In a refreshing burst of ole school nostalgic console co-op goodness, the A Way Out announcement at E3 2017 piqued our interest.
The only reason anyone wanted a console over a PC, at least till a few years back, was for the ability to play with your mates when they came over to chill. Then weird gimmicks happened (did we mention exclusives?) and it ended up that #PCMasterRace was better for co-oping while console peasants got 30 fps and overpriced games. And A Way Out is just further icing on the co-op cake, If it can deliver. E3 2017, currently on over at LA, California, has been quite eventful this year with games like Anthem and Assassin’s Creed : Origins being announced. Can this forced co-op plus split-screen game mark the era of something new? Or is A Way Out going to go out as a gimmicky failure?
The team over at Hazelight Studios definitely captured our interest with Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons, thinking waaaayyyy out of the box with the whole “make a single player play as co-op” thing and they definitely delivered. Brothers was a delightful game to play with slightly cartoony graphics and a very fun (if a little puzzling) gameplay and controls and a wonderful ending that came all too fast. And they seem to have found yet another winning formula out there in “fantastic idea land” – make a game only co-op AND split-screen! We are guessing they want you to actually sit on a couch with your friend and play together, bantering all the while about decisions you can make, but they have an online multiplayer option too (Friends are overrated, you don’t NEED them…. Right?)
So yeah, the whole game is completely co-op. As in, there isn’t any single player stuff you can do. At all. And its only split-screen. But it’s not your regular old split-screen, nuhuh. For instance, when one player is experiencing a cutscene, the other is free to interact and move around instead of just the cutscene going fullscreen. The interacting player does have to give up a little of his screen estate to let the other player enjoy his cinematic more. Then the things you do experience together go fullscreen, and all in all it tries to create a very compelling and rather immersive experience.
The story from what we could gather, seems to be focussed on two inmates – Vincent and Leo – and them breaking out of jail to get vengeance on someone who has wronged them (Prison Break anyone?). Although, its clear there’s some much deeper lore and connections under the surface with a few scenes of family time and other enigmatic details. We’ll have to wait till the game releases to fully find out. Josef Fares, the writer and director at Hazelight promises a very story driven game replete with choices that you and your partner must mutually make and different interactions all based off those choices. There are hundreds of bespoke scenes for every combination of choices.
But, and this is a big but (and we can not lie), while A Way Out looks amazing in the gameplay footage and the idea sounds promising on paper, it’s going to heavily depend on execution. There’s a high chance of the game being very glitchy if the co-op code isn’t done right, especially seeing that this is a fairly new studio. But the team seems to be building the game by investing a lot of passion and thought into it, so we can’t wait till we get our hands on it. If it manages to get even close to the high bar set by games like Portal 2, 2018 just got a whole lot more exciting.
Stay tuned to catch more of our E3 2017 coverage!