We Happy Few is first person action adventure game set in a historically alternative dystopian Britain some time after World War 2, where the population is a bit down on its luck and has begun taking a drug called Joy, which makes everything seem and look better than it actually is. I bought We Happy Few a few months ago when it had its major release, and at first I rather enjoyed it. It was a very alternative game with a strong British Dystopian theme with a rich story. The game involved you playing the role of Arthur, a former office worker working in the main city of the land who is caught not taking his Joy Pill, and has also remembered that he had a brother. Deciding that he wants to leave the land to find his brother, Arthur has to do several missions to get certain resources in order to secure his transit out of the country.
The game is a somewhat stealth based video game, as you have to try to fit into the world around you. So instead of the usual case that you need to sort of sneak around and not be noticed; in this case, doing certain things or not being dressed appropriately makes you look out-of-place and puts you in line for a beating by the locals. The first part of the game is not too bad, as you go throughout the land, doing missions, discovering new areas, completing large-scale puzzles and all sorts. It’s quite a nice mechanic of just having a wander around and discovering new things, all the while just simply trying to ‘fit in’ where you go, but at the same time trying not to lose your mind or your own brand of unique-ness.
As the first story comes to an end though, you discover something interesting, that there is in fact another story to complete. In fact there’s three stories in total as each time you play as another character you have met on the way. Now, to some degree this does make the story a little more rich and creates a new style of gameplay as a result, however; the game just feels like a continuation of a story that came to a good end. When Arthur’s story finishes, it feels nice and complete, but then when you discover the next story, it just feels like, well; ‘What?’ As in what is this? Why is this like this? Thing is when you reach the end of Arthur’s story, you feel exhausted. It’s a long story, and then to be told it continues, you just feel like that was enough, and wonder why you should continue.
I wouldn’t have minded too much if the second story felt new and original and not like the first chapter all over again; but no, it feels like you are just playing the same game all over again. There is very little to discover as you have pre-discovered most of it in the previous act and the missions feel exactly the same; running around a lot in a world that does not tolerate running around; even though running is the best thing to do as everything is a thousand metres from one another. I get it its a new chapter with different missions, but at the end of the day, that’s it! Even if you are playing as a different character with a different skill set and range of abilities, the discovery is gone and it just feels like a repeat!
There is another character to go after he second one, but I am currently on the second one slowly losing the will/desire to play anymore! I might just leave it there; give it a few years for me to forget everything then give the second chapter a further go. It’s all just a shame really, it started off so well!