Best Of E3 2017: A Way Out – A Real Game For Real Gamers
A Way Out - Best of E3
(Last Updated On: June 17, 2017)

There was only one game at E3 that stuck out, stuck with me, and wasn’t just a marketing ploy with a check list of token PR talking points: A Way Out. For that reason, it was easily the best that E3 had to offer this year.

Hazelight’s indie made game is being backed by Electronic Arts. Creative director Josef Fares was one of the only few people to take the stage and talk about his game as if he were an actual gamer and game designer excited to play games and push the genre forward by not only telling a compelling story but enforcing gamers to have fun.

So many games demonstrated at E3 seemed to roll through that proverbial masturbatory checklist for shareholders, consisting of buzzwords like “immersive RPG”, in an “open-world”, with a “diverse” cast of characters, containing “epic” moments. Just hearing all of those things nearly makes me vomit. It also made me realize I’ll either never play  any of those games or only begrudgingly buy them for $2 during a Humble Bundle sale and let them sit and collect dust in my digital library until I feel like playing one of those AAA games that would probably be the equivalent of taking a cyanide pill.

However, A Way Out  wasn’t like that. It did something a bunch of other games didn’t do: it showed actual interesting looking gameplay that tied itself directly to the story, and made the gameplay and story seem compelling.

Fares gave gamers a look into a project that wasn’t just him being a PR front-man to sell gamers on an endless grind for microtransactions like Destiny 2 or Anthem, and it wasn’t just some hipster bull-crap designed to earn progressive points within the indie clique of social studies dropouts living through trust-fund welfare. Instead, he showed us a real game made for real gamers.

Players take on the roles of Leo and Vincent in a synchronous split-screen tale featuring these two criminals escaping from prison. Fares was reticent to divulge too many details about the story on why the two need to escape, and what they’re escaping for, but we get small hints about it during the game’s story trailer.

Coupled with Caught A Ghost’s “No Sugar In My Coffee”, this indie title looked like anything but a low-budget affair. In fact, even the Dorito Pope himself, Geoff Keighley, had to admit that the game looks like an AAA outing, and I absolutely can’t disagree with that assessment.

A Way Out features constant split-screen play even during the cinematics. Whether gamers play it online or locally, the split-screen will always be there as an indicator so the other player knows exactly what his buddy is doing at all times. This can even be used to cinematic-bomb the other player by doing something goofy or ridiculous while a cut-scene plays in their screen.

One of the things that Fares mentioned to Keighley is that this is not one of those games where there are moments in there just to extend the gameplay. There are fight scenes, shootouts and chases, but they’re all done in moderation to fit the narrative. Nothing is done in excess just to stretch out the play-time. Good man.

It’s for all of these reasons that A Way Out had no choice but to take the Best of E3 2017. It’s not a rehash like Call of Duty. It’s not a microtransaction honey pot like Star Wars: Battlefront 2. It’s not a cultural statement like Beyond Good and Evil 2, and it’s not just a splash screen with nothing to show for it like Metroid Prime 4. I mean really, anyone who is willing to pay $60 based on a title screen needs to reevaluate their life.

Now some of you might be asking “What about The Last Night? That game looks cool, too!” Well, if a developer lacks the integrity to maintain any self-respect, why on Earth should he or his project be rewarded with any respect? I digress.

With that said, A Way Out was definitely the Best of E3 2017.


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About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • MusouTensei

    No, really not, a game I can’t play by myself is even worth less to me than Gone Home tbh.

  • NIGHT FORCE

    This was the highlight for me as well.

    I had a lot of fun playing Until Dawn with actual real life humans on the couch, this will hopefully be a similar kind of experience.

    E3 really highlighted a lack of innovation and ambition in my opinion, we saw a lot of re-skinned ideas in ALL IMPORTANT 4K.

  • Disqusted

    I guess you could say this is like a two player ICO or an expansion of Tale of Two Brothers? Still not my kind of thing (two guy two player prison break, I have nobody to play with), but it certainly looked more interesting than almost all the other shit the conferences tried to peddle off. AFAIK, anyway.

    I don’t think I saw anything I would actually buy. Just as I expected. Some of the Nintendo stuff looked kinda nice, but I still don’t intend to buy a Switch. The Metroid announcements were also pretty much what I expected.

  • The game of show for me would have to be Dragonball FighterZ, easily.

  • The game of show for me would have to be Dragonball FighterZ, easily.

  • The game of show for me would have to be Dragonball FighterZ, easily.

    • Mr.Towel

      That would be number 2 to me. It only isn’t number 1 because I have played too much Guilty Gear, their design is not so new to me, but it’s by far one of the most solid titles from E3. It will be guaranteed fun.

  • Gorgon

    I think it will be a niche game, simply due to requirement of another person to play through the story. It can be hard enough to organize regular co-op, this is something that requires investment and planning to complete. I dunno, it’s a very cool idea, but I’m not sure how practical it is.

  • LurkerJK

    Mario XCOM was the only think that got my cold dead heart to beat a few times, only wolfestein got close to doing that but not enough gameplay shown, so ill award that one my best of E3 vote

    I can understand what Billy and others see in this game but i am not feeling the forced multiplayer, i hated sheeva in RE5 and the possibility of her being played by a friend i might not have on hand for 20 hours does not make her better, in this game you cannot even play without someone, i’ll probably watch a lets play on youtube to be honest

    • Yeah this game is definitely not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. I just like that it was trying to do something different and was completely unapologetic about it.

      • LurkerJK

        There was a time when games had their niches and they did not need to appeal to “everyone”

        ill take it as this game not being for me, i just wish there had been a game for me in that conference, like Dead Space 4 or something, ah heck, who am i kidding, they would have fucked that up with coop too

        • Disqusted

          I keep thinking there are so many game genres that have pretty much died out because they didn’t sell to the largest audience, which is probably why nowadays we just keep getting the same game repackaged.

          It’s kinda like how most films have the same shit, because it sells to the most people. Or how specialized tools become overbloated pieces of shit by trying to become all-in-one swiss army knives.

          I’m sure we’ve all gone over this so many times before, though.

      • tajlund

        That’s my feeling too. This is absolutely of no interest to me, but I’m glad it exists. The more out there for people makes things feel a little more like the old days where there was a little something for everyone.

        Speaking of which, have you heard of this? A Place for the Unwilling. Lovecraftian horror hand drawn. Not sure if its dead or not, just heard of it in Game Informer. Apparently 2018 release.

        • Speaking of which, have you heard of this? A Place for the Unwilling. Lovecraftian horror hand drawn. Not sure if its dead or not, just heard of it in Game Informer. Apparently 2018 release.

          Oh interesting.

          I have not heard of it. I’ll look into it and see if we can toss something up. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • Hawk Hopper

    The best games I saw at this years E3 were Super Mario Odyssey and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.

    I like the big sort of open 3D Mario games. They haven’t made one since Super Mario Galaxy 2 (unless I’m becoming more of an old man and have missed out on something for the WiiU). I like the side scrolling Mario games as well, but I more enjoy Nintendo somewhat getting out of their comfort zone. Mario using his hat as a platform and to possess things seems like it will add a lot to the gameplay.

    With the new Wolfenstein, I just like the series. I’m not one of this hipster idiots who are like “there’s a game where you can kill Nazis, how timely, how clickbaitable, that’s awesome”, because I’ve been playing this series since the early 2000s and have been keeping up with it ever since. I also enjoy FPS that are more like true “old school” shooters, which The New Order was more in line with.

    • Mr.Towel

      Wolfstein was the best from Bethesda conference to me as well.

      Sure there are SJ political tones in the it, but I can live with that if the game still done properly. Zootopia was filled with that kind of bullshit and I loved the movie.

      In the New Colossus, it seems they want to mix the outrageous style of old school FPS with the adventurous/comical themes of Fallout. Seems like a good idea. As long as they don’t try to shove the SJW narrative too fucking hard it will be an awesome wacky FPS experience. This industry certainly needs more of that.

      By the way, you said you like oldschool FPS. Have you played the remake/reboot of The Rise of the Triad? looks very oldschool to me but reviews are somewhat sketchy.

      • Hawk Hopper

        I have tried the new Rise of the Triad and if you like the original RoT, then I think you’ll like the new one. But when I tried it years ago, it was very poorly optimized and bounced between being smooth and choppy. I don’t know if they’ve fixed this, but its basically the old RoT with a new coat of paint.

        • Mr.Towel

          Thanks, nice to know, will definitely get it at the next steam sales.

          • tajlund

            It’s pretty good. Easily as big of a pain in the ass as the original, but hey, massive gibs. Gotta love the over the top ultra violence of ROTT.

      • LurkerJK

        Well, Wolfestein 2 was my second favorite but it was mostly because i loved the first one, the trailer did little for me, in the bethesda conference it did not have any competition, did it ?

        Skyrim shit nobody other than casuals care about

        VR shit nobody cares about but those that bought the expensive paperweights and need to justify the purchase

        For Dishonored 2 the extra diverse standalone i have to think they started without knowing if the main game was going to do good or not because as far as i am aware the main game sold like shit, preorders were so bad it launched with heavy discounts, heck, its probably stand alone because nobody has the game to buy dlc, and if they think a trailer like THAT would get anyone interested on playing i can see why they failed

        Evil within 2, after the disappointing first game, the only reason i am even remembering the name is because there was no other action horror game on show. WTF was that trailer, it told me NOTHING, the main character taking a bukkake bath tells me NOTHING, if i had to try to extrapolate information from that bunch of nothing i would have to believe they are going to double down on the worst from the first game, the annoying mind fucks and the extra annoying almost invulnerable pseudobosses

        • Mr.Towel

          That Evil Within presented the game to me like a poor man’s Silent Hill. I had not even remembered it was unveiled at this E3.

    • Gorgon

      I’m just gonna express how ironic it is that SJWs hate Nazis, while resembling them so much in their actions. Complete lack of self awareness.

      • Hawk Hopper

        They would make concentration camps if they got a chance.

    • Gorgon

      I’m just gonna express how ironic it is that SJWs hate Nazis, while resembling them so much in their actions. Complete lack of self awareness.

  • tajlund

    Unfortunately I am one of the people who couldn’t be less interested. Not everyone is going to like everything. This checks off three things I don’t have an interest in:
    1. Prison Escape
    2. 2 player
    3. The 70’s (Didn’t like that era living it, don’t feel like playing it).

    But, for those who would enjoy this have fun, I bet it has some pretty interesting gameplay.

  • Mr.Towel

    Completely agree.

    PS: I’m using the term “synchronous” very differently than Billy, he is using it to refer to how both screens will always be present on the display, regardless if its couch or online co-op.

    This industry is filled with co-op games and multiplayer games. But most are done cheaply. They’re fun experiences no doubt but cheap in design. Almost all co-ops are not asynchronous on the interactions between characters. In order to make everyone be able to do anything, in most cases, all characters can fulfill all functions. Making second players pointless most of the time. Saint’s Row 4 is a screaming example of that.

    This game feels like it will be truly asynchronous in the sense that one character WILL need the other to advance and their gameplays and game mechanics won’t be color coded counterparts of each other. Their functions and gameplay will be “asynchronous”, they won’t be reskinned counterparts of each other.

    I know this will be a very unpopular example, but bear with me. I think the co-op mechanics on this game will probably be more similar to Resident Evil 6 co-op, which does have asynchronous co-op interaction. Resident Evil 6 is a hated game because it’s a terrible Resident Evil, in no ways that game is a Resident Evil title. It’s more akin a Michael Bay’s blockbusters, it’s full action cringey and over the top while taking itself too seriously. But if you can laugh at that you’re certain to have fun at the expense of the game itsef.

    Despite that, the gameplay is a properly done co-op in which the many gameplay segments are asynchronous, one character has to help the other to complete a task which is completely different than the other character’s task and both players have to find a rhythm between themselves to do it right. Very few co-op games manage to do that. Most people probably can’t name 10 narrative games with co-op mechanics like that. The biggest other name I can think of is Portal 2 co-op campaign, which is a sidenote to the game itself.

    Here we have a properly done co-op game with fresh mechanics, interesting writing and polished assets which won’t betray the expectations of its audience like RE6.

    It’s promising right now.

    • I actually agree with you about Resident Evil 6. I had fun playing that game in co-op. No, it wasn’t a horror title and yes it was goofy, but it was fun. Same could be said for Resident Evil 5, which I replayed a couple of times just because I had some fun in a few parts and I liked the inventory management so that both players had to pick and choose what was best to bring with them into the stage. At the end of the day if I’m having fun then they’re doing something right.

      • Mr.Towel

        RE5 also has this co-op design. I played 6 more because the controls feels more natural to an action title on 6 to me. Have played RE5 twice I think though.

        Another game I remember that has similar co-op design is the Trine series, but they’re very light on narrative and the Co-op is optional. Still, it’s one of the best co-op titles out there. If anyone here likes co-op games and haven’t played Trine yet, you should. It’s a must play for the genre to me.

      • Disqusted

        I hated RE5 because it felt like they just built on top of RE4 (literally felt like a reskin) and the changes were very shoddily implemented. Stuff like when you die, you get up just to fall over again, shootable enemies dying after they finish their entrance animation, etc. Not polished at all.

        Also hated how they changed the characters, especially what they did to Wesker and killing him off in the lamest way possible, but that’s another story.

        Tried RE6 for about 15 seconds, hated the intro and never went back.

        • RE5 definitely had a lot of bugs and issues (there was even a glitch on the PC version where you could trick it to turn the four-player versus mode into a four-player co-op session; imagine our surprise when the next stage turned out to be the campaign mode and we could progress. It was both dumb and totally fun because one of the guys was dressed in Chris’ zebra outfit.) But it was still sort of fun even with the dumb glitches.