Survive a Drugged Induced Utopia in We Happy Few
By: Soren | : 336
Wakey, wakey! And welcome to Wellington Wells, home of a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial. So make sure to grab your Joy and turn that frown upside down!
From the independent studio that brought you Contrast, We Happy Few is an action/adventure/survival/horror game set in a drug-fuelled, retro-futuristic city in an alternative 1960s England.The German’s successfully invaded and occupied England and left it in a pile of rubble. However during the occupation the residents of Wellington Wells all had to do a very bad thing. To calm their nerves and guilt - and forget what they’d done - the Wellies invented Joy, the miracle happiness drug. Players take control of Arthur, a local Newspaper Censor, who decides he wants off the surreal ‘Joy ride’. As memories start to return and he begins to realize something isn’t right, his ‘Downer’ behaviour tips off his co-workers and he is forced to go on the run.
For an action adventure game there is a lot more of the survival aspect to it than first meets the eye. Players will have to keep an eye on hunger, thirst and sleep right out of the gate. It’s definitely not an easy thing to do when food is rotten and ponds are poisoned. On top of that, being in the war torn outer slums also opens you up to disease and a number of other ways that can get you killed if you aren’t paying attention.
While combat is an option, it’s not a great one and We Happy Few goes out of it’s way to not encourage it. Stealth and conformity are the way to go if you plan on escaping the city in one piece, because once you die that’s it. No restarts and no saving. As players begin to stretch their legs and begin to explore they will realize that blending in is a necessity and it isn’t as easy as one may think. If you want to travel through the more ritzy areas of town you'll need to look the part. This means you’ll need the right clothes and ‘Joy-full’ attitude because the inhabitants of Wellington Wells don't take kindly to people who don't abide by their not-so-normal rules.
Crafting is another key that will ensure your survival. Nothing in We Happy Few is given for free, instead players will need to sift through debris and garbage for items that can be crafted into various things like bandages, water purifiers, weapons, clothing and tools. Random quests to help out fellow Downers can also lead to some lucrative items to help you on your journey. Typical in a game with a fairly decent crafting system, players will also have to be on their A game with inventory management. A player’s inventory consists of a grid system so anything that goes in will have to be tetris'd in to maximise what you can carry.
For those that enjoy the survival/horror genre We Happy Few is a trip down the rabbit hole and a weird yet fun one at that. Currently We Happy Few is available on Steam as an Early Access release.
Published: February 20th, 2017
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