Review: We Happy Few (Steam)

From the independent studio that brought you Contrast, We Happy Few is an action/adventure game set in a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England. Hide, fight and conform your way out of this delusional, Joy-obsessed world.

Pros:

  • Charming bright cartoon-like graphics.
  • 11074MB Download size.
  • Steam achievements.
  • Graphics options- Aspect ratio, Resolution, v-sync, frame rate limit, quality preset and FOV slider.
  • Game and HUD options like what icons show, Subtitle size etc.
  • Four difficulties- Easy, Normal, Hard and custom.
  • Controller support.
  • Controls- Sensitivity sliders, invert axis and keyboard mapping.
  • Can skip cutscenes.
  • Strong voice acting performances.
  • Tutorial pop-ups.
  • The crafting system that is split into categories like weapons, items, and healing. Uses a simple craft list and items needed then just press a button or use a crafting table for larger crafts.
  • On-screen button prompts and icons for missions and waypoints.
  • Scavenge resources from plants, car boots, people, chests, furniture and more.
  • Clear mission and side quest section. Can set which one to run with, Look at it on the map.
  • Save when you want.
  • Vending machines for resources/items.
  • Stamina system for running, jumping, climbing and fighting.
  • Map- Fills in as you play and adds points of interests and custom markers.
  • Notes- Collectibles that add more story and context.
  • Stealth mode- Can see the enemies footprints even through walls.
  • Earn points by playing which are then used to spend in the skill tree to unlock new abilities and increase health and stamina.
  • A fantastic gameworld to explore very rustic countryside set in the 60s.
  • Fast travel between any discovered access hatches.
  • Masks- Again another optional collectible that when you find will trigger a flashback of an event.
  • Central stash system that allows you to still craft with the contents even if you are not near it.
  • Day/night cycle with weather effects like rain.
  • A flowing game structure, Go here to do this to do that to unlock this.
  • Easy to jump into.

Cons:

  • Mouse cursor stays onscreen when using a controller.
  • Loading times/frequency.
  • Hacking and lockp[icking is just a case of holding a button down.
  • Boring quests that all feel the same and has a lot of fetch quests.
  • Very generic skill tree. Usual culprits like increase health, Unlock stealth kills.
  • Many weird glitches like clipping, Enemies able to hit you when they are clearly no in range. AI teleporting, AI stuck in an animation in a doorway.
  • The story is actually quite hard to follow with so many side quests.
  • Simplistic combat- Just your block and attack affair.
  • Repetitive scenarios both side and main quests.
  • Little reason to explore as the game caters to you in every way as you just follow the checkpoints.
  • The whole game feels like it runs out of steam.
  • NPC all look and sound the same.
  • They use this fade in effect to skip having to add animation sequences. Its very odd and ruins any possible immersion.

The Numbers:
  • 7/10
    Graphics - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Accessability - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Length - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Fun Factor - 6/10
6.8/10

Summary

After playing many hours of the early access version, I too didn’t like how much of a crafting survival game it was turning out to be. That said what we have now which is a lot more narrative driven and varied is only marginally a bit better. Its a classic case of it’s not that bad and not that good, It is just OK. It has a lot of weird things going on and all these mechanics like stealth never seem either finished or fully worked out. The story is actually one you have heard before but you will struggle to actually see it as you eventually just get bombarded by side quest after side quest. I like the game world but again I don’t need to really explore as I get better rewards just following the path, Combat is way too basic no matter the weapon and is the same case with leveling up and crafting. For a game, so long in early access it still feels like it needs more time. Its a shame but who knows they may No man sky it? In short, the game promised so much but fell down in too many places thus making it ok and not just play.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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