I thoroughly enjoyed playing through We Were Here (check out my review through this link), so there was no way I was going to skip out on its sequel, We Were Here Too. With my same puzzle-solving partner in tow, we returned to Castle Rock to face its many dastardly enigmas and see if escape was on the cards once more.
Everything has been ramped up this time around too, with the puzzles proving to be more complex and bigger in scale than in the first game. Are they better though? For the most part, yes, though there were some issues we faced this time around that weren’t present in the first game…
You know what? The basic premise of We Were Here Too is EXACTLY the same as in the first game, so I’m going to lift my introduction from my previous review and stick it down below:
“We Were Here Too is an online co-op puzzler where two players have to work together in order to escape a conundrum-filled castle. There’s a catch, though: you’re both working from two different locations, so have to communicate with one another via radio in order to give each other the clues required in order to solve each enigma in your path.”
Whilst the premise remains the same though, the roles you play have changed up when compared to the ‘explorer’ and ‘librarian’ from the first game. This time you’ll have to choose between the ‘peasant’ and the ‘lord’, with each playing similar roles to the previous game but forcing both players to be a bit more hands-on and helpful. Like the first game, both roles offer a fun way to approach the gameplay and neither feels significantly more enjoyable to play over the other; both will demand you to think outside of the box though, with We Were Here Too’s puzzles proving to be more demanding than those found in the first game.
I’m going to do another throwback to my previous review here, because honestly, the majority of We Were Here Too’s gameplay is the same as before:
“The co-op elements of We Were Here Too were great throughout, with good communication proving vital to your success in the game. Both players will have to make each other fully aware of everything that’s around them, with even the most minor of details often proving to be an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to providing the other player with the necessary information needed to progress.”
Where it does change things up is with the intricacy and scale of the puzzles that you face. The original game kept things simple with an array of clever puzzles that took place in more confined areas, but We Were Here Too really expands upon the formula with more varied conundrums that feature more intricate mechanics. It brings a welcome sense of variety to the game and will certainly tick plenty of boxes for puzzling aficionados.
It might be a case of arranging the weapons on a selection of statues, creating symbols by mixing together individual pieces, re-piecing stained glass windowpanes, navigating your way through a maze, or even using a chessboard-style battlefield to lead knights to victory, just to name a few. There’s a lot more to think about this time around and there’s a stronger emphasis placed on communication when trying to solve each conundrum. It’s good stuff.
A lot of these felt more enjoyable to solve than in the first game thanks to the added depth that they bring, but there were some that could feel a little frustrating in design. That chessboard-style puzzle that I mentioned was a particularly fiddly enigma to get through for example, with the emphasis on communication causing a few niggly issues. Whilst communication is naturally at the forefront of the experience, there was a little bit too much going on in this puzzle that made it feel a bit too complicated for its own good.
It probably didn’t help that my partner and I had a few issues with the radio in the game this time around. I love the idea that the radios function like REAL radios, with only one player being able to speak at a time (and saying ‘over’ after each sentence never got boring). However, in We Were Here Too we faced a few issues where the radio would seemingly cut out for no apparent reason, whilst there was one point where it just wasn’t working at all. It meant we had to set up a separate voice chat to actually communicate efficiently, which wasn’t only frustrating but took away some of the charm of the game.
It wasn’t the only issue we faced either, with some items seemingly disappearing when trying to arrange weapons on statues. It was something that could be fixed by simply re-loading the game, but it’s still proved annoying – especially when we were half-way through solving the puzzle. There was a couple of occasions when the game wouldn’t continue after we had died either, which again forced a re-load of the game. It was a nuisance.
It’s a shame too because We Were Here Too was otherwise a lot of fun to play. The majority of the puzzles were a lot more clever in design this time around and demanded a bit more of a thought-process from both players, whilst the more descriptive elements of the puzzles made for some comical moments (why is it so difficult to explain what a particular sword looks like?!). There was more lore this time around, the castle itself had a bit more character in its many rooms, whilst it even took longer to beat when compared to the first game. And hey, there’s even a secret to decipher that can change up the ending, so that may pique the interest of those who were left unsatisfied by the first game’s conclusion…
It’s just a shame that the experience was marred by those aforementioned issues. Whilst the first game was a little rough around the edges, We Were Here Too brought with it some problems that could make progression through the game into a real headache.
We Were Here Too offers another enjoyable co-op puzzle-filled escapade, but it did have a few more technical issues when compared to the first game. Those communication bugs were particularly frustrating for example, whilst the disappearing items just seemed a little weird.
Fortunately, they were issues that could be fixed by simply re-loading the game, so they don’t make We Were Here Too feel unplayable. It’s definitely a lot grander in scope and featured more variety and puzzles than its predecessor too, so it’s clear that the developer have taken the series in a positive direction.
Still, it’s hard to ignore some of the issues we faced, even if We Were Here Too did trump the first game in lots of elements of its design. If you’re a fan of the original then you’ll definitely want to play it, but maybe it’d be a good idea to have a party chat set up outside of the game before starting…
Developer: Total Mayhem Games
Publisher: Total Mayhem Games
Platform(s): PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC
Click here to visit the official website.