Opening with Vincent’s first day in prison, A Way Out has players taking on the roles of Leo and Vincent as they attempt to escape prison in their bid for revenge. With the multi-day planning and execution of the break-out taking up roughly the first act of the game. From here there is a shift in tone as the plot becomes centered around Harvey, a powerful and connected criminal. Harvey is the reason why both men are in prison and neither Vincent nor Leo will rest until they get their revenge.
Along the way, choices on how to proceed will be given to players that match the personalities of the two men. Leo went to jail for armed robbery, and assault, his choices reflect this as they tend to be more violent or straightforward. Vincent, on the other hand, went to jail for fraud and embezzlement, this is reflected in his choices being more methodical and tactful. One example early in the game involves breaking into a farm to steal clothes, Leo wanted to rush in and tie up the inhabitants. Conversely, Vincent wanted to sneak into the barn and release horses as a distraction. These choices work well to build on the idea that these are two diametrically opposed men that are working together out of necessity. This also lends to replayability for players that want to see how things could have gone differently.
Interspersed through the story are interactions with the families of the two men, we see that Vincent’s marriage is on the rocks. His pregnant wife acting dismissive and cold toward him in their interactions. Contrasting this Leo’s wife is loving and at his request, has kept their son Alex in the dark as Leo doesn’t want to lose Alex’s approval. Differences in the family and home life also help to paint a picture of two men from two different backgrounds forced together.
Overall the pacing is handled well, no scenes really seemed to drag on or overstay their welcome. Nor did any scenes feel like they ended abruptly or were cut short in favor of pacing. Though some bits did seem out of place, like the fact that they could tie up an elderly couple in a farmhouse then stop to play the piano. While fun this side activity negatively impacts the weight of the scene.