We Happy Few’s Early Access Version Is Definitely Early

We Happy Few is a presence diversion set in an swap 1960s Britain. Citizens of Wellington Wells take a drug called Joy to forget, to function. The diversion wears a BioShock influences on a puke-encrusted sleeve, though in a stream state, it’s still got a ways to go before it can live adult to a lofty potential.

I’ve spent a few hours with a game’s Steam Early Access version, and we consider there’s room for it to develop into something equal tools intriguing and foreboding. It’s usually not utterly there yet, that creates sense, given that a developers devise to keep it in Early Access for between 6 and twelve months.

The categorical side outcome of Joy, we see, appears to be creation people into creepy-ass clowns. These clowns, however, are not like a Platonic Ideal of clowns. They’re lethal serious. The makeup-masked masses are so meddlesome in order, control, and forgetful a cloudy Terrible Thing From Their Past that they’ll toss out anyone who goes off their drugs.

That’s how a diversion starts after a brief, intensely good story-driven intro: with we left for passed in a poor of “Downers,” drug-less deviants whose frail psyches are prolonged past a indicate of unraveling. They ramble a streets in a stupor, spitting out bile-soaked pieces of nonsense and spasmodic enchanting in other activities like eating, drinking, and murder. They approximate themselves with jaggedly scrawled notes, spilled paint, and decaying food.


The diversion sign-posts characters’ crazy with all of BioShock’s whooping and hollering, though sans even that game’s mostly aspect spin specificity and craft. Essentially, you’re traffic with a array of transmutable signs that all read, “LOOK AT HOW CRAZY THEY ARE WOWEE.” A nuanced description of mental illness this is not.

At a moment, there’s not most to do over wander, survive, and finish a handful of side-quests. Many of a quests aren’t wholly discerning (a rather clunky map complement doesn’t help), so erratic and presence take core stage. If you’ve played a presence diversion before, we know a drill: you’ve gotta make certain you’re well-fed, hydrated, and rested. Meters solemnly parasite down for each.

It all works fine, though to be honest it’s kinda tedious. As it stands, a engaging things about We Happy Few are a world, characters, and a deeper mysteries underlying them. Having to stop and slurp a play of acerbic stew, or go off your designed trail to siphon some some-more H2O into canisters feels like a distraction. It’s frequency severe or exciting. Same with register management. They feel like things we have to do if we wish to keep doing a things that are indeed fun.


Occasionally your need to snooze can land we in an beguiling arrange of prohibited water—for instance when you’re about to fall from depletion and confirm to snooze in somebody else’s bed, usually to arise surrounded by a aroused host chanting, “THIS ISN’T A BED AND BREAKFAST”—but I’m not sole on these presence systems. Not yet. Right now they feel like additional weight on an knowledge that could be smoother, some-more lithe. Crafting, during least, seems like it leads down some engaging paths, though I’ve nonetheless to emanate anything we haven’t done in other games.

That said, other elements of We Happy Few show promise. The universe is, in part, procedurally generated—which does make it flattering repeated in places—but finding busted houses and other landmarks dirty with bits of story is compelling. Breaking and entering is mostly necessary, and secrecy is generally your best bet. Combat, however, is hard-hitting and enjoyable, so you’ve got options. In addition, some of a quests—like one where you’ve gotta figure out how to take down a male who runs around city fretting about how he’s late for an critical date, or another where a chairman can’t stop vomiting—are darkly humorous.

Interacting with other characters has a intensity to be unequivocally cool. Your associate Downers are not, by default, violent. Right now, it’s flattering easy to suss out a sorts of things that will make them start perplexing to bust your noggin like decaying cabbage with a cricket bat, though there’s still a tragedy to any encounter. With a bit some-more unpredictability, we could see it operative likewise to Ken Levine’s strange representation for BioShock Infinite; we travel into a room, and we have no thought where we mount with anybody. Maybe they usually wish some accessible (if not wholly tied to this craft of reality) chit-chat, or maybe they wish your conduct to, like, store their caterpillar collection inside of.



Drugs mount to murky those waters even further. While your impression is, as a ubiquitous rule, off Joy, we can still cocktail a peculiar tablet and watch as a universe blossoms into rainbows and glee. As we strut down a street, people can tell you’re on Joy, and many of them conflict with jealousy and suspicion. And afterwards when we come down, things take a spin for a additional nasty. In after areas, however, a energetic flips. Without Joy, you’re out of place, a Problem.

Unsurprisingly, We Happy Few’s Early Access chronicle has some glitches. In many ways it’s utterly discriminating for an Early Access teaser, though we still encountered moments where my impression wouldn’t stop rising a same line over and over, or characters got indignant during any other/me for no apparent reason, or we couldn’t finish quests since a diversion motionless we didn’t have an object that was definitely in my inventory.

To tip it all off, glorious opening shred aside, a story’s not unequivocally in a diversion yet. What’s there skewers a criterion of Proper English Culture, that seems generally applicable after, we know, that whole Brexit thing.

Don’t get me wrong: between a brood of quests and mixed islands to pierce between, We Happy Few already has utterly a bit of Content (TM). It’s usually not entrance together in an sparkling approach for me yet. I’ve played for 3 hours, and I’m already starting to get bored. At a moment, we can see a skeleton of something glorious in We Happy Few. But it’s usually a skeleton. It needs meat, gristle, and blood.

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