One of the more impressive and surprising games that we previewed at PAX East 2015 was Compulsion Games’ We Happy Few, which has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the game’s release. Their last game, Contrast, presented players with a unique style in a world made of light and shadow. This time around they are giving us much more. We Happy Few is a first-person game set in a world that abhors difference and “bad” emotions. You join this world in the first sober state you’ve likely experienced in your life, having come down off the Joy drug that is laced into every consumable in the world.
“We Happy Few is the tale of a plucky bunch of slightly terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful delusion,” reads the Kickstarter page. “Set in a drug-fuelled, retro-futuristic city in an alternative history 1964 England, you’ll have to blend in with its other citizens, who don’t take kindly to people who don’t abide by their not-so-normal rules.”
“In We Happy Few, your main minute-to-minute need is to avoid suspicion. The Wellies really hate Downers, and are very touchy if they think you might be one. But, if you don’t draw too much suspicion, they’ll just wish you a “Lovely day for it!”, and go about their day. Do as the Wellies do, and you should be fine. However, if you act like a naughty Downer and, say, break into a house in front of them, they’ll desperately want to make sure you take your Joy, with extreme violence if necessary, and all their friends will help them. Ha ha ha, what fun!”
The world is procedurally generated, so every playthrough looks and feels different. You’ll scrounge for supplies, craft new weapons, items, and clean food, with the end goal of making it out of this crazy place alive. There will be combat, if the residents figure out that you are no longer one of them, but it won’t be like a standard run-and-gun shooter, instead relying on stealth and your wits to make it through.
Backers of We Happy Few will receive various rewards including copies of the game, an artbook, and even elements of the game crafted after you. The campaign will last for the next 38 days and is already well on their way to reaching their goal of $201,353 USD ($250,000 Canadian). We Happy Few is set to release on PC in June 2016.