Preview: ‘We Happy Few’ Will Haunt You with a Smile

Indie developers are relishing this generation due to their massive presence across PC and consoles alike. Naturally, there have been hits and misses, but in my opinion, what sets indie developers apart from AAA counterparts is the effective implementation of ambiance, mood, and simple yet engaging gameplay.

We saw this with Limbo, any Telltale game, and Swapper just to name a few. We Happy Few’s trailer premiered at Gamescom 2015 where it was announced to be in the ID@Xbox program.

The game is being built using the Unreal Engine 4. From afar, We Happy Few looks like it belongs in the Bioshock universe. Its retro-future art style is reminiscent to the watery depths of Rapture, while its dystopia environment is right up there with Columbia (no pun intended).

The game is set in the fictional city of Wellington Wells in the UK during 1964, where its inhabitants wear creepy white masks donning smiles and consume a mysterious drink. Players will take control of a person called “Downer” who refuses to consume the brainwashing drug called “Joy” (yeah I know, right!). Players, of course, will establish a resistance movement to escape the desolate city.

Now, I’m pretty sure this drink not only keeps the populace indoctrinated, but it also causes them to violently attack the player at any given moment.

Of course, there will be some benefactor who’s manipulating these poor sods, and no doubt players will assume the role of ‘V’ in this dystopia hell.

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We Happy Few relies on survival mechanics and expect some stealth and melee combat. Scavenging resources, such as food and supplies, seems fitting for the game and will continue this recent gameplay trend. In addition, tension and paranoia are no doubt staples of We Happy Few a la Alien: Isolation and Outrun sans the horrific creatures of course.

The game is expected to be released in June 2016 on PC and Xbox One.

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