WE HAPPY FEW (FULL RELEASE)
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on August 14, 2018
The wait is finally over, people. In 2016, the game We Happy Few entered the Early Access and we played its cool demo. Now, after playing said demo, a lot of people were really looking forward to the official release of the full game. August 10, 2018 marked this occasion, so now we can finally all sit back, relax and take your Joy!
We Happy Few started out as a Kickstarter project. Their original goal was $250.000, which was funded in no time, and they started looking at stretched goals. Eventually, more than 7400 backers pledged their support to this project with a total of $334.754. Not too shabby, right? And of top of that, Compulsion Games recently became a Microsoft Studio Family member. They really stepped up their game, so it's definitely time to take another look at We Happy Few!
For me it has been two years since I've played the game and in the mean time the developers had done a lot of work in terms of content and improvements. Before the game starts, you'll need to make some choices now, including the decision between playing the game with "normal" death or permadeath. I'm especially thankful for the option to turn permadeath on or off; I can totally see why some players see it as an extra challenge, but it's not my cup of tea.
The intro of the game hasn't changed that much, but I remember how it made go from feeling relaxed to being totally paranoid and freaked out in only a couple of seconds. It's Friday October 9th 1964 and you are at your job at the City Hall. You are archiving newspaper articles and decide which article will be approved and which will be censored. Immediately I start to think about the consequences and if and how these choices might influence my game. So, I learned that I can't deal with that kind of responsibility. (Or maybe I worry too much? Maybe I care too much what others might think? Or maybe I just too much of an over thinker?)
The loading screen of We Happy Few contains a saying: "Happy is the country without a past". Now that's something worth discussing next Friday evening with some drinks at the bar. But this saying definitely has meaning in this game, because soon you will be confronted with the choice whether you take a Joy pill or not. Do you want to remember everything you know, even though it might make you sad or do you want to forget an just be blissfully ignorant? Soon it will become clear why the Joy pills are there. Your colleagues are having a party and hitting a piņata to get the candy out. But when you take another look, it turned out there are not hitting a piņata, but an actual rat! It's the beginning of a great adventure in a world that's all about the choice to remember your past and of the city of Wellington Wells. What drove its citizens to despair so much, that they needed Joy pills in the first place? What is so painful people don't want to remember?
We Happy Few definitely is a challenging game. There is stamina to consider, so you are able to run or fight, but only for a short time. You can suffer from hunger and thirst, but eating and drinking isn't without danger. You can eat raw meat, but it might get you sick. I actually damaged myself by drinking too much water. Objects and items are useful, but you won't fight everything you'll need that easy. Most of the time you'll need to find the right ingredients or items to craft the things you want or need. And last but not least, you have to be careful and always on your guard. The locals will become suspicious if you act out of character and they might attack you.
We Happy Few is a truly unique experience for everyone who likes a good challenge. It's about an alternative English city set in the 60's with remarkable characters. The art style is great and I'm very thankful for the quest list in the menu and the compass while playing. It's not an easy game, but I guess if the whole world is tripping on Joy pills and you decided not to, things might get uncomfortable. If you want to find out the truth of your city, but everyone else tries to forget, people might find you annoying. If you have to survive in a city where you have to craft everything you need, that's never easy. So, prepare for ultimate survival and experience a quest for truth and doing the right thing!
WE HAPPY FEW (FULL RELEASE)
August 10, 2018