We Are Chicago really wants to tell a story that most games don't want to touch upon, but it completely fails at delivering that story in a satisfying manner.
For better and worse, We Are Chicago dares to spend as much time on life's tinier moments as its most dramatic ones. That balance isn't always maintained successfully: Blunt dialogue often undercuts the power of otherwise understated scenes. But the combination of the two still gave me a broader, better perspective of what life is really like on the South Side.
Despite everything I've said, I still think We Are Chicago should be given credit for tackling some touch subject matter. It isn't successful, but hopefully Culture Shock learns from its first attempt and really hones in on the strengths that gaming has to offer. Much like how Depression Quest sought to inform gamers about a topic many never thought about, We Are Chicago is noble in its efforts to educate gamers on poverty and inner-city life.
It's too bad that its production values and general lack of polish keep it from ever achieving a proper moment of emotional transcendence… but there's enough earnest desire to show you the world through a glass darkly that We Are Chicago isn't without value.
Culture Shock Games aims to take players on a tour through the tough life of Chicago's youth in We Are Chicago, but the game struggles to do its subject material justice.