We Were Here Forever is the latest installment in the We Were Here franchise, produced by the Dutch studio, Total Mayhem Games, using similar game mechanics known to the franchise; co-op-based puzzle solving that requires observation, logic, and communication.
We Were Here series is a cooperative first-person adventure game with puzzle elements. Where there are two players who take on a different roles. They must work together to solve puzzles, generally while in different rooms and unable to see each other.
Each player has a walkie-talkie to communicate with the other, which is what allows them to solve the puzzles they face.
We Were Here Forever places you and your co-op buddy in the perspective of two unnamed Arctic explorers who, unwittingly find themselves in a spooky cave complex underneath the series’ main location, Castle Rock. Solving puzzles like the previous installments, and unraveling the mysteries surrounding the enormous land of Rockbury and what happened to the inhabitants and its kingdom.
Newcomers, on the other hand, can still immerse themselves in the mechanics and story of the game and could still find it worthwhile. Having that sense of being a continuation of the series and at the same time the feeling of a new story as a whole.
The game finds you and your buddy imprisoned in the dungeons of the eponymous Castle Rock, with the reason for it unknown. But one thing is for certain, both of you must get out of there at all costs and fast.
One thing that appealed to me is the apparent “isolated” vibe the game has, even though you have a buddy running around, the overall feel of the game’s eerie environment really complements the story surrounding this latest installment. Albeit the story doesn’t really offer much to intrigue players, I really think it is worth playing for if you have the patience for puzzle-solving.
Players familiar with the game might find the mechanics and controls all natural and familiar to them, but newcomers such as myself might have to take time to adjust to the controls and their slow-paced nature. Taking time to observe and analyze each location and its accompanying puzzles all the while communicating with your buddy via the walkie-talkie for immersion or party voice chat for seamless comms, removing the use of the push-to-talk mechanic. Solving puzzles may take time, logic and keen observation, and most importantly a good teammate. But if you tend to hit a wall with some puzzles, there is a Hint System available. But even with those tools available, the game could sometimes have you scratching your head for a good while trying to figure out a solution. In a good way, anyway.
What made me stay for longer is the theme of helplessness and confusion while solving the puzzles, sometimes leaving me surprised even. With puzzles ranging from time-limited dropdown floor tiles to gathering machinery parts, sometimes having you and your buddy go into separate rooms only having to talk through them the situation, leaving things to the imagination at most. Some puzzles may require more patience and sit through them as at certain points one player may do more than the other, such as guiding your buddy through a maze and stepping on the correct floor tile otherwise they will fall and restart the whole section again. Also, some puzzles may be dragging as some may require waiting out a timer before being able to proceed.
But I could definitely say Total Mayhem Games has the game’s genre on lockdown, and we need more games like this for sure.
The music and ambiance of this game have the overall vibe of being isolated and loneliness to it. I myself could reference some music motifs from known games such as The Last of Us in terms of somber and sad feelings to Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland-esque fantasy vibes with the setting in the mysterious castle with its threatening twists and turns.
The visuals didn’t disappoint either, from the dark and claustrophobic dungeon caverns to the eerie castle interiors and its abandoned walls and flame-lit braziers, at the same time littered with mannequins, each telling their own story as to why they are there.
Having played this on a PlayStation 4 at 30 FPS, save for some stuttering on certain points in the game such as cutscenes or progressing to another area. Otherwise, the game runs with minor performance issues.
We Were Here Forever is a title that stands out on its own. I for one was in awe of what this game has to offer, from its strange story to the various challenges the game throws at you. Fully encouraging players to communicate clearly and really define the term “teamwork”. Nothing can be achieved alone in this game.
If you have an eye for games for the strange and weirdness mixed in some brain-twisting puzzle solving, this may be the one you should definitely check out.