E3 2018 Hands-on: We Happy Few

At E3 we got a chance to sit down and play an entire hour of We Happy Few. 

For me personally, I knew of the game, I had seen small parts of it years ago, but I hadn’t really kept up with it. It was always something I wanted to see more of though and my hands-on time with the game did not disappoint.

The best way I can think to describe We Happy few is that it’s an odd, British Bioshock-like game.

I started in the underground as Arthur, navigating my way around, looting the various cabinets or desks that I could find in order to collect a variety of items. Once I got towards the end of my time underground, I was introduced to the games crafting system. 

For crafting, all you have to do is collect the necessary items (ingredients) and then go into the craft screen of the menu, click that you want to craft it and… that’s pretty much it! The first item I had to craft was a lockpick to help get myself out of the underground. There’s no sort of mini-game to the lock picking experience, you simply hold a button down to use it and unlock whatever it is that needs unlocking.

Shortly after exciting the underground I found a new recipe for “Sick Tea”. In We Happy Few, it’s always important to stay hydrated, fed, and well rested. If you happen to eat a fair amount of rotten food during your journey, you can craft this sick tea in order to force yourself to throw up. Gross but… effective…? During my time with the game, I hadn’t gotten a complete grasp of these systems aside from the fact that it seems if I was low on sleep, hunger etc, my stamina bar was decreased. I never found all of the necessary items for “Sick Tea” either during my play through, but that’s probably for the best.

As you progress through We Happy Few, you’ll be able to unlock new skills. The first skill that I had picked up was the ability to perform a stealth take down when sneaking up behind an enemy. One of the other nice features for those looking to stealth their way through the game is that while crouching, you can see the footprints of the enemies in the immediate area. This makes it incredibly easy to track enemies, especially since you can see these footprints through any walls or obstacles that you may be hiding behind.

After quietly sneaking up on a few guards, and then no so quietly punching another, my quest continued on- having me do a typical fetch quest for a character in order to progress into the next area. In order to retrieve his war medals, I had to venture into the base of some local trouble makers. Of course, as soon as I wandered inside I found myself in a trap- forced to give them all of the items I had on my person. I was sent into an underground fighting ring where I encountered a character that Arthur was familiar with. He apparently wanted nothing more to do with me and was set on killing me. However, I was then given the choice to select either a lethal, or non-lethal weapon to use against him.

This fighting arena was the first time I truly got to experience the combat of We Happy Few. In the demo, I saw a few different melee weapons. These can be used to attack and guard against incoming attacks. Additionally, the game gives you the opportunity to push your opponent, which often puts them off guard, allowing you to get some attacks in before they go back on the offensive.

Overall, I enjoyed my experience with We Happy Few. Even after a lengthy hour long demo, I wanted to explore more of the procedurally generated world. I look forward to playing more and can’t wait to see more of the odd narrative that Compulsion Games has crafted. Those looking to scratch a Bioshock-like itch will want to keep an eye on this game.

We Happy Few launches August 10th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC