We Happy Few is an action-adventure, indie game that is currently in its Early Access stage on Steam. It was released last July 26, 2016 under Compulsion Games and from that point to now, the reviews have been very positive.
“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. Set in a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England, you’ll have to blend in with its other inhabitants, who don’t take kindly to people who don’t abide by their not-so-normal rules.” (Compulsion Games)
While the game is yet to be finished, what’s available for play is already pretty good. Stunning graphics, a great crafting system, nice voice acting, and in general just a fun, purposeful gameplay.
The game also plays with the concept of extreme joy and depression, where both might lead to insanity. In the game, people can be classified as “Downers” if they stopped taking their “Joy” pills, a drug regularly given to them by the 1960’s British Dystopian England government. Not taking the pill makes you “remember” certain things whereas taking them will mask that depression and make you a generally accepted individual. You blend in, and from what I’ve played so far, blending in is the key to finishing the game.
Currently, you get to play as Arthur Hastings, a man who (by the player’s choice) chooses not to take his Joy and end up on the wrong side of society – the Downers. He is chased down a tunnel and that’s basically where the game starts.
The game is on Steam and retails for Php 759.95 (roughly $15-$16). That’s an okay price given the current state of the game. Before buying though, make sure your rig meets the minimum, with more juice to spare (trust me, this will make the game more enjoyable).
The minimum requirement (vs. recommended):
- OS: 64 bit, Windows 7 and above
- Processor: Triple-core Intel or AMD, 2.0 GHz or faster (Quad-core Intel or AMD, 2.5 GHz or faster)
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 460 GTX or AMD Radeon 5870 HD series or higher Mobile: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M or higher. (NVIDIA GeForce 660 GTX or AMD Radeon 7870 HD series or higher)
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 6 GB available space
Get the recommended rig and you’ll save yourself from having to turn a few settings down. I’ve tried playing with reduced settings and it isn’t so bad. The feel kind of took me back to Amnesia.
During my last gameplay, I got a little stressed over the map. It may be because it’s on alpha, but there was no panning feature. You could zoom in or out but you couldn’t navigate through the map. I also wish they’d put in indicators for the phone booths too like what they did for the water pumps and houses. It would’ve made it easier. But then I guess that’s the point of the game. It’s either your memory’s really good or you’re stupid enough to go around checking booths – which you’ve probably already opened – all night.
It’s also weird how the time in-game shows it’s already 8PM but the sky still looks 5PM. It only gets dark when it’s 11PM and even then, the nighttime is very short.
I had been waiting to play this since it was announced early last year when they came out with a trailer that blew my mind. It was everything I wanted in a game: stunning graphics, mission-based and free-roaming options, first-person POV, a dark theme to go along with the violence, and a nice enough story line. It was like waiting for Outlast before it officially came out and I hoped it wouldn’t disappoint.
It hasn’t, so far. For an Early Access Game, everything looks exciting already. As the game develops, we’ll get to see the pieces forming together.