Top Critic Average
What Happens is an interesting and mostly successful addition to the growing field of games that focus on mental health issues. Most of what it sets out to do works well despite the glaring issues with polish and acting ability. There were moments which were more successful than others and it would benefit from making it clearer where alternative approaches were available. It is clear that Genius Slackers' ambition is greater than their abilities but I applaud the attempt to use gaming for such a vital and powerful message.
More often than not, What Happened is a better sight-seeing trip than it is an exploration of anxiety and depression.
A more succinct journey would have been more effective, and some gameplay elements don’t quite pay off, but to say it’s been created by a small team, What Happened deserves to be praised.
What Happened is a wonderful tale of the consequences of dealing with drugs, relationships and much more at the same time, leading into a hell of emotions that may be shown in the wrong way and maybe too many times.
Overall, What Happened delivers an impactful, thought-provoking experience that exemplifies the eccentric dangers of mental illness.
To be honest, I racked my brain to TRY and find something positive to say about this game. I can’t begin to imagine how much work goes into creating and executing a video game, and I don’t WANT to shit all over someone’s art. However, I also just can’t bring myself to promote something that is so irresponsible. What Happened had the potential to be an important commentary on mental illness, personal struggle, and hopelessness. Instead, it was a hopeless mess.
What Happened is a game chews you up, spits you out, then goes back for seconds. And that’s kind of the point.
Without any unique selling point that it handles at least competently, What Happened is ultimately hard to qualify as anything more than awful.
What Happened was confusing, shocking, depressing, and increased my anxiety, which I believe was its goal from the start. Step into the shoes of a young mentally ill teenager who has just lost his father and finds comfort in drugs, it’s an experience unlike any other as you delve into his thoughts and emotions, visualising his fears and paranoia as disturbing manifestations. Although I found it hard to understand what was happening at times, the game made me feel lost, confused, helpless and alone, pulling me further into the world of Stiles and how he was feeling. The story felt like it was a little too long as there were a few sequences which dragged out the game without adding context, but overall it was a thought-provoking game which I can’t wait to re-experience on consoles in the near future.
I know it sounds like I’ve been hard on What Happened, but that’s because I feel like it had so much potential. With its outstanding artistic direction, creepy atmosphere, and unique premise, I had high hopes for the game. And while it occasionally managed to pull me into its world of drug-fueled hysteria and desperation, its repetitive gameplay and painful writing had me eager to reach the finale. My playthrough of the game took me just over five hours, but I feel like the story could have reached its conclusion in half that time without taking anything away from the game’s experience.