Compulsion Games has concocted “We Happy Few,” an ambitious 3rd person bizarro-world-esque title similar to Bio-Shock, except with clowns set in 1960’s Britain. Currently, We Happy Few is in alpha and available on XBOX1 which utilizes the Unreal Tournament engine.
Upon starting a new game, there is an option for perma-death. Essentially, once you die, your character is remembered in the obituary annals forever & ever. You begin at a desk in front of a red monstrosity called the “Redactor” which is reminiscent of a micro fiche you would typically find in a library during that time. To operate the Redactor, you need to place a power cell into the machine to operate it.
Once you have enabled the power cell you will see questing articles that you can censor and accept or reject. Shortly thereafter, you are subsequently solicited by a female mime/clown to join a birthday party & piñata festivities in another part of the office. The graphics and attention to detail is phenomenal and you can’t help but to notice that the waste basket looks like a Dalek less the “exterminate-exterminate” commands.
You can further explore other offices in route to the birthday party and collect additional quests from Redactors. Once you have made it to the party, you are prompted by colleagues to smash, hit, and give the piñata a whack. Everything seems to go awry when candy doesn’t come cascading out, but instead blood, a dead rat, and accusations of being a downer. The call for security prompts you run and escape.
Once you have escaped, you can’t help but notice the little old lady swinging from the neck in the rear of your hideout. You’re able to collect craft items, and rest ala Fallout. There are also hunger, thirst, and fatigue icon indicators that effect your gameplay if they are not at the appropriate levels. Upon exiting your hideout, there is an expansive open world to explore, collect items, quests, and battle NPC’s.
Fighting NPC’s starting off consists of sharp sticks, throwing rocks, and getting the bodies with bare knuckles. On occasion, you may have to make like Carl Lewis and run while NPC’s are hot on your heels spouting obscenities. Since I enabled perma-death, I got the beating of my life by a mob train and Siilky Johnstiin has become an unwitting statistic in the We Happy Few obituary annals.
In sum, We Happy Few is still in development and there are some maddening quirks which diminish gameplay slightly. Namely, saving the game after resting is quite buggy and on occasion you will find yourself replicating your progression efforts. Specifically, there is one glitch straight out of Activision’s playbook that will make you “face-roll” on your XBOX1 controller, and it’s being hit through the walls when inside open world buildings.
We Happy Few is quite enjoyable excluding the aforementioned quirks, and fans of Bio-Shock, and Fallout would be thrilled to own this title.
If only Rod Serling could have narrated We Happy Few………👍🏻