

    Duration
    • It can be finished in 6 or 7 hours. Walking around for a while, playing minigames and browsing everywhere, you can reach ten hours comfortably.
    Structure
    • Dubbing in English, subtitles and menus in Italian.
    • With the game you are given a download code to pass on to a friend, so you can play A Way Out online with just one copy.
    • A Way Out is offered at an essential budget price of € 29.99.
    Collectibles and Extras
    • There are hidden mini-games that can sometimes unlock Trophies
    • Some characters scattered around the scenarios are linked to nice chats or mini missions linked to Trophies
    Game Card
    • Game Name: A Way Out
    • Release date: March 23 2018
    • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
    • Dubbing language: English
    • Texts language: Italian

    A Way Out is a pleasant and interesting title, which deserves to be played with taste and passion, the same with which it was created and which transpires from the very good quality of the entire work. Net of some graphic uncertainty and a rather evident simplicity, it remains a pleasant, enjoyable and original title.
    The advice is to play A Way Out with those who are not passionate gamers, so as to bring that person closer to this world, making them discover that, all in all, video games can hide a lot of fun and interesting plots: a beautiful way to spend some evening together in short. I played it with my wife, but it would be just as fun to play with your parents, children and peers. You will not regret it.

    Videogamingallday.com review
    Graphics

    Some uncertainty in the animations and in some finishes, but it remains very enjoyable and inspired.

    78
    SOUNDTRACK AND DOUBLE ROOM

    Some effects are out of tune, but the music is really good. The dubbing is performed very well, even if the Italian-American cadence of the two inmates is hard to hear and does not work very well.

    80
    GAMEPLAY

    The game is easy, but the variety of situations proposed make it versatile and always fresh. Furthermore, the split-screen is perfectly balanced and dynamically engaging.

    85
    Total Rating scale
    85
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