We Happy Few has been in Early Access for almost two year on Windows now. Those that have played through the short amount that is already available could be forgiven for losing excitement in a game that has seemingly taken an inordinate amount of time to put together. But those people would be wrong.
After spending around an hour and a half with the game at E3, it’s hard to believe the finished product is so different from its early access version.
First off, the way that Compulsion Games has taken the narrative of the game and dialled it up to maximum really cant be overstated. What was initially an interesting concept, a world in which everyone takes pills called ‘Joy’ to forget some horrible evil and make do with an existence far below modern standards, has been fully realised in the world they’ve created. It’s explored through every interaction the player experiences – from traipsing through dilapidated housing to meeting the inhabitants of a word running on fumes. It’s the part of the game I’m most excited to explore.
But not only that, the gameplay mechanics in We Happy Few have been significantly improved too. The world they’ve created exists with an unexpected freedom, with players able to approach problems the way they feel is most appropriate. There’s a fairly complex crafting mechanic which will give players a lot of options for doing this. We also have a fairly basic but fun combat mechanism and a stealth option (which feels closest to the games’ wary access approach).
Players must also micromanage a plethora of variables that will help them survive (or weaken them if they don’t). These range from hunger and thirst, to fatigue and toxicity. Players are encouraged to keep on top of these metrics as they progress through the games’ story.
Gamers looking for a dark, twisted story that never appears to take itself too seriously will appreciate We Happy Few when it is released on 10 August 2018. It could be the biggest Early Access turn around in the history of the approach – and there’s a lot to look forward to.