We Happy Few Review
We Happy Few is the tale of a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial in the city of Wellington Wells. In this alternative 1960s England, conformity is key. You’ll have to fight or blend in with the drug-addled inhabitants, most of whom don’t take kindly to people who won’t abide by their not-so-normal rules.
One of the first things is undeniable about We Happy Few is its similarities to Bioshock. The first thing I noticed right off was its Bioshock feel and gameplay. As a fan of that series, the made We Happy Few a smoother experience. The game itself has spent quite a while in early access and has garnered a huge fanbase. The city of Wellington is full of intrigue and mystery, yet We Happy Few feels unpolished and in need of a cosmetic makeover. Having just finished Dead Cells, its was a pleasant surprise to find another game that embraced permadeath. We Happy Few offers varying degrees of difficulty that should appeal to every gamer, even those who just want a less stressful experience.
We Happy Few takes the dystropian society and turns it on its head. At some point after World War Two, this particular island was cut off from the world and the drug Joy was introduced. Was this all just some sick social experiment? As you play through this game you will realize just how sick and twisted of a game world that Compulsion Games has created. Every minute was stressful and I never really knew what was going to happen to my character. Every person in the game was a threat, this was the first time in a game I never really felt safe.
The Gameplay is pretty basic and has I have stated previously, its similar to Bioshock. In We Happy Few, as you might have guessed, things are horribly wrong. If you don’t take your drug called Joy, you are considered a downer. Downers are dealt with by the security or police and force-ably injected with the drug. To survive the world of We Happy Few you will have to craft, eat, and sleep to stay alive. You will have to blend in to the different environments as not to draw suspicion to yourself. Blending in often requires you to use the crafting system to make clothes that match each environment and its people. The crafting works pretty well in the game and can be done at crafting tables found in your shelter. Since you are in a dytropian society, food is scarce and sometimes a rotten carrot can save your life.
I think of We Happy Few as Bioshock on steroids. With Wellington being a little nicer then Rapture. To be fair to Compulsion Games, they have crafted an amazing world to play in. They sandbox style really shines well and the game always keeps on your toes. The only time you really feel safe is back at your shelter, where you can craft, sleep, and travel to various locations, through hatches. The hatch systems reminds me a lot of Zombi, another game that employs this unique fast travel system. The gameplay is embedded with an amazing story that starts off strong and keeps you intrigued throughout. Although the review copy of the game didn’t include the three character stories, so we will have to come back to those in another review.
You can take We Happy Few as slow or as fast as you like. Even though it doesn’t advertise its self in this manner, I found I was able to tailor a specific experience to my liking. The graphics in We Happy Few, are a bit of disappointing. The environments look good but once you get up close to the NPCs, you can see that detail is lacking. The game world once again and I hate to say this, reminds me of Rapture, from Bioshock. Wellington is beautiful but it feels a bit unfinished and somewhat rushed. For a game that has spend years in early access, this quite disappointing.
As far as sound goes for this game, its your basic run of the mill voice acting. There is nothing special about the voice acting or music. The main protagonist is actually quite annoying and sounds as if the voice actor didn’t want the part. I don’t want to be harsh but in simple terms, the voice acting is quite poor. There are a lot of games that have some amazing soundtracks, not this one. We Happy Few really fails in this department. The sound of this game is stale and boring.
We Happy Few does a lot of things right and lots of things wrong. From a pretty easy crafting system to really poor voice acting, the game has its ups and downs. The sandbox world gives you so much to do that these little problems almost take a back seat. We Happy Few is a wonderful experience and one that Bioshock veterans will find familiar and fun. I for the most part found this game fun and exciting, filled with nervy moments around every corner. The survival elements were a nice touch and the added depth of a permadeath playthrough was fantastic. Knowing that one mistake and its game over, was highly stressful. In a game that was already stressful, it really added more dread and uncertainty the playthrough.
There is so much to see and do in We Happy Few, yet I do feel that it’s unpolished and needs some finishing touches. Overall my experience was a positive one. I plan to spend more time in Wellington as more content is released. This review is my experience and your own may be entirely different.
CoreGamerzInc gives We Happy Few
-Jam Packed with content
-Wonder sandbox to play around in
-Lacks voice acting
-Graphical behind most games this year
-Needs some polishing
-This could be the next Bioshock