Everything you need to know about We Happy Few.
We Happy Few
PC, Xbox One
Release Date:June 2016
We Happy Few is a survival game, that is set in an alternate past England. The game is being developed and published by Compulsion Games, the same studio behind Contrast. The game is set to be released in June of 2016 and will be running on Unreal Engine 4. The director of the game, Guillaume Provost is also Compulsion Games’ founder and studio head. Provost has a great amount of experience working in the video game industry – before he founded Compulsion Games, he worked at other well known companies such as Dishonored developer Arkane Studios.
We Happy Few was first unveiled in February 26, 2015 and was officially shown off at Pax East. The game is being put together by an independent developer that has turned to crowdfunding in order to continue the work. On June 4, 2015 the company launched a Kickstarter for the game and announced it had raised the aimed for $200,000 in the matter of one month. The campaign was officially closed a month later and took in more than $266,000. On October 23, 2015 the was officially announced as being in pre-alpha build 9. In this particular build the developers talked about the fact that they have managed to polish up some of the graphics in order to give the skin pigment and look of people in the game a more realistic bent.
We Happy Few is set in a alternate retro-futuristic 1960’s England where people in the fictional town of Wellington Wells. In this alternate earth, the citizens of the town desperately don’t want to deal with a rather traumatic yet unstated event in their past. In order to avoid and forget, the people have invented a bliss-inducing drug called Joy and like Soma — the mind-numbing hallucinogenic happy juice from Aldous Huxley’s classic novel Brave New World — it keeps everyone sedated. The problem is that Joy does have some interesting side effects, such as near-complete memory loss and mild psychosis. The worst part for the protagonists of this game is the Joy-addicted citizens of Wellington get quite angry at “Downers,” people who refuse to take this wonder drug.
As one of the Downers, you are trying to make it out of town in a set amount of time. If the escape is not made in that period of time you are going to be trapped in Wellington Wells forever. One of the key ways in order to find your way out of town is to pretend you are one of the people who is taking the drug. This means you cannot draw attention to yourself in a way that will convince these crazy people that you have become a Downer.
The backstory of the game is brought to the player through special radio propaganda from Uncle Jack, a Big Brother who speaks pure Received Pronunciation, broadcast into the underground room the protagonist wakes up in to start the game. There are a number of different parts of Wellington Wells. There is the main part of town that is all bright lights and big city and then there is the outskirts where those who had an especially poor reaction to Joy have taken up residence in this area. This is also the first place you learn how to try and blend in and not let anyone know you are a “downer.” If the player cannot find a way out of town and is captured, they will either be killed or they will be reconditioned and made to take the drug in order to become “happy” yet again.
There are a number of different aspects to getting along in the world of Wellington Wells. This is a survival game, so players will need to collect objects in order to craft different tools. They will also have to eat in order to survive. The game has survival meters like in other survivals games such as Don’t Starve. There are also meters that tell you whether or not you are being detected by the people of the town. This also means there is a stealth aspect that is quite different than something like Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. The drug the people in the town use is supposed to keep them on a rather even keel. This means doing things like running is going to draw their attention.
The problem with the usual aspects of survival is that most of the things that you can eat and drink have the drug mixed in. That means players will also have to watch their Joy meters. If you get too much of the drug in your system, you lose. Taking the drug is also a way to get around the townspeople who have become suspicious of the player’s activities. This means you need to figure out a way to balance all of these meters out.
Combat plays a part in the game, though at times it’s better to avoid that combat at every turn. Players will be able to overcome one or two enemies at a time, but the more fighting that goes on, the more attention will be drawn by the protagonist. If the player succumbs to starvation, dehydration or simply by getting beat up, the character will start over in the same underground room and won’t have any of the supplies they collected. Time will still have ticked off and the player will have less time to try and find their way out. The map of the world changes with every playthrough, so players won’t be able to memorize where supplies are located and just run back there. The players will have to go on the hunt again, with time working against them.
The characters in the game are made up first of the player characters. While they are the protagonists, they are not heroes in the strictest sense of the word. They are haunted by the horrible things that have happened in their past. They must complete certain missions in order to unlock other playable characters that will have their own side missions and story. Another character that takes a prominent role in the game is Uncle Jack. Uncle Jack acts as a sort of leader figure for the town, continuously broadcasting on every television and radio, while also shedding light on the terrible past everyone wants to forget.
Wellies are the townspeople that are on every island in Wellington Wells except for the outskirts known as the Garden District. The Garden District is made up of people known as Wastrels, those who had a bad reaction to Joy. Bobbies are the law enforcement and guards of Wellington Wells. They will attack you and Wastrels if they know you are not taking Joy. They also have droppable items that no other NPC will have. Criers are women that act as a kind of alert system if they see Downers. If they do spot a Downer, they will alert everyone in the immediate vicinity to the enemy.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game