Luca Le Fae has had it. His job as a writer for Leviathan Games, one of the biggest game developers on the planet, may be well-paid, but creatively unfulfilling. A fateful encounter with his old acquaintance, Jey Zhang, at a party may provide Lucas with the escape he’s been searching for. Jey, a successful music producer, remembers Luca as an incredible songwriter and asks if he has any samples he could send her. Suddenly the unthinkable, a single, an EP, maybe even actual stardom, seems to be within Lucas’ grasp, but life has a tendency to get in the way even when you’re ready to take the chance of a lifetime.

We Are OFK could be described as a 3D visual novel or a slightly interactive five-part TV series that you just happened to buy on Steam. The first two episodes are available on launch day, with episodes three through five released each week after the game’s initial release. Each comes with its own opening, which really sells the feeling of catching a new episode of a miniseries every week. With each episode, you follow the story from the point of view of a different band member, from their initial decision to stick with the band to taking their first shaky steps in promoting themselves as artists. Accompanying Luca on his journey are pianist Itsumi Saito, who works in social media management at Leviathan, and Luca’s housemate Flores, an audio-visual effects artist.

We are OFK is often completely passive. You follow conversations and can sometimes select a dialogue option that appears as a character’s thoughts. It’s an interesting conversational approach as it’s much closer to how people actually decide what to say rather than the exact words displayed on the screen, but it also means you might not know exactly what you’re going to get. when a character opens their mouth. Not that it really matters, We Are OFK is very clear that the players are an audience with no control over the story. There are also many messages. many of messages. Here too, you can make choices, but neither your message choices nor your chat choices have any bearing on the plot.

The dialogue and voice acting, however, are strong throughout, leading to very natural-sounding conversations that veer from meeting at work to a TV show one of the characters watched the other day. Sometimes they sound more like teenagers than working professionals, injecting drama into situations that at first glance aren’t that dramatic, and some of the stories alluded to are so nebulous that they went right over my head. I think you had to be there. I do appreciate the Final Fantasy references though.

We Are OFK is a biographical game about a real band, which turns the game into a kind of cross-media experience. Each episode features an interactive music video, music you can buy and stream. Various members of the group have streamed on Twitch as their virtual counterparts and created their own persona profiles on social media.

Various members of the group have streamed on Twitch as their virtual counterparts and created their own personas on social media

Play music videos that are easily interactive. The video of the first episode gave me high hopes that We Are OFK could become a more narrative-focused spiritual successor to Sayonara Wild Hearts. But unfortunately, the game doesn’t reach those highs, and whether or not you actually interact with the music video doesn’t make a huge difference.

Despite not much interactivity, We Are OFK really knows how to tell a story visually. The vivid environments and character designs are very memorable, and I took screenshot after screenshot of the beautiful camera angles both in-game and during the music videos. Both the omniboi soundtrack and the group songs – sung by game director and Luca’s voice actor, Teddy Dief – are really catchy. It’s a kind of synth-pop that really suits the band and the overall vibe of the game.

Since OFK are a real band, and not a band telling the story of their meteoric rise to fame, the game focuses mostly on the business of getting people to notice you and much less on the act of making music. You can watch Luca worry about picking the right demos, or trying to network his way through parties, but these are definitely the least interesting parts of We Are OFK. It is also difficult to relate to the inherent gameplay LA-ness. Characters meet in hippy bubble tea shops or clubs to chat, and when meeting potential clients there is talk of projects and non-disclosure agreements. This is a different world for many people, and it can be hard to relate to unless you work in music or game development.

We Are OFK is a game about the frustrating feeling of having to choose between your passion, steady income, and how the road to success is paved with annoying dudes who love to talk about “vibes” and “synergy.” Issues like career advancement are decidedly middle-class concerns, though, and sometimes OFK falls into the trap of sounding exactly like the things it’s supposed to make fun of: a collection of Los Angeles hipsters whose biggest problems are grades of meeting success and finding a good record. equipment.

I liked the game best when it talked about things I knew. Each member of the group has concerns that go beyond the group—relationship problems, parental expectations, and the strange feeling of being as afraid of success as of failure.

In its quieter moments, We Are OFK is a beautiful and moving examination of anxieties that seem all too familiar to me, questions like how long you’ll stay friends with the people you love, whether there’s more to life than work, or what it means to be good at something. As a creator, I found myself in We Are OFK often, but it’s very much a game that stands and falls on how much you can identify with its characters and their individual journeys. Most of us just don’t know any music producers or company CFOs. In order to tell these more personal stories, the game often strayed entirely from the theme of making music, especially in the final episodes, making We Are OFK at times feel like several separate games and stories rolled into one, or a television series with distinct filler episodes.

At this point, both in-game and apparently in real life, OFK doesn’t feel like a ‘real’ accomplished group. We Are OFK isn’t a traditional story that offers closure, which can be disappointing, but in many ways that’s the whole point of We Are OFK – life happens to you, whether you want it to or not.

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