Way Down from FAS3 and Sony Interactive Entertainment is an action game based on the movie of the same name (a.k.a. The Vault) that has you try to pull a heist on the Bank of Spain. Learn more in our Way Down review!
Way Down from FAS3 and Sony Interactive Entertainment is an action game based on the movie of the same name (a.k.a. The Vault) that has you try to pull a heist on the Bank of Spain. The story starts with a brief introduction explaining how you end up in this heist situation. Thom was a successful engineer that graduated among the best but didn’t want a traditional job. When he was contacted by Walter, he was offered the kind of job he couldn’t refuse. Walter had found treasures from the legendary Sir Francis Drake, only to see them seized by the Spanish government and locked in the Bank of Spain’s vault. It was then that he assembled a team of people to pull off this heist, with Thom as the engineer he would need to pull this off. And it is three days before the 2010 World Cup finals that you will take control of Thom as you try to put everything together to succeed.
The game is played from a third-person perspective, with fixed camera angles similar to what we got for the early Resident Evil games on the first PlayStation console. You move around with the left analog stick, toggle your map on and off with the Square button, and can interact with people on your radio to receive hints by pressing the Triangle button. Other than that, you’ll use the X button for most of the interactions. Although you’ll switch between Thom and other people from the team throughout the game, the controls and things you can do will stay the same.
As you proceed in your planned heist, a number of mini-games and dialogue choices will allow you to progress. Some dialogues will let you try again if you fail in finding the correct replies, but some others will jump you straight to the game over screen so that you have to start back from the last checkpoint. In terms of the mini-games, they will include things like spraying some liquid nitrogen by simply moving the left analog stick around, finding differences between a painting and an image, or doing some rappel with your character while avoiding laser sensors.
All the game’s dialogue is voiced in Spanish, with English subtitles. There is a lot of dialogue where you can’t take the time to read since it automatically advances, so there are a few moments where you can lose part of the story since you have to also watch what is going on in the game. Visually, the game felt like a late PlayStation 3 game. Unfortunately, there are a lot of glitches in the characters, so there are many times when you can end up seeing half a chest in pixelated flashing style.
While the visuals aren’t perfect, it’s something that can easily be forgiven if the gameplay offers something solid. Unfortunately, Way Down fell a bit flat on that matter as well. With the fixed camera angles, you’re expecting a game to let your character continue walking in the same direction when the camera angle changes, even if the analog stick is still pointing in the direction you were going during the previous angle. This game doesn’t do that, so a lot of times, you have to let go of the analog stick simply to move it back in the right direction because the camera angle changed.
Then there are the mini-games. The first one I faced was with the liquid nitrogen spraying, which got way more complicated during subsequent mini-games. To put it simply, most of the mini-games felt like they were just thrown in there without actually considering if it would be fun completing them. Finding differences in a picture where you can zoom in or out, with no hints, became tedious as I spent over 10 minutes finding the four differences. Then there was this one where you had to move both analog sticks and hold them inside a tiny zone as they moved erratically, only to start over the moment one of them leaves the zone.
If you can endure those annoyances, though, the road to a Platinum trophy is very straightforward. Most of the trophies will simply unlock by playing through the game’s story, so an evening or two of mini-games frustration should get you a new Platinum for your collection.
Way Down could’ve been a great game, but the end result feels more like something that could have used some extra time cooking in the oven. The visuals are not good, and the focus on the mini-games takes away from what could have been a better experience. Way Down is out on PlayStation 4 with a $19.99 price.
This Way Down review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment.