Windows Central Verdict
We Are OFK offers a spectacular audiovisual experience for music lovers, with a stunning art style and charming voice acting. The choices don't have as much influence over the events as I would've liked, but the execution of the game's episodic nature made for a touching yet thrilling narrative.
+ Distinct art style
+ Honest, impactful storytelling
+ Gorgeous end song cinematography
Responses don’t have a big impact on future gameplay
Background music can get repetitive
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Video games, like films, come in all kinds of genres, with each having one or more signature play styles that define them. Within the visual novel genre of video games, less focus is placed on controlling a character and more on uncovering a story or controlling a character’s decisions, which end up affecting how the game plays out.
We are OFK is a visual novel in the purest sense, with the added element of different segments being released over the course of four weeks. Episodes one and two release at launch, followed by one new episode every Wednesday.
It’s described as “a music biopic game and interactive EP” that surrounds four friends: Itsumi Saito, a pianist and employee in the video games industry; Carter Flores, a visual artist specializing in special effects; Luca Le Fae, an employee at the same company as Itsumi and aspiring musician; and Jey Zhang, a sound engineer and producer.
The game follows these characters as they struggle with being authentic in creating art, learning how to let go, and how to be honest about their feelings. The player’s only input is selecting what each character occasionally says, both out loud and in texts on their phones.
Disclaimer: This review was made possible by a review code provided by Team OFK. The company did not see the contents of the review before publishing.
We Are OFK: What's good
We Are OFK boasts a lineless, colorblocked art style that is both angular and soft. There are a lot of warm, pastel colors, with simplified shapes to illustrate the characters and their environments. Background characters and elements are slightly blurred so that the focus never strays too far from the four main characters and those closest to them.
From the moment I saw the art style in the game’s announcement trailer, I was instantly hooked. Each character exudes personality in their expressions and mannerisms. I felt like I was looking in on real people, unlike the typical archetypes found in most young adult media.
|We Are OFK||Header Cell - Column 1|
|Release date||August 18, 2022|
|Platforms||PC, Playstation, Switch|
|PC Game Pass||No|
|Reviewed on||PC (Steam)|
While many video games feature scenarios where people’s lives are in danger, there are clear protagonists and antagonists, and there are consequences for people’s actions, other games are more mellow, focusing on simple tasks or just the struggles of everyday life. We Are OFK is just about regular people with regular problems, and that’s what makes it so relatable. Finding motivation at a job with co-workers you dislike, wanting to be an artist but being afraid of the instability, and re-evaluating what it means to be your authentic self are a few themes present in the story that many of us players have grappled with over our own lives.
While some decisions made by the characters may seem obvious, brash, or immature, it’s their imperfect reactions that made them feel more real. Similar to reading a book when you meet a character who you just want to scream at because you want them to be better, the main cast in We Are OFK shines best in the way they grow together across each episode. It’s not a grand adventure by any measure, but as a fan of fantasy myself, I often find comfort in realistic dilemmas that affect the everyday person.
Each episode in We Are OFK is around 50–80 minutes, ending in a song from Team OFK’s EP as a music video. These music videos are interactive, with the player being able to disrupt the background occasionally or move characters around to complete objectives. They dive into the hearts of characters who are going through something or faced with a difficult decision, teleporting the player to their mind’s eye. The combination of the visuals, powerful music, and lyrics serves to both help the player empathize with the characters and to showcase an epic finale to each chapter.
While I was able to access all chapters at once for the purpose of this review, I believe that the episodic nature of the game is the best way to consume it. The cliffhangers at the end of each story and music video in a chapter leave you hungry for more and impacted me in such a way that I thought about the characters even after I’ve finished playing. How are they feeling right now? Are they alone? What happens next in their story? We Are OFK features a great method of storytelling that made me grow attached to the characters quicker than I ever imagined.
We Are OFK: What's not good
This game is an interactive biopic, so you would think your choices would make a difference. However, all decisions eventually lead to the same conclusion. Some answers would, in normal situations, incite anger in the opposite party, which I avoided in the event of a falling out later on. As I progressed, though, the answers to my choices seemed general enough to fit all instances. While I was only able to test this in a couple of situations, it felt kind of like the game was more like a movie than something that I actually had input in.
The same goes for the music videos at the end of each chapter. As previously mentioned, players can interact with and disrupt background aspects in time to the song’s beat. Sometimes you destroy objects while other times you complete objectives. But how skilled I was at completing those objectives never seemed to matter — leaving me wondering whether I needed to interact with them at all. Sometimes, I got achievements, while other times I didn’t, despite interacting with the music videos frequently. Overall, that aspect left me feeling confused about just how much player choice was involved.
We Are OFK is an interactive EP, culminating in a series of five songs and music videos that are incredibly well constructed. But as for the environments that the cast spend most of their time — places like Bobapocalypse and Carter and Luca’s home — the music can get a bit repetitive over time. It will fade out when something more serious is afoot, but it feels more empty than it does impactful in those instances. I was so impressed with how much attention to detail was given to the EP sounds, but the background music left something to be desired.
We Are OFK: Should you buy?
We Are OFK was an experience that ended up being way more touching than I expected. I got to know four wonderful people, their subtle struggles within themselves, and watch them grow. The cinematic masterpieces at the end of each episode were satisfying and really drove home the message each episode tried to convey.
Though it felt more like a movie than a game at some points, the ending warmed my heart. We Are OFK is one of the best PC games I've played this year — it's comfort food, and I look forward to seeing more of the team’s work. If you enjoy "slice of life" types of media, are an artist, or simply love music, I'd recommend checking this game out.
We Are OFK
Get swept away on a whimsical journey about friendship, passion, and staying true to yourself. With five episodes released over four weeks, get to know four friends as they find their way in life.
Buy from: Steam