First of all, WE Happy Few is a first person survival game set in a retro-futuristic 1960s city called Wellington Wells. However, the inhabitants are all on a happy-drug called joy. Therefore, your primary objective is to survive in the city, as you discover the effect of the pill. The game is currently in the alpha stage of early access.
After watching the E3 trailer of this game, my attention was caught immediately simply due to the random nature of the story. In the prologue (shown in the E3 trailer), you decide to skip taking the joy pill, allowing you to start remembering things. You are then outed as a ‘downer’ and forced to run for your life and make way into the town. Overall, the prologue starts very strong, wanting the gamer to find out more. However, this is the only part of the main story line that is playable in its current state. Obviously, being in alpha, I did expect some aspects of the game to be sacrificed, but the lack of a main story line came as a huge disappointment, especially for the £22.99/$29.99 price tag. Although, there is no main story line, there are quite a few interesting side quests, but hopefully we can see more as the game progresses.
Asides from this, the game manages to implement a solid survival system where players will have to manage hunger, thirst, fatigue and several other unique factors. These factors will need to be checked very regularly which may come as a bit of a chore for some players. Furthermore, there is also a reasonably polished crafting system that allows players to create new recipes, weapons and other contraptions. In addition, the combat system is simplistic, but works well. On the other hand, players will have to create each item individually as there is no way of crafting multiple items at once. Moreover, the inventory screen is very messy when players acquire lots of items, as there are no ‘sort’ options. This will definitely need to be implemented in the game.
The World is procedurally generated each time you start a new game, however, everything still seems to feel the same. The addition of more interesting landmarks would add more lore to its potentially fascinating story, making the player feel more immersed. The developers need to find the right balance between the survival element and the actual story/ games world.
In terms of art and sound design, We Happy Few excels with flying colours. The art style is fantastic and very reminiscent of the bioshock games, but with much brighter psychedelic colours linking very well with the game’s story concept.
Overall, We happy Few is a game that screams potential, but unfortunately is rather lacklustre in its current state. The distinctive nature of the game’s story holds the potential for its success. Hopefully, the developers can get their heads down and create a masterful story line, with clever writing and interesting characters, fulfilling the potential. To conclude, as of now, I would not recommend the game for its price as there is too much content missing, and would advise waiting until further updates arrive.