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Hands On With Compulsion Games We Happy Few

At the Microsoft press conference, I was taken back by a strange looking game called 'We Happy Few.’ Described as a 1960s dystopian urban survival game, you play as the only person who’s not high on a drug called Joy. Not taking your happy pills classifies you as a “Downer." Your goal is to escape a city that is on an island, by traveling through different biomes and areas of the city. 

The first thing you’ll notice are the visuals. There is a slight Bioshock feel, but the true inspiration for We Happy Few came from movies from the 1960s.  Compulsion Games’ art director has a very unique style that you may recognize from the PlayStation 4 launch title Contrast. 

Crafting seems to be a major part of We Happy Few. The nature of it being a roguelike survival game means that permadeath is a very real possibility. They have easier settings that will prevent this, but the truth is that this isn’t just a game that you can run through, die, hit a checkpoint, and continue on. You really need to think about your approach and take it slow. 

I only played as a one Downer, but there are three total that have interweaving stories. I definitely wish I could have had a little more hands-on with We Happy Few, but with the early access coming July 26th it won’t be long before I can jump right back into this paranoid, drugged out English city. 

The full version of We Happy Few will coming out on the Xbox One and Steam early next year. 

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