A Way Out

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is one of my favorite games of all time, so when I saw the developers made something new, about two prison escapees on the run from the law, I had to try it.

Maybe it was because my expectations were set a bit too high, but this game is somewhat disappointing. Games already often have a hard time guiding one player through their worlds in a way that feels fluid, if not realistic. But with two people involved, the level of artificiality is just too high. Every door requires a simultaneous push to open. Every tree is just heavy enough that one person can’t move it himself.

There are a few moments where having two players is genuinely interesting. However, typically it’s just kind of annoying, and the game feels like it could have worked better with just one player (maybe switching between the two characters). The final payoff hits nowhere near as hard as that of Brothers.

The game is also weirdly full of minigames. There’s arm wrestling, darts, basketball, you name it. There are 2d sidescrolling sections reminiscent of Oldboy. There are predictable chase scenes through a hospital and a construction site. There’s an all-too-obvious twist. There are run-and-shoot sections that we just ran through without shooting because it was easier. Gameplay is all over the place, which is less interesting and more unfocused.

My favorite moment in the game was furiously mashing the X button slightly faster than my co-player to win a minigame. I think that says a lot.

Play it if

You’d like to kill an afternoon chatting with a friend knowledgeable about game design tropes