- Developer: Compulsion Games Inc
- Publisher: Compulsion Games Inc
- Genre: Action & Adventure
- Release Date: TBC
- Platforms: Xbox One
- Game Supplied by: Xbox
We Happy Few takes elements from games such as Bioshock and Dishonoured with a similar dark warped tale. We Happy Few creates a proceduraly generated world which is set in an alternative dystopian England in the 1960’s in the town of Wellington Wells which has been ravaged over the years by war and rebuilt by the citizens who are addicted to a drug called Joy.
The game begins with you blissfully unaware of the world around you as you decide not to take your Joy which is basically a pill that keeps you happy all the time, you soon begin to remember and begin to notice the world is not so perfect and happy as you thought. Soon you are discovered and the alarms are raised as you are branded a downer and the coppers are after you, before you know it you wake up in a safe house in an unknown part of the city.
Things have changed, the world you once knew is gone and you find yourself in an area with rundown buildings surrounded by other citizens called downers who also are having withdrawal symptoms from not taking the drug “Joy”, you must escape this nightmare by relying on your basic need of food, water and sleep to survive, the game provides different game style approaches such as stealth, combat or conformity with each style designed for a specific level of player experience, on top of this the Permadeath option in the start menu will end the game on your death if you feel that you need to satisfy your masochistic needs.
We Happy Few is set in a first person view, with a cartoon style look to the game. It shows off some lovely lighting effects especially during the night with a creepy mist effect as toxic waste spills out of pipes onto surrounding areas, plus the vibrant colours used to light up some of the run down houses is sublime, but it’s the moonlight or sunlight that breaks through the clouds that looks great. As you expect Joy will change your perspective of the surrounds with subtle changes to your environment and movement as you seem to skip around with your head up high as you experience the rainbows in the sky, this effect won’t last for long but you must keep up the appearance so no suspicions are raised and also it allows you to pass various checkpoints.
This is another feature of the same is the status effects, as mentioned above if you do a lot of running & jumping and exert yourself you will get hungry and thirsty, also if you sleep too long these effects will arise which means you need to source food and drinking water to survive. There are other status effects such as food poisoning or plague that can be treated with the correct items or made worse with the wrong items.
Throughout the game you will learn how to survive through scrounging and crafting items to build better clothing or weapons to help defend yourself with the tasks that lie ahead, the customisation is quite extensive with categories from Medical to Chemical to name a couple, these items can be found throughout the game in stoves, chests, rubble and so on, you can also collect plants to boost your health and create healing balms.
But be warned if you steal items and are caught you are branded a status effect of a thief which makes everyone react hostile towards you, so whatever path you take make sure you abide by the rules or you won’t last for long.
As the game progresses you come across more improved towns with better items to accrue to help in your escape but also the people become more suspicious. The in game missions are split into main missions but there are substantial side quests and activities to keep you occupied, these include helping local inhabitants which in return will reward you or dig sites which will allow you to procure hidden items for your to use.
As you have to survive you must be prepared to defend yourself from fellow downers or Bobby’s on the beat, you start off with your fists but you can get weapons such as pointy sticks or torches through knocking people out or you can simply craft these weapons, but don’t expect to craft a full auto machine gun as the extent of the weaponry is very primitive with cricket bats or police truncheons being the preferred weapon of choice.
We Happy Few provides a challenge with its survival features such as crafting and the constant juggling of your basic needs of sleep, hunger and thirst create a unique style of gameplay.
And even though there may be a few issues as it is in its preview stage the game looks outstanding and has the potential to be a nice gem of a game.