It isn’t uncommon for games to give us choices to make and things to think about as we traverse the narrative of our title of choice. However, what is uncommon is for a game to really make me think about not only how I speak to the in-game characters, but to my actual friends and family. We Should Talk from Whitethorn Digital is a game that does just that. Players will take on the role of a young lady hanging out at a bar and make decisions on how the conversations with her partner and the various other patrons of the bar should go. Will you snuggle up with your partner when you get home or was your relationship doomed from the very start? Keep reading our review to learn about my personal experience with We Should Talk!
Story – It’s Not What You Say, It’s HOW You Say It
As stated before, players take on the role of a nameless female hanging out at a bar while her girlfriend texts her from home as she navigates being hit on by not only a stranger, but her ex too! When you first play through this game, it will ultimately be over very quickly, as you can usually complete a playthrough in about 15-20 minutes. While some may say that it helps the experience not overstay its welcome, I find that it makes it very difficult to get attached to the characters themselves in such a short period of time.
We Should Talk has multiple endings, and which one you get truly depend on your dialogue options. These dialogue options aren’t necessarily what you, as the player, are saying, but how. The game makes an emphasis on tone and how things are worded. You are often faced with several options, but they end up ultimately saying the same thing, just in different ways with different tones. However, it is worth mentioning that it is very easy to miss out on certain endings and dialogue trees just because you did not say the exact thing that the game wanted you to, which makes a good chunk of the game missable, unless you are aware of what you are doing.
Ultimately, it was interesting to see the way certain decisions played out, but I found most of the endings forgettable. Honestly, even the characters did not come off as that memorable beyond the initial playing experience. I do not feel like that is what the game was trying to accomplish. We Should Talk made me reflect on the way I experience my daily life. I rethought texts I send, or the words I pick when I choose to communicate with my loved ones. That is probably the most lasting impression of this game. The narrative is very simple, and allows players, like myself, to overthink about what saying something in a certain tone would imply and potentially mess up a story line later. The simplicity, I believe, is intentional to make the players focus more on their choices the most.
Gameplay and Performance – Minimalistic
There is nothing super complicated about We Should Talk. The majority of the very short playthroughs consist of players traversing through a conversation via texting, where they simply select dialogue options and watch to see as it plays out. Even the “in person” dialogue is expressed in a similar way. This game is very easy for someone to pick up and understand right away, but also includes a small tutorial in the very beginning if someone were to find themselves lost. This minimalist approach to gameplay, I believe, will make We Should Talk more accessible to even the most casual gamer.
Loading screens were not very long and I did not experience any lag or stuttering during the game. However, if you are a completionist like myself, you will probably be looking to obtain all of the endings and achievements that you can muster. At the time of writing this article, there is currently a known bug that makes one of the dialogue trees that pings a trophy unattainable. This is a known issue and will be patched in the first update in the next few days. Despite this, it did not take away from the experience at all, and I still managed to obtain all of the endings.
Graphics and Audio – Stylistic Simplicity
The first thing I noticed about We Should Talk is the soundtrack. The bar setting plays this unrecognizable hip-hop type tune that you would expect to hear in a club scene from a movie. The slightly muffled slow jam soundtrack blends itself into the background perfectly so players can concentrate on the conversation at hand. We Should Talk actually uses tracks from smaller artists and even has created a Spotify playlist dedicated to the ones used.
Graphically, We Should Talk is slightly nostalgic, in a way. There is a slightly cartoon-ish aspect to the game, and the characters appear reminiscent of an older polygonal style. You can’t really distinguish between characters that much, and you never actually see yourself or your girlfriend’s face. The simplicity of We Should Talk really helps players focus on the conversations and their choices rather than influencing them with different characters’ appearances. There is not a whole lot graphically to be in awe at, but I believe that is okay. The lasting feelings and thoughts I was left with at the end of the game far surpassed the lack of fine detail.
We Should Talk was reviewed on PS4 from a key provided by Whitethorn Digital.