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If you’ve been listened to our podcast episode The Big Welcome to 2016 Show and  F*&#@ June! you would know that I have been looking forward to this game all year. For those of you who haven’t, check out those links and I’ll give a quick rundown and why I hopped on the hype train only seeing that picture above and a short description.

We Happy Few began as a Kickstarter campaign in June 2015 from Compulsion Games (makers of Contrast) and recently became one of the highlights of E3. Early Access became available July 29th. WHF is an indy survival game set in a dystopian retrofuturistic (a phrase I just learned and fits so well) fictional town Wellington Wells, England.  In this world, everyone has to be happy. Everyone. At all times. It’s the law. Everyone takes the drug Joy to stay happy. Anyone who isn’t gets the fuzz sent after them and take a beating or can be killed.

You begin the game as Arthur Hastings who works at the long and tedious job of reviewing old news articles and either approving or censoring them. He comes across an article about his brother and suffers a bit of a breakdown and reaches for his prescription bottle of Joy.

Ladies

Ladies

Many plot points may remind the player of other prevalent narratives in pop culture. Immediately one would be reminded of the character Winston Smith and his job at the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s 1984. The behavior modification medicine is reminiscent of 2002’s Equilibrium. A common thread that ties these stories together, other than the dystopian overtones, is that anyone at anytime can be your enemy. Whilst reading through the old newspaper articles submitted to Arthur for modification in his Redacter, one can see in 1933 Germany conquered Britain. Somehow this leads to the society Hastings lives in and we have to navigate.

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And never too early to have a drink

As we navigate our way to an office party, I took Hastings to the empty office of a coworker who’s been a way on a suspiciously long vacation and another who wants Hasting’s corner office with a view. Spoilers: she’s probably dead and the view is grey and pissing rain. So Britain. Hastings makes it to the party in time to take the first whack at the piñata.

Get yourself a band-aid

What the…?

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AAAAHHHHHHHH!

Immediately you’re made out to be a “Downer” and you’re being chased through the building and sewers by cops. You wake up in a safehouse with a dead woman in the next room. Since this is early access I had trouble with losing lock-picks and throwing down the dead corpse in quite an undignified, un-English manner.

You ok?

You ok?

I was supposed to dispose of that body, but I wasn’t able to pick it back up after doing my best WWE impression with Ms. Stokes (she won). After quitting to the menu and coming back in, I had my metal scraps to make my lock-picks again. Outside are wandering Wastrels (Wellington Well’s destitute) who bother you whether you look at them or not. Some lady started a fight with me because she was late for tea. I just threw down with Weekend at Bernadette’s lady, do you really want to mess with me now?

The day is filled with finding water and scraps and making it back to the safehouse in time to sleep. There are tasks to be fulfilled and existential crises to undergo.

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Snitch!

So far the game is at a solid start. The story pulled me in and the visuals, brought to you by Unreal Engine, are rich and beautiful. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, and though some may disagree with the concept of pouring money into an early access game, I am proud to throw money at it and excited to see this game develop from a little baby alpha to a full release.

We Happy Few is available on Steam, GOG, Humble Bundle, and XBox One.

The Compulsion Games’ We Happy Few main page is here.

Stay tuned! I’ll be posting as I go!

All the white girls just peed their leggings

All the white girls just peed their leggings