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Pass the Controller: A Way Out

Two EA employees and personal friends put their relationship to the test as they work through the prologue of A Way Out.

A Way Out is a unique co-op experience that is built to be played with your friends. In fact, the game has a Friends Pass that allows you to play the entire experience with any of your friends online.

For some friends, this might only strengthen a lifetime bond. For others, not so much.

We wanted to put this idea to the test with two EA employees and long-time friends, documenting their play through A Way Out.

Albert Trujillo and Garrett Balliett have known each other for three years, working together on the Learning, Engagement, and Performance team (LEAP). Both are competitive gamers, and have been roommates for the past year. Will they be able to work together in this co-op experience?

Warning: spoilers for the prologue/first levels of A Way Out.

Before we start, what are your predictions for how this will go?

GB: I’m gonna want to play it like a video game. Albert always plays games super serious, even when the tone of the game doesn’t call for that.

AT: Every game is life or death.

AT: Wait, we’re in a prison?

The game opens with Vincent on a bus coming into the prison, with Leo already inside.

AT: So I’m already in prison and you’re coming in.

GB: Yeah that’s why everybody is at the fence, everybody’s excited when I come to town.

AT: Nah they just wanna see the fresh meat.

GB: Why are we dressed so nice for prison?

AT: We’re not that nice for prison.

GB: Look at the knit of that shirt. That’s a thick knit.

As inmate processing continues, they are forced to undress, given their prison uniforms, and walk to their cells. Vincent attempts to go to the first cell. A guard yells out: “Not your cell, Buttcheek.”

GB: Oh I got my first prison nickname.

After getting to his new cell, the game moves forward to the next day as prisoners are let out for recreation time. Albert and Garrett wander around the yard, doing everything but progressing the plot forward. After walking onto a basketball court on the yard, Leo gets jumped.

AT: Oh dope we’re in our first prison fight.

GB: Imma come help you.

Vincent gets pushed into the fight as well. Another prisoner shouts,“Get in there, New Fish!”

GB: I have two prison nicknames now, Buttcheek and New Fish.

AT: Save me Garrett! I mean Vincent. Why are you hitting that guy, he’s wearing the same colors as you though.

GB: Purples for life.

AT: Actually I think it’s blue.

Working together in the fight, the dust settles, and Leo and Vincent emerge safe.

AT: It took the guards a really long time to figure out a fight was happening. Why is Leo still being mean to Vincent though?

GB: (Imitating Leo) “You lowered my KD.”

Prisoners are cleared from the yard and eventually head off to the cafeteria.

GB: This feels like my first day of school.

AT: This prison food still looks so much better than my lunch salad. Let’s see what Vincent is gonna do. Get em, New Fish.

GB: New Booty Fish.

AT: New Buttcheeks Fish.

GB: There it is.

The same prisoners from the yard are back for Leo. They move to the kitchen, and Vincent gets up from his meal to see what’s happening.

AT: Oh crap, I’m coming. Let ‘em know holmes.

GB: Those guys have cool knives.

Knives proceed to be used against them.

GB: Oh wait.

GB: We’re about to die.

Leo and Vincent continue to back away, but they’re deeply outnumbered and almost surrounded. At the last moment, prison guards come in to break up the fight. One of the armed thugs grabs the guard and removes him from the situation in a way we can’t describe here.

GB & AT: OOOOOHHHHHHH

AT: Why don’t the guards have guns?! What year is this?! I bet that security guard had a family. That was a big knife…

GB: If I know cops like I do, he was three weeks away from retirement.

Leo and Vincent are rushed to the infirmary. Leo tries to steal a tool from the infirmary while Vincent distracts the nurse. Leo is spotted almost immediately.

GB: ...Did we mess that up?

AT: You gotta distract the nurse.

GB: GET OUT THE ROOM GET OUT THE ROOM.

AT: WHEN CAN I LEAVE TH--

GB: YOU RAN INTO HER!

AT: WHEN DID I RUN INTO HER?

Eventually, Leo manages to steal the tool and get back to his bed. Released from the infirmary, Leo and Vincent return to their neighboring cells, with the tool hidden away within the prison.

The prologue to A Way Out is complete.

AT: Hey your earlier intuition was right, we’re gonna help each other break out.

GB: ...The game is called A Way Out.

Do you think Leo and Vincent should trust each other?

GB: No. No no no.

AT: No.

GB: You keep getting in trouble and dragging me into it.

How do you think the game is going to end?

GB: One of us is dying.

AT: Crap. Why are you so dark?

GB: And we’re gonna have to pick which one of us dies. It’ll be one of those things where “we can’t both get out man we gotta diffuse the thing!”

AT: I think I’m gonna die. Yeah, I think Leo’s gonna die. Or maybe you’re gonna die since you already killed somebody. What if we kill each other??

They kept on going like this for another 15 minutes.

______________________

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