VuePoint: We Happy Few

Ever heard of Compulsion Games? I wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t. I actually had to Google them to do a little research before this article, and found they made a weird little indie game back in 2013 called Contrast, as well as signing with a record label for the soundtrack to it. Now they’re back, and they’re all over the place with their brand new title – We Happy Few.

You may have seen bits and pieces of this at SDCC last week, but I’m going to try to do my best to piece together a coherent understanding of it. Note this is not a review, as I’ve yet to play it (RIP Sony players). So what is We Happy Few?

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Aside from a fairly accurate representation of what Trump’s America will look like, We Happy Few is a blend of survival horror, puzzle-solving adventure, first person action and a splash of RPG thrown in. Topical political jokes aside, WHF looks damn creepy. Set in an alternate 1960s Britain where the Nazis conquered England and went on to win the Second World War, a drug called “Joy” is now distributed to keep the residents of this dystopian village in a state of permanent utopia.

One man decides to stop taking the drug, and finally begins to see the world for what it really is. For example, a bunch of happy smiley people beating a piñata and enjoying the sweet goods is revealed to be a rat hanging from the ceiling, and the “sweets” that the players are enjoying are the rats innards.

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It’s without a doubt one of the most emotionally confusing games around at the moment. The disturbing imagery blended with a bright, vibrant art style reminiscent of Bioshock Infinite means that you don’t want to see what’s happening, yet you can’t look away.

WHF does seem to be inspired by the likes of Bioshock and Dishonoured, albeit with less emphasis on action. There’s definitely action in there, but most of the challenge comes with scavenging parts and items for crafting, as well as avoiding the drug-induced masses who would love to bash your skull in, all whilst wearing happy smiles, with wide eyes and white masks. It’s the stuff of nightmares.

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As I briefly mentioned earlier, WHF isn’t yet available on PS4, so I can’t throw out a full, in-depth review, but XBOX and PC players can jump into this creepy yet beautiful world pretty soon! So lucky you! Or unlucky, depending on how easily you get scared…

…That was this week’s VuePoint article!!! Check back tomorrow for a brand new BearSleuth Opinion Piece!!!

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