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We Are OFK is a dreamy, interactive TV show

Four friends in Los Angeles start a band

The members of OFK hang out in an apartment in We Are OFK Image: Team OFK
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

You could say that OFK isn’t a real band, but that wouldn’t exactly be true. Its members — Itsumi, Jey, Luca, Carter, and Debug — are digital, fictional characters that put out real music. Songs like “Follow/Unfollow,” “Fool’s Gold,” and “Footsteps” have been published by Sony Music Masterworks and released on Spotify and other music streaming platforms. Unlike Hatsune Miku or League of Legends’ K/DA, however, OFK aren’t megastars — at least, not yet. They’re just a group of friends starting to make music together.

We Are OFK is the group’s interactive biopic spread across five hourlong episodes. Each of these episodes is tied to OFK’s five songs on their debut EP, covering the friends’ and band’s growth on their way to the big release.

A member of OFK is stuck in traffic in We Are OFK Image: Team OFK

Developer Team OFK’s creative director, Teddy Dief, wanted to position OFK separate from virtual megastars like K/DA, and focus instead on a much smaller, more personable story. We Are OFK’s first two episodes were released on Aug. 18 — each subsequent episode was released weekly from there.

The game’s dreamy, pastel world opens with Itsumi Saito and Luca Le Fae, two co-workers making a fashion mech video game for a huge corporate studio. They’re overworked and underpaid, their creative visions undervalued in an environment where all decisions come from the top. Itsumi’s world is consumed by heartbreak and Luca Le Fae is doing a lot of breaking hearts when they’re joined by an old friend and music producer, Jey Zhang. Carter Flores eventually joins the band for visuals and FX, pulling in their holographic AI cat Debug for vocals.

It’s a very LA world, or rather, it represents an outsider’s idea of LA. It’s all neon lights, creamy colors, and dreamy people with dreamy outfits. These characters look impossibly cool, which made me scoff at Dief’s initial comments on the PlayStation blog, which detailed Team OFK’s desire to create band members that were more relatable and down-to-earth than the likes of K/DA.

The lead singer of OFK sings at a studio in We Are OFK Image: Team OFK

My disbelief lasted about six seconds into playing We Are OFK. Each of these characters is sweet, hilarious, and all flavors of chaotic: Itsumi is new to Los Angeles and mourning a breakup, and struggling to decide if playing keyboard is her true calling. Luca Le Fae is a hopelessly romantic singer-songwriter who’s just been unceremoniously fired from his job. Jey Zhang is a talented and sought-after producer who’s balancing her parent’s perception of her life with her own. Carter Flores is a programmer and visual effects artist who’s hesitant to let other people into their past life, and the creator of Debug the holographic AI. The whole game is undeniably queer in the most refreshing way, especially compared to The Last of Us Part 2, which I played recently for the first time. We Are OFK has both queer joy and struggle, but never in a way that feels cruel.

We Are OFK is more like a TV series than a game; the larger plot unfolds on its own, but the player dictates dialogue and text options throughout the story. These don’t have a huge impact on the unfolding narrative, but I think that’s the point. My choices are less about influencing the course of events, and more about making We Are OFK’s world my own — something intimate, even though other players will inevitably make the same choices.

All five band members from We Are OFK. Carter is on their phone with Debug the cat nearby. Itsumi is taking a selfie. Luca is singing, and Jey is fiddling with equipment. The colors are soft and dreamlike. Image: Team OFK

Each episode ends with a music video for the accompanying song. The videos themselves are tiny little minigames in which I maneuver characters through abstract, colorful scenes that bounce along to the rhythm. The interactivity is still limited, whether that’s corralling cats in one video or chasing neon lights in another.

We Are OFK’s story continues to get better with each episode and with each chaotic text message. The characters are fictional, but they don’t feel any less real. This is a series that asks questions about friendship, creativity, and the challenge of making something authentic — and the answers are always complex.

We Are OFK is out on Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Windows PC.

We Are OFK was released on Aug. 18 on Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Windows PC. The game was played on Nintendo Switch and Windows PC using a pre-release download code provided by Team OFK. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. You can find additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.

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