Since We Happy Few was private from Early Access progressing this year, it’s undergone a vital mutation from a participation diversion with touches of story to a linear, story-driven diversion with touches of participation diversion mechanics. After spending an hour with a latest chronicle of We Happy Few, we worry a changes are still not enough. Its alt-history take on 1960s England is so stylish and well-realized, generally with all a new characters and still set pieces, that a remaining participation diversion systems feel like leftovers from their possess swap history.
Small city life
I wade by a high weed of a slums, a encampment left to a possess inclination on a hinterland of a illusory English city of Wellington Wells, where a multitude lives on hallucinogenic drugs in an alt-history take on a outcome of World War 2. But out here, if I’m held wearing a good fit or holding Joy (the drugs), a locals will follow me down with pointy sticks and poke me to death. we indeed have to rip my garments adult around a crafting menu to assuage them. The statute category isn’t a kind one, I’m thinking.
One abandoned, dilapidating home—they all demeanour this proceed out here—glows in a low dusk light. Inside we find toys piled on rotting mattresses. Three floors of shrines, and no pointer of life. The kids are gone, it seems, expected in a stay or propagandize dozens of miles away. Another home, this one yet light, is rather intact. we find letters to a editor on any building expressing offend with an augmenting participation of authoritarianism, a state of affairs of this dull encampment clearly a product of a militarized force tightening their grip. On a third building we find a authors unresolved from a rafters.
We Happy Few is superfluous with these still (and grim) storytelling touches now, stuffing in a story of a universe while characterizing a little people and large powers during play. The 3 playable characters are entirely voiced, and frequently criticism (a bit too often) on how they’re feeling or what they see. Floating bullion masks are dim in some areas, and when we proceed a little black and white vignette plays out from a lead character’s viewpoint as a child nearby a finish of World War 2. The Germans win in this timeline, yet don’t design a common Nazi bad guys.
Think of a new structure of We Happy Few like this: what was primarily a roguelike set in procedurally generated participation diversion biomes is now a linear journey diversion strung out along a array of connected, procedurally generated biomes.
The slums is one such area, a sprawling meadow with disproportionate houses impending collapse, and a few corners of a area populated by locals. The suit-haters didn’t mind me much, yet an outpost in a northwest dilemma carries distant some-more melancholy occupants. Surrounded by a peaked wooden fence, we need to penetrate a outpost and take some reserve in sequence to get assistance from a associate among a suit-haters. If we find his aged fight medals, he’s betrothed to assistance me get closer to Wellington Wells.
I hide around a behind of a outpost usually for a ensure to take me by surprise. we arise adult in a fighting pit, a throng of bandits that demeanour something like spiked-everything Mad Maxers with an insistence for good haircuts and purify trousers. A embankment separates me from Danny Defoe, who we commend distant too prolonged after he recognizes me. Apparently, before things went to shit, he plagiarized something my character, a former reporter, had created and we told on a guy. He has some grievances to air, and we have some redemption to find.
I’m offering dual collection to finish my task, and a same goes for Defoe: a bar wrapped firmly with soothing cloth or a really pointy stick. we squeeze a sham bar and Defoe grabs a spear. we must’ve been a genuine dick behind when. we bar him unconscious, that is an contingent code of forgiveness, we suppose. More enemy arrive to overpower me, yet we flog them into tiny, crumpled piles of redemption too. Luckily, a fight is simple—maybe too simple. You can block, swing, assign adult a complicated swing, and flog opponents to mangle their block.
The stamina scale governs how many overhanging and restraint and sprinting you’re able of before wanting to behind off and recharge, that itself is governed by your character’s well-being. If you’re too hungry, tired, or injured, your max stamina will shrink. Combat is easy to collect up, yet usually as awkward and shoal as it is in Skyrim—at slightest early on.
None of it’s a problem until we finish off a remaining thugs and try an escape. I’m starting to get inspired and all we have is dozens of decaying carrots. What a consternation that a guards can’t smell a fermenting rubbish collecting in my pants. To get out I’ll need to hide by some guards in a dark, damp tunnels of a aged fort regulating elementary secrecy rules: don’t be too loud, equivocate light and prophesy cones, and chuck objects to confuse guards. The AI is flattering basic, so my shun is a breeze, adult until we get too confident. Sneak adult on a baddie and we can throttle them out, yet be clever or you’ll beget too many noise. we perform this mistake once we get to a surface, and 3 guards conflict me right away. I’ve managed to keep my sham shillelagh total and build my possess pointy stick, so with adequate calm and poking we murder them with ease. Weapons will mangle after adequate use, so secrecy will expected be a usually choice in cases where I’m strapped for supplies.
Now I’m behind out in a open meadow of a encampment hull again, yet though food and no thought where to find any. we figure my impression would fodder in dull houses and nearby sprouting collections of vegetation, and it pays off. Eventually we find aged jerky (not rotten) nearby a failing fire, grateful my drifting fetch query is over. Back to exploring, hopefully yet craving as a consistent irritation.
Survival systems like hunger, thirst, and nap damage still exist, yet they’re not directly connected to your health. Ignoring these systems for a whole diversion is possible, and nothing of them will kill you, yet they’ll significantly debuff your max stamina and stamina recovery.
Digging by drawers and corpses to find bits of food and deliver were my slightest favorite tools of Bioshock, and it’s no some-more sparkling in We Happy Few. Finding crafting equipment and food act as little tethers to unexplored areas, yet a bespoke environments and embedded stories should be inducement enough. I’d rather demeanour adult during a people unresolved in a rafters (gruesome as it sounds) than give a table next them priority, and I’d rather feel some-more directly threatened by a universe and a people in it than by epitome craving systems and object scarcity.
Thematically, We Happy Few’s new incarnation approaches a impression and peculiarity of a Bioshock or Dishonored while personification like a inverse. In those games, you’re a lithe, absolute hero. In We Happy Few, we play as a infirm nobody. I’m happy to be a nobody, we usually wish there was a proceed to demonstrate your helplessness and onslaught to tarry that was as fun or formidable as chaining plasmids is in Bioshock or mixing abilities is in Dishonored.
As it stands, We Happy Few borrows simple, paltry crafting systems from full-on participation games to demonstrate your infirmity and recklessness in an rough world. At slightest many of a participation elements will be customizable, or totally separated by personification on easy. But with so many participation games withdrawal Early Access that support hunger, thirst, sleep, and so on around a same chore-like checklisting, I’d rather see We Happy Few try something totally new that didn’t confuse from such an intriguing world.