When the team at Total Mayhem Games decided to throw their acclaimed cooperative puzzler We Were Here onto Xbox One, they decided that the Xbox Games With Gold route would be the best course of action. After all, when you’re sending out a short-lived experience that can only really be played by a couple of like-minded gamers, the free route instantly ensures that multiplayer access is a gimme. In fact, without that free route, the original We Were Here on Xbox One would most probably have struggled to gather much interest in and amongst the slew of titles hitting the Xbox Store.
Now though, just a few short weeks from that original release, Total Mayhem have thrust the sequel to Xbox One too, just this time round they’ve forgone the free access and dropped a rather hefty looking price tag on for good measure. Could that be the instant undoing of We Were Here Too on Xbox One, or does it have enough to warrant the asking price?
We Were Here Too runs very much along the same lines as the initial game, seeing a couple of adventurers pushed into different areas of a mysterious castle, before being tasked with working together to make their way through numerous puzzle rooms in order to team up and make their escape. If you like your escape rooms, then think of this as the ultimate experience.
And much like that from before, neither the visual qualities nor the light audio smatterings which have been included will ever be able to sell this adventure, especially since the main crux of the action focuses on the brainteasers ahead. Thankfully, those puzzles are once again up there with some of the best cooperative options available in the gaming world.
We Were Here Too places one adventurer into the shoes of the Lord, dictating all available information to the rather lowly Peasant who is found traipsing through the lower quarters of the castle. But no matter which of the characters you take on, chatting to, and working with, your co-op partner will be the only way any form of success will be found.
For instance at times one character will be found trying to navigate box styled puzzles, whilst the other is attempting to climb a fast falling staircase, explaining the finer details found on each box so the other can work with the correct one. Other moments consist of describing hieroglyphics in order for correct button presses, interacting with stained glass windows, and even helping the Peasant wander through a delicate ever-changing maze, hitting way-points within a set time frame.
It has to be said that should you have previously played We Were Here, then you’ll likely find much enjoyment from what Too provides, with it very much working like a bit of an expansion to that which went before it. However, with that said, it’s not quite as an intriguing experience on the whole, with some trickier puzzles occasionally seeing frustration take hold; no more so than when you are left trying to utilise the USP of this series – the push-to-talk walkie talkies that allow communication.
In fact, much like before, I’d wholeheartedly recommend you do away with this slightly confused communication method, ignoring the game’s plea for you to jump out of party chat whilst playing. Of course, you can certainly give it a go and embrace the intentions of the development team, but as many of the puzzle solving in We Were Here Too is time limited, best intentions don’t always allow for the optimum experience.
It is however nice to find that Total Mayhem have managed to work in more than just the one further playthrough this time though. Even though you may well think that taking in matters as both the Lord, and then the Peasant, will be all that Too offers, should you wish to go picking up each and every achievement on offer, a cunning little twist is also in place. It would be wrong of me to explain what that is here; just be sure that it’ll certainly allow for at least one more playthrough after that.
Again though, the whole premise of We Were Here Too relies entirely on whether you can find it within yourself to coerce a friend or family member in for a bit of puzzling action. Because, you see, fail to do that, and you’ll have completely wasted your time and cash on a download. For obvious reasons this is a game that fails to run any single player route, and so that means you’ll need to either take the risk that is associated with the gauntlet of the strange online world – and believe me, with communication such an important part of this game and series, finding a stranger via matchmaking really isn’t worth the hassle – or tempt in a mate. And for an experience that could well be over in an hour, that could well be a tough ask.
If We Were Here Too was priced around a fiver, much like the game that came before it, it would be much easier to recommend this is a decent cooperative puzzler. But the £8 odd asking price just about sees this sequel priced out of ‘give it a punt’ territory. If you and a mate enjoyed what came before We Were Here Too, and decide to give it a shot, you’ll certainly like what unfolds, but you’ll have to be more than prepared for another short experience that offers little in terms of replayability.