We Dare Review
Posted by James Newton
We feel dirty now
We Dare raised more than just eyebrows with its original trailer: the thought of young gamers getting into an array of saucy situations was too much for some, who seized upon the game's PEGI 12+ rating to call it immoral, insulting and downright offensive. Well, they got two right.
We Dare's whole reputation as a bawdy party game quickly falls apart when you get going, though. For its part, the game is divided into five "moods": Adventurous, Brave, Brainy, Naughty and Enchanting, which all sound like qualities we'd like to have, but in this game boil down to a handful of basic minigames that underuse the PlayStation Move to within an inch of its life.
Take the six Naughty minigames, for example: while there's ample scope for mildly titillating content with the controller — we'll say no more — five of the minigames here are just dancing to bad covers of popular songs, like Material Girl and I'm Too Sexy. They all use the same steps too, so it's not as if there's a good reason to play the different songs, and while you might look daft strutting your stuff to Right Said Fred it's not exactly "naughty." In fact, of the 35 minigames available, 13 are dancing, and all equally poor: Ubisoft hasn't yet got to grips with Move's capabilities when it comes to dancing games, as we saw with Wii port Dance on Broadway, and here the game's Wii origins hold Move back once again.
As your party progresses, however, you'll start to see new minis open up, some of which do use the Move in original ways: in Never Let Me Down, a player lies across your lap with the controller in their pocket, and you must tilt them to make your on-screen flying characters gain or lose altitude. A vaguely interesting mechanic and probably the only time you'll score points in a video game for having another player on your lap.
Other minigames have you performing equally ridiculous motions with the controller in your pocket, thrusting your hips and shaking your backside to escape from chains or change clothes, which, unless you're friends with supermodels and professional dancers, are among the least sexually appealing actions you can watch any human make.
There are some neat ideas buried away in here, with some games hoping to get you and a partner as close as possible to steer a giant wheel, avoid the rain or pretend Move is a giant apple, requiring you to press the Move and T buttons at the same time to succeed. The problem is that when it's at its best, it's still mediocre: motion control is rudimentary, the presentation is basic at best and the swollen-headed characters are among the ugliest things we've seen on PS3 since God of War III.
It's probably in its subject matter that We Dare causes most offence: gaming and sex is an uncomfortable mix at the best of times, and it's extremely unlikely that We Dare will lead to the sort of debauched behaviour depicted in the initial trailers. While we can overlook the game's under-appreciation of Move's capabilities — after all, 1:1 control probably isn't really required here, thankfully — its erratic minigames seem to pull in opposite directions, as if half the team wanted a straightforward dancing title and the other wanted a game to go down alongside Spin the Bottle in the book of "History's Greatest Unwanted Pregnancy Instigators". In fact, it's possible the game's reception in the media led to the decision not to release the game in the UK and North America, relegating it to continental Europe only.
We Dare is rarely entertaining, its minigames ranging from hideous to passable, and although there's the occasional glimmer of a good idea it's quickly buried beneath another listless dancing minigame. Unless you're exceptionally drunk or abnormally aroused by acute embarrassment, We Dare rivals abstinence as the most powerful contraceptive ever.