Parents' Guide to

A Way Out

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Mature prison action game with cinematic buddy film flair.

A Way Out Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 15+

Incredible cooperative experience has some graphic violence, strong language and nudity

A Way Out is a complex co-op video game in which you and a buddy assume the roles of 2 prison inmates who were, for the most part, falsely accused of their crimes by a Mexican terrorist leader “Harvey”. They must escape prison, get their lives back together and take down Harvey. However, even though the story portrays friendship, it can still be found very mature. VIOLENCE: In the first three quarters of the game, violence is used quite sparingly but picks up as the game goes on. Two prison fights happen in the game, one taking place on a basketball court. Many punches are thrown and landed resulting and some blood coming from the area of impact. The second fight happens in a kitchen, where not only fists are used, but knives and hard objects are tossed around. At the end of the fight, the person you are fighting stabs a prison guard a few times in the stomach and then the attacker is thrown on the ground and repeatedly beaten with a baton. During stealth areas, Leo and Vincent take down prison guards by choking. A few men are suddenly shot with a pistol, showing some blood spurts. Police chase sequences are shown, one where a player must shoot a shotgun into the polices windows, presumably killing them. Leo and Vincent raid a house, and in one option the player can put the wife into a headlock whilst the other takes down the husband. Then they tie them up but neither of them are harmed. The husband is then shown shooting at their car later but nobody is harmed. A man is very suddenly shot in the face, this scene is shown twice and contains blood spurt and a bullet hole. Leo and Vincent rob a store at gunpoint. Each option is different, but whichever way it is done nobody is harmed but instead threatened. In one scene, Leo and Vincent take a man down and punching him during his fight etc. Leo and Vincent then tie him up to a chair and torture him whichever way they want. A nail gun can be shot into the mans leg in one option, the man could be choked with a crowbar or have them put behind his arms, the man could have a blowtorch aimed at his crotch area (not violent, comical), and shot in the leg with a gun along with being kicked off the roof. This sequence has very little to no blood at all, and isn’t disturbing. A man with a suppressed pistol enters a movie theater, shooting the protagonists. At the end of the sequence they jump on and strangle him with a wire until he is knocked out. In a hospital, the protagonists fight many police officers quite violently with lots of punching, gunpoint threats and jumping through windows etc. however one character is much stealthier than the other, mostly never hurting anyone, however the player can still see both of the protagonists screens due to the co-op style at all times. Towards the end of the game, the protagonist engages in near constant combat with Mexican terrorists in one specific section. Blood sprays out when the people are shot and splatters on surfaces. In one scene, a man can be shot anywhere on the body spraying blood out realistically, most disturbingly near the neck as he walks towards the deck on the house, then the protagonists can shoot him wherever they want making realistic wounds and blood spray and spatter until he falls off the deck and into the pool. Probably the most bloody scene in the game however not most disturbing. A man is healed at gunpoint then fought in gunfight, as the protagonists shoot there is no blood up until the end of the sequence where they continuously punch each other, throw each other threw windows then slowly throw their punches until they weaken. Then one crawled to a gun and shoots their enemy in the chest, causing blood to spread around their shirt and a bloody bullet hole to appear. Overall, the violence can get graphic, but never crosses the line to be disturbing. LANGUAGE: Near constant use of “f*ck”, “motherf*cker” and “sh*t”. The amount of swears cannot be counted and is very frequent and strong. Other use of milder language to a high number as well. SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY: At the beginning of the game, Vincent’s buttocks are visible for an extended period of time while he walks naked through prison. His genitalia is also briefly visible in this sequence. In one scene, the protagonists find a woman wondering where her husband is and if he’s cheating on her, and upon finding the husband we hear moaning from his trailer, and when he opens the door we see a woman’s legs sticking up as he answers the door as she says “I’m getting cold in my lady parts!”. When the wife opens the door again, however, we see the man thrusting in between the woman’s legs (nudity obscured) quite briefly. OVERALL: 15+ for some graphic violence including action, pervasive language and for sexual content/nudity.

This title has:

Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.
age 12+

Cinematic co-op game with complex storyline

The gameplay is enjoyable and to complete missions requires teamwork between the two protagonists. Not suitable for young children as stated by many others.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7):
Kids say (9):

It's a well-known fact that lots of things work better in pairs, like socks, shoes, scissors, and escaped prisoners. So maybe that last one isn't as well-known, but that doesn't make it any less true in A Way Out, a prison break buddy film wrapped around a co-op adventure game. Right off the bat, the first thing you'll learn is that there's no such thing as "single-player" here. You'll need a buddy that's willing to tag along for the six- to eight-hour ride in the gaming equivalent of a three-legged race. If you can't find someone to share a couch with, you can recruit a partner in crime from your online friend list. Thankfully, unlike most co-op games, you don't need to worry about the other person owning the title thanks to its "Friend Pass" system. After sending an invite, your co-op partner will be prompted to download a "demo" version of the game, which contains all of the content but doesn't allow that player to create a game of their own.

The real question is whether or not A Way Out is actually worth making that friendly commitment for. The answer: Absolutely. The game's cinematic presentation does an amazing job of making you (and your partner) feel like you're not just playing a game, but playing an active role in an action movie. It's particularly fun when one player's actions show in real time during the cutscene of the other player, or when a third scene plays out while both players are in the thick of things. There are a couple of minor problems with this movie-like plot development, though. The biggest issue is that the plot is much more linear than it seems. Players can occasionally choose different ways to overcome certain obstacles, like choosing stealth or charm over threats and violence. But it doesn't ever really matter which path you choose since you always wind up in the same place afterward. This also hurts the game's replay value. After all, it might seem interesting to see how events would play out if you went with Plan A instead of Plan B, but since nothing changes, there's not much reason to care unless you're a completionist. Still, like most good movies, A Way Out is at its absolute best the first time you experience it, with no idea what's coming.

Game Details

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