Team OFK’s interactive music biopic We Are OFK has been drip-fed to us over the past few weeks through five episodes that together form the story of OFK, an indie electro-pop band we hadn’t heard of prior to playing the game. The full experience is now out on PlayStation, Switch and PC, and we played through it on a PS4 Pro.
With a heavy emphasis on narrative and character development, it’s easy to compare We Are OFK to games like Life is Strange – though perhaps a bit more on the “indie” spectrum of things for a number of reasons – audiovisual polish and richness in gameplay mechanics being the two primary ones. It’s also a bit less mainstream in terms of story content, but that’s a good thing.
We Are OFK’s story is split between five episodes, but they form a coherent whole as the four main characters learn how to make their way and come together over the course of the story. This touches their careers, musical ambitions, friendships and even love lives – which features LGBT+ elements that make this a refreshing change from the norm without pushing these bits too prominently. They’re just there as a part of everyday life, as they are outside of the game.
If there’s anything alienating about We Are OFK, it’s that I felt slightly out of touch with the cast from a generational perspective (as a 40+ year old). Besides a music producer, the key characters in the game are all youngsters, and although the things they go through are relatable they definitely use lingo that makes me feel like I’m part of an older generation – especially in sequences where they start texting one another.
This wouldn’t be an issue per se, but the majority of the game is spent making choices in conversations, so you’re going to be faced with it a lot if you’re as out of touch as I am. Hey, at least it’s a good crash course in “young people speak”. It also didn’t stop me from appreciating and enjoying the story, and I actually liked that they didn’t play it overly safe in this regard. Your choices don’t seem to impact the story like they do in the Life is Strange games though, so the narrative is much more linear here and offers less in the way of replay value.
Because We Are OFK is limited in terms of actual video game mechanics, this is a title you’ll play for the story, so thematically a coming of age type of story with an indie pop band as a core element has to resonate with you. As a big music fan, it did for me, though a relatively lack of gameplay elements (there are a few minigame-like sequences but that’s about it) means I probably won’t go back to it either. It’s an engaging and heartfelt story while it lasts though, so if you put narrative first you’ll want to take a close look at this one.