We Happy Few [official site], you may recall, is an upcoming crowdfunded first-person social survival game from Contrast devs Compulsion Games. Besides its vibrant aesthetic, it poses an interesting premise: you’re trapped in an alternate 1960s England where everyone in town is high on a hallucinatory happy drug called Joy but you’re just coming off it. Problem is, this town hates “downers” and if they realise you’re one there’ll be hell to pay. It’s sort-of BioShock, sort-of Orwell’s 1984, sort-of Huxley’s A Brave New World.
We Happy Few is heading to Early Access in July, Complusion announced at E3, and they’ve shared a look at its opening sequence too:
Looks alright, eh? What I like best about We Happy Few, from what I’ve seen so far, is what it’s doing differently. While I’m still partial to post-apocalyptic survival ’em ups myself, there are so many of them around nowadays that the concept is pretty well worn. A survival game that isn’t about nuclear/zombie devastation, but tries something new – and looks so pretty too – feels like a breath of fresh air.
“This isn’t stealth – this is hiding in plain sight,” said the game’s Kickstarter blurb. “We Happy Few is a game about blending in, while you look for a way to escape.” And I must say, I genuinely felt a shiver run up my spine after seeing the piñata in the trailer above.
That’s the nightmare situation Arthur Hastings finds himself in, and We Happy Few has another two protagonists with interweaving stories and their own goals and dark pasts.
Pip sampled an early build of We Happy Few around this time last year and, although not without reservation with regards to the genre, seemed to enjoy her time overall:
“I’d say this is the most I’ve enjoyed a survival game because the theme is interesting and feels like it works with the survival idea in a way that isn’t just about aimlessly pitting you against an abstraction of a body. A few runs in I was starting to lose patience in the familiar way I do with pretty much all survival games – curiosity about later game experiences dulled by deaths and restarts and scavenging and punching – but I still had ideas I wanted to investigate.”
We Happy Few will enter Steam Early Access on July 26.
Remember, you can catch all of our E3 2016 news by clicking on that link, if you so wish.