Oooof! Well I’m going to start with saying; what an upgrade in difficulty from the first game. Jamie and I managed two run through’s of We Were Here in the time it took us to do 5 puzzles in this sequel.
The premise of WWHT is identical as the previous entry; each player takes on the role of a person surviving a cold winter night in a castle. This time out, rather than being an explorer and a librarian you get to choose between lord and peasant. I’m pretty sure most of our play through I was the lord. (Sorry Jamie – I am the captain now!)
Puzzles, as I said previously, are a massive step up from the first game. We blasted through some (mainly at the start) but soon they were taking a good bit of figuring out – mainly working out what the other player was explaining symbol wise. I’m pretty sure I heard Jamie say ‘backwards triangle’, ‘infinity symbol’, ‘little line thing’ and ‘fish hook with a hat’ countless times while solving the very detailed puzzles.
Expectedly, given the short window between releases, the visuals remain largely the same. This isn’t a knock mind, as graphically things are beautiful, with its cartoony castle layout and symbols, writing and general puzzle objects are easy to read. Controls are the same, holding LB to use the walkie-talkie and A to interact with objects. I will say the character speed feels a bit sluggish at times, as some of the rooms are much larger in this sequel. One later puzzle used this well tough, leading to quite the adrenaline rush as we navigate a maze within a certain time frame.
I may have gotten Jamie killed a couple of times while solving a very early puzzle, and a puzzle right near the end – revenge for letting the stairs fall from underneath me and laugh as I fell into to lava in a seperate puzzle elsewhere; friendship at its finest! I will admit though there was quite an obvious mechanic to stop his inevitable demise which I learnt as we completed the puzzle but lets not go into that now.
The sound in game is similar to the first one with nice audio cues when you finish a room or you incorrectly guess a puzzle solution, ambient background noise also really sets the feel or tone of the game giving it a creepy vibe. Jamie’s favourite marionette makes a return too, and I may have left him in the castle and walked free on this occasion. It may or may not be possible to save both players this time out (wink wink), so further playthroughs will be needed to redeem ourselves! I can’t say that I’m unhappy about this, as it’s just another excuse to go through this great, unique game.
A slight word of warning though. Pre-release, we could not get the voice chat to work in game at all – we had to resort to Skype to communicate. Testing it since the launch, things seems improved, but we did still have the occasional error with it cutting out. Seeing as it’s impossible to play without voice comms, it was just something we thought should be brought up.
I enjoyed We Were Here, and again Total Mayhem Games have made a beautiful, intricate and definitely more difficult game with this sequel. The communication needed and I suppose understanding of your partners humour (explaining symbols) really made this much longer than expected play throughly enjoyable. I will be going through it again and suggest you do too with a good friend.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.