We Happy Few – (EEZ Game Review)

Welcome to Wellington Wells! Where everything is…(for lack of a better term)..well. No really, it is! Developed by Compulsion Games and published by Gearbox Studios, The World of We Happy Few is like nothing you’ve ever imagined before.

Enter an alternate historical timeline where FDR is assassinated during his first year in office and subsequently having The United States take a backseat during WWII. The Battle of Britain was lost and German forces were then allowed to occupy the area. A few short years later, In Wellington Wells, a horrible event happened and it’s only described in-game as a ‘Very Bad Thing’.

So now left with guilt, sorrow, dread, or any other word that can describe emptiness or anguish; the citizens of Wellington Wells created a new drug called, “Joy”. While it is considered a hallucinogen, JOY suppresses all unhappy memories and leaves you with a very very very pleasant feeling of…Joy(**cough** or so I’m told!). And yes, it comes with loads of side-effects.

While everyone isn’t so fond of Joy, there aren’t many alternatives. Some citizens of Wellington Wells have become immune which unfortunately means they went super crazy and depressed after remembering ‘The Very Bad Thing’. They’re called “Wastrels”. Those who choose not to take Joy are called, “Downers” and are considered a threat amongst society.

So, within this alternative world/universe/timeline we explore the happenings and stories of [[three(3) playable characters]]. I was more than eager to dive in.

We Happy Few is not a bad action adventure survival horror game. It’s actually pretty fun to play. The tension level tends to rise at times, but that usually due to un-easy control scheme, bad AI, and bugs that occur ever so naturally through your playthrough. I have to say, this reminded of the ever excellent zombie horror game Dead Island. Over, Over, and Over again.

Once I became familiar with this populated world, I knew what to expect from the residents of Wellington Wells. For example, if you’re caught without taking your Joy, being outside after curfew, or even looking at people for too long will create problems where your once friends and neighbors turn into an angry mob after recognizing that you are yes, indeed Arthur, Sally, or Ollie. So I was able to carefully manipulate my pathways of travel to avoid conflict by carrying myself in a certain manner in various towns.

There’s two ways to progress in this game. Like many others, you can go in “guns blazing” or stealthily complete your playthrough. Compulsion Games has touted that no two playthroughs are the same and that’s mainly due to the procedural generation technology that allows map layouts and other elements to change on a New Game.

We Happy Few left me.. well, happy! Maybe it was all the Joy (amongst other drugs) that I would continuously consume, or maybe it was all the Wastrels that I could beat up with no repercussion. I knew there was a certain goal to achieve in this game, and I knew that as a team, Arthur, Sally, and Ollie could achieve them!


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