A Way Out Was My Favourite Take from the EA Conference (E3 2017)

With history preceding them, I’m always a bit sceptical going into an EA conference. They churn out the sports franchises annually, their shooters rotated every other. It can all get a bit predictable. We kind of knew what to expect this year too, and it’s exactly what we got. New FIFA, new Madden, new NBA, and new shooters.

While I appreciate the Battlefield 1 DLC, and genuinely get excited for the work that’s gone into it, it’s just not a game I enjoy investing time in enough to fully appreciate. The same goes for Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (which looks amazing by the way). I wondered if EA had anything new. Anything fresh.

Enter Joseh Fares, the writer behind indie classic Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and founder of Hazelight studios. Brothers was a puzzle adventure game that challenged the player with a co-op experience for one. It was unique, brilliant, and somewhat heart-wrenching to boot.

Inmates: A Tale of Two Prisoners

A Way Out is a prison-break adventure experience with a twist. It’s played in split-screen co-op. While the game will also function online, Fares enthusiastically explained the game is best played with a friend – in the same room. A bold statement when you consider the shared-screen nature of the experience.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on with this game. For a start I love the way the split-screen ratio is adjusted dynamically based on the current scene. This creates a storyboard look from the two panels, helping blend the split-screen experience into one – which brings players closer together.

The story seems to follow classic prison-break themes of getting out, finding your family, but it’s nice to see the action involves a range of locales, including driving moments, and what looks like an Uncharted-style forest scene. There is definitely an element of David Cage about the whole thing, and it’ll be nice to find out if the story has multiple paths.

While there’s still a lot more to learn, the game definitely offered something different. In a sea of clones, it stood out as the one game from the conference that I really wanted to play. Just need to find that friend…

A Way Out is set to release early 2018 on PS4, PC and Xbox One, which got me thinking. This game is perfect for Nintendo Switch! But alas it wasn’t to be.

 

 

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