Gamers among us were delighted to finally have the full release of We Happy Few at our fingertips on Friday, 10 August. This is a game that was teased at E3 in 2016 and given an early access release back in July 2016, described as an indie-action adventure game, developed by Compulsion Games and published by Gearbox Publishing.
I was given a review copy of We Happy Few an immediately jumped in to see if it would be as amazing as the E3 teaser made it out to be. My initial verdict was, it has potential. The early access release was heavily focused on survival and it didn’t have the main narratives. You were basically given access to the environment that the game was going to be set in, the alternative 1960’s of Wellington Heath. For me, early access is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s amazing to be able to dive into a game that you’re excited for, yet it’s always a bit of a disappointment. Firstly, the game is not finished and secondly, it’s easy to get bored of the game before the full title is even released. With that in mind, I quickly uninstalled We Happy Few and pledged not to play it again until it was a complete game.
After 2 years of waiting, We Happy Few was finally given the ‘day zero’ patch. I installed and played it immediately and I can honestly say, the game is a delight. The visuals are incredible, and it has the best voice acting, with aheart warming accents and humour all set in a disturbing world where people can either deal with the grim realities or take a drug called joy to escape to a place that is far more pleasant to the eye and the senses.
What’s New in We Happy Few?
The day zero patch has given us a full story, a campaign that follows three characters. You can play through the game as you please, using stealth, combat or conformity, or a combination of all three. Each narrative has their own history and story to tell, leading to their individual decision to refuse to accept the artificial realities that are being offered by ‘Joy’. Each character needs to survive and delve into some of the darker secrets of Wellington Wells.
I haven’t completed the game, so I can’t provide a review at this stage. What I can give you are my first impressions.
We Happy Few is a joy to play. It feels great, with good movement and combat and full immersion into the story thanks to the stunning and interesting environment of Wellington Wells and the residents. I love open world and We Happy Few gives you the sense of exploration that I adore – allowing you to explore houses and towns and nose around to your heart’s content. You can choose to be stealthy, but I lack skills in stealth, so combat and/or avoidance is my current tactic. I’m two hours in and I can’t wait to get back to playing -always a sign of a great game.
Compulsion Game’s decision to move away from survival and towards story is highly welcomed by myself and many other gamers. Trying to uncover secrets and understand the character’s history while encountering interesting side quests and witty characters result in a game that is appreciated and greatly enjoyed.