The first big Xbox exclusive of 2021 is just OK


Puzzles in The way mainly consist of finding the missing levers and navigating between Marianne’s dual realities to read scraps of paper and postcards. Only one puzzle remains in my memory to involve observation and deduction, while the others are clearly at surface level. Usually when I got stuck in a scene, it was because I had failed to interact with one of the little white dots indicating an object of interest, and I just had to walk around in circles for a while, holding LB to enlighten Marianne. sixth Sense.

Overall, the story unfolds in a way that is both predictable and confusing, with a rotating cast of faceless villains and, ultimately, the addition of a second playable character with abilities similar to Marianne. .

The way introduces Thomas as a playable character in the second half of the game, and that’s where things really fall apart for me. Thomas is able to transform emotion and memory into psychic power, just like Marianne, although he also has an ability called Spirit Force, which he uses to move large objects. Otherwise, they’re pretty much the same character.

Bloober team

The scenes with Thomas at the helm give the impression of being fulfilled. They are not threatening and tedious (ah, the boredom of The way) and don’t add any necessary perspective to the story. Most importantly, they’re not scary. Take Thomas’ recreation height, for example: he walks through a distorted, red-drenched landscape of towering filing cabinets, while a giant demonic dog chases him from below. Many times it has to cross a single plank spanning a space large enough for the beast to cross it. On the approach, Thomas slows down, raises his arms for balance and walks slowly on the beam. The demon dog passes under him.

It’s a visually strained scene, but in my acting, I never felt that Thomas was in danger of falling. I tried to knock it off a plank at one point, just as the monster passed, and as it rocked precariously, its feet stuck firmly to the wood. Despite the nightmarish scenery, there is no danger in these scenes (and many more).

The way

Bloober team

The way wasn’t supposed to be the first game to launch exclusively on Xbox Series X and S, but after the delays of Infinite Halo and CrossfireX, he ended up in first place. That’s a big pressure for any studio, let alone an independent team whose resumes are stacked only with mind-blowing horror games, and The way assumes this responsibility with elegance. For the most part, it performs well even on base hardware of this generation, the S-series, and the game’s trippy split-screen mechanics do a fantastic job of demonstrating the power of Microsoft’s new consoles.

Hopefully, with their next match, Bloober Team can remind us how horrible they are too.

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