It’s often said that a lot of The Beatles songs were about drugs, I kind of feel like We Happy Few is a weird music video created for their songs. Everyone is happy in Wellington Wells and it’s all thanks to Joy! A drug that – as you might guess, keeps people happy and shelters the residents from the reality that is a world on the brink of collapse.
There are a few that know something isn’t right and need to escape!
We Happy Few from Compulsion Games is a story driven survival game set in a procedurally generated world that has recently hit Early Access. As it currently stands most of the story isn’t actually in the game. But eventually it will be told from three different characters points of view.
There is a quick prologue – and I’m talking very quick, around 10 minutes at the most. You meet Arthur – who you play as, after the prologue you wake up in your little underground bunker (for reasons I won’t spoil) and it’s time to survive.
You’re free to roam around the open world as you see fit gathering items, interacting with NPC’s – some of which may trigger some kind of side quest. There is also a ‘main quest’ of sorts that you can choose follow straight away if you’d like. The world is split in to sections, your starting one is more of a slum filled with Wastrels – these are people have reacted badly to Joy or are off it completely and are in an almost schizophrenic state, they can become hostile to you if you overstep your boundaries or enter their homes, and you may have to fight them off if you’re unable to run and hide. The other zones or islands are in better condition and are filled with people high on Joy and the Bobbies who patrol Wellington Wells.
There is no real tutorial to the game, so at first you might find yourself wondering around feeling a little lost about what to do and where to go – I know I did. But once you get to grips with certain aspects of the game, you can start to make fairly quick progress.
As I’ve stated the game is currently in early access and it does feel like it too. The story isn’t in place; a lot of the mechanics need a lot tweaking – you get too hungry and thirsty way too quickly, and the UI feels a little clunky to use at the moment. It’s nothing major, which is good as sometimes some games get released to EA way too early with almost no content.
One thing I really liked about the game is the option to either play with permadeath or with respawns. This gives players the options of a more hardcore play through or more forgiving. There are some people who just flat out don’t like permadeath and I can understand that – losing all your progress and having to start again could be frustrating so giving people the option of either is a really great addition to the game.
Performance wise it seems to be ok, it runs fairly smoothly (PC), I didn’t notice any major issues with frame rate or any game breaking bugs. It also looks pretty good too, sunsets look really nice, and the lighting in general seems to be really good. At times it can look a little dull with the greys and browns, but when you have such a run down area what can you expect! On the whole the games visuals have impressed me.
I’ve followed the game fairly closely since it was first announced as I thought it looked really interesting and right now I have to say that it’s shaping up well and has the potential to become one of the good early access survival games. There is still a long way for the game to go, I just really hope it can realise it’s potential! I’m excited by the potential of the game and will be playing more and keeping up to date with its progress over the next month, so no doubt you’ll be hearing more about it!