Josef Fares etched himself into gaming folklore when he went on an expletive-riddled tirade during The Game Awards last year. If I recall correctly, he took exception with the Oscars and wanted the world to know about it. Earlier this year, Fares released A Way Out, an ambitious co-op only game where players were forced to work together to escape prison and survive on the lam.
A part of the EA Originals program, Fares was super transparent about his vision for the game and how EA, to their credit and despite funding the game, was pleased to let Fares go about his business with great respect for how he wanted the game to be. What resulted was an engaging prison break drama full of excellent puzzles which also culminated in one of the more surprising endings of the year.
In his review, Brodie said: “On the heels of Brothers, Josef Fares has given us A Way Out, a rich and thoughtful independent darling that delivers on a story that respects its characters and remains grounded, hardly ever resorting to nonsense action just for the sake of it. Though we predicted the game’s ending before it happened, the conclusion hit us like a truck. With its extremely reasonable pricing and share play, A Way Out is a must play from one of the industry’s most talented small teams.”
After a riveting journey alongside Shannon, Brodie gave A Way Out 8 out of 10. On Metacritic, the game averages 78.
Kieron chose A Way Out in his top ten and said: “In a time in the games industry where online multiplayer gaming is widely considered the new norm, it can sometimes feel like good ol’ couch co-op is dying. Cue a degree of shock then, when EA and Hazelight announced A Way Out, a story-based adventure that could only be played cooperatively and that, despite being playable online, was truly designed to be played on a single screen. By melding varied and intuitive gameplay concepts with a filmlike presentation, A Way Out manages to pull off some seriously impressive collaborative moments that feel just as exciting in the room as they do on the screen. My best friend and I played through the entire six-or-seven hour game in one afternoon and by the end, we’d laughed, we’d cried and we’d damn near killed each other, and it’s absolutely one of the fondest memories I have of gaming with another person.“
Shannon chose A Way Out in his top ten and said: “A Way Out was one of my favourite gaming experiences of the last few years. It was the first game to bring the old-school, couch co-op experience to modern, narrative-driven experience. My expectations going in were pretty small, but the variety in gameplay across the few hour story, ending with a twist that I never saw coming (and stays with me till this day) made it an impossible choice to leave off my list. I’d take another one of these games in a heartbeat.”
Brodie chose A Way Out in his top ten and said: “Having missed the fuss surrounding Brothers, another Josef Fares game with a heart that beats co-op, I had looked forward to A Way Out since it was announced and I was so pleased that it didn’t fail to deliver. It’s a cinematic ride that doesn’t overstay its welcome, constantly flouts our expectations as gamers because it is inherently unique in its delivery as a co-op only title. Spending the day playing this online with Shannon goes down as one of my favourite memories of the year. We had each other’s back until, of course, we didn’t. Kudos to EA for letting Fares do his thing, he’s one of the more refreshing visionaries in the industry today.”
Congratulations to Hazelight Studios for A Way Out, one of the most memorable co-op games in recent memory and our eighth best game of 2018.