We Happy Few - PC/Steam Review

We-Happy-Few_BoxArt_Horizontal-500x281 We Happy Few - PC/Steam Review

“It really is hard to please everyone when they’re all angry.”

Game Info

  • System: Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Publisher: Gearbox Publishing / Microsoft Studios
  • Developer: Compulsion Games
  • Release Date: August 10, 2018

We Happy Few - Gameplay Trailer

Who it Caters to

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As many of us already know, we live in a very results-driven society and so, if your performance somehow dwindles ever so slightly, you get reprimanded for it. Now of course this doesn’t apply everywhere in the world, but it’s certainly come to a point where people expect more out of you than before, which can put a lot of unnecessary tension on the mind. What does this have in common with We Happy Few? Well, the name of the game speaks for itself as you find yourself in a world that’s tormented and broken, as you embark on a journey to not only save a loved one but to help society cope with its problems.

We Happy Few takes place in the psychedelic 60’s era in Britain, where the over-usage of a specific narcotic called “joy” has tampered with the minds of the people, leaving them in a state of euphoria and completely robbing them of the reality that’s happening. Anyone who loves a great story paired with exceptional voice acting and tactful humor will most definitely find We Happy Few to surely make you a very happy person indeed.

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What to Expect

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When we turned on We Happy Few, the first thing that popped up into our minds was Bioshock, but with a more 60’s style to it and a lot more satire. Of course this perspective is quite subjective and may differ for others who pick up and play, but We Happy Few certainly takes inspiration from the series when it comes to overall gameplay and direction. The game’s universe is situated within an alternate timeline in which the events that took place during World War II, such as the Final Solution, happened earlier but still come with some very severe consequences for both the Nazis and Jews. The Germans invade Great Britain and gain control of the British Empire, while still raging war across much of Europe.

In this epic first person action-adventure game you play the role of three characters, all of whom have their own unique story plot... but for the sake of not spoiling too much we’ll stick with Arthur as he’s the first character you begin with in the game. As you learn more about his past and the truth behind Wellington Wells, the plot starts to grow thicker as now you’re somewhat of an enemy to the ‘Wellies’, who wear happy faces to symbolize joy and well being.

Since you decided to not take one of the joy pills, you start to see the truth that exists around you but are now considered a ‘downer’ by many, and need to take great care not to find yourself in harms way. We Happy Few’s open world allows you to explore the world of Wellington Wells, with roguelike elements in place which basically recreate the city each time you play. What was once there before is no longer there now, and so this creates a unique approach to how you play, encouraging you to use your survival tools to stay alive as long as possible. You’ll learn how to blend in with locals and how to break into homes to acquire specific items, while also using stealth mechanics to ensure you aren’t seen by the enemy as you infiltrate dangerous areas. We’ll dive more into the gameplay later on and provide more detail, but for now this is a small taste of what to expect.

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We-Happy-Few_BoxArt_Horizontal-500x281 We Happy Few - PC/Steam Review
We mentioned earlier that We Happy Few took inspiration from the likes of Bioshock and you can clearly see that in the visual side of things. From the overall level and character designs to the look and feel of the environment, this is a gloomy title that makes excellent use of its theme to create a world that feels too real. As you walk around in the vast open world, you’re surrounded by 60’s style designs, from the very psychedelic wallpaper designs that were all the rage back then, to even the outfits that people wore during those times. For that reason, everything has a touch of realism which gives the game a lot more depth, immersing you even more.

The lighting and effects are executed beautifully, which really accentuate the dystopian societal theme with its use of dark colors and dilapidated housing to further emphasize just how terrible things are. Character models have this very unique feel to them, with certain body parts exaggerated to create this sort of cartoony yet realistic combination, which is quite fitting when you consider the whole plot itself. People are pretty much living in a fantasy world getting high off joy, totally oblivious to the unseen truths that are clearly unfolding around them. Their eyes are jaded and bereft of life, while the Wellies are all fake smiles trying to mask their torment.

However, there are times where clipping does happen and characters attack you through walls, and depending on your PC’s performance the game can slow down in frame rate due to all the sharp details. For this, we recommend to put your visual settings to high or medium for best performance and avoid any sort of mishaps along the way. For reference, our PC specs are NVIDIA GTX 970, Intel i7-3770S CPU @ 3.10ghz and 16gb of ram on a 64-bit OS.

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Sound, Music

We Happy Few not only shines in the visual category but most notably in its choice of music. Everything within the game is based around the 1960’s and so, a lot of what you hear as you wander around is music or even radio dialogue from that era. The attention to detail in this area is impressive and at times we had this V for Vendetta vibe along with A Clockwork Orange as we dived deeper into the plot. The voice acting in this game is superb and make great use of authentic British and Irish actors, which once again only add more authenticity. The witty remarks that you’re so used to with British satire are all there, even in the loading screens as you wait to play.


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Much like in Bioshock ,where you have to craft items in order to make weapons, heal and more, We Happy Few takes that same direction but does so in its own way. As you wander around the world scavenging for items, you’ll be able to create important tools such as lockpicks or healing bandages, both of which play a very important role in the game. You’ll be doing plenty of running around from house to house, grabbing whatever you can find in order to put all of the pieces together and find out why all of these people have gone mad.

From personal journals to love letters, every piece of information you find has its own little clue that can guide you along the way, but also can confuse you at times. Survival is your primary focus and for much of the game you’ll be doing a lot of breaking and entering, knocking people out to take whatever important documents they have, but also hiding their bodies to ensure you don’t get caught. This is where the whole Bioshock thing comes in and it has to do with enemy AI: let’s say you try to create a distraction by throwing a glass bottle, the enemy will immediately respond to the sound made and run towards that direction, giving you time to sneak past them and move onto your next target safely. However, this is where an issue comes into play for We Happy Few.

While the AI most of the time is quite adept to your movements and will alert their comrades to come and take you out, there were moments where the AI just didn’t seem to respond the way they should. An example is when we had to find the key to the bunker and to do so, we had to sneak into the General’s room to obtain it. The area is littered with soldiers and one false move can cost you everything… although we accidentally walked in front of the enemy but with no reaction at all. This didn’t occur quite often so it wasn’t anything bad, but just something to point out. You’ll need to also learn how to micromanage the items you carry since there’s limited storage, but as you progress through the game you can obtain an expansion pack. Another important factor to consider —and quite impressive— in We Happy Few is that you’ll need to also take care of your health. Exhaustion, thirst, and hunger play a very integral role in the game and as such, one must be very mindful while playing.

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The more you run around you expend a lot of your energy, which can lead to thirst and fatigue. This means your running speed slows down and the stamina that you use to swing weapons around is depleted. The game does a great job of informing you by displaying icons on the upper left corner, so be mindful when playing. Eating contaminated food such as rancid stew or rotten potatoes can also have their negative effects as well, such as food poisoning, and can often lead to dire situations if not treated right away. Luckily, there are a lot of items you can scavenge for that can help you remove those ailments quickly, plus you can craft them as well. Resting also plays a major role as it restores your health and increases your stamina and strength for a period of time. Sleep well!

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Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

We-Happy-Few_BoxArt_Horizontal-500x281 We Happy Few - PC/Steam Review

We Happy Few is honestly chock-full of things to do that we simply can’t go over all of it in one review. We’ll leave it up to you to create items, manage your skill points efficiently, and divise clever ways to outsmart the AI. This game is a must have for anyone who has dabbled with survival type titles, but also action-adventure enthusiasts. Of course, if you enjoyed the Bioshock series then We Happy Few is an absolute must because it will totally blow your mind in every way. The only major issues we ran into are the ones we stated earlier such as framerate issues, AI performance and some visual clipping; other than that, everything ran smoothly. This is kind of being nitpicky in a way but we would’ve loved if the subtitle option didn’t have a box around it during gameplay as it looked sort of unfinished in a way. Maybe a patch or something could fix that but again, just something we felt was a bit off.

Honey's Pros:

  • Bioshock fans will fall in love with this game instantly.
  • Crafting items in game is easy and the UI is easy to navigate.
  • The combination of survival and action adventure really add a lot more depth to the gameplay.
  • Character animations are cartoony but still give off a realistic feel.
  • Loved the voice acting. Superb.
  • Visually beautiful.

Honey's Cons:

  • AI at times weren’t very smart.
  • Enemies would sometimes attack us through walls.
  • Clipping issues.
  • Loading times felt longer than expected.

Honey's Final Verdict:

We hope that you found our review of We Happy Few to be insightful, and provide you with enough information about the gameplay and features. We definitely recommend you pick up and try this game as it will provide you with an exciting experience. Be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest news from the gaming world, and of course hit us up on Twitch to know when we go live with our reviewed titles!

As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.

We-Happy-Few_BoxArt_Horizontal-500x281 We Happy Few - PC/Steam Review


Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!

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