We Happy Few release date rumours and news: Coming 10 August
We Happy Few is a rogue-like adventure set in a dystopian, psychedelic, counter-historical take on 1960s Britain. It’s had a somewhat drawn-out development process, but during Microsoft’s E3 press conference the game was given a proper release date (10 August) and a new trailer.
Microsoft also announced on the same day that it has bought Compulsion Games, the studio behind We Happy Few, as well as a handful of other development teams. You can check out the creepy story trailer for the game below.
We Happy Few release date
We Happy Few will be released on PC, Xbox One and PS4 on 10 August.
What is We Happy Few all about?
We Happy Few takes place in an alternate reality version of the 1960s, in the wake of an occupation of Britain by German forces. The details of the plot aren’t entirely clear, but something happened in the fictional city of Wellington Wells to make its inhabitants start taking a mind-altering drug called Joy. The effect of this drug is to make everything seem jolly, even though the reality is far from pleasant. Thanks to the continued use of Joy, Wellington Wells has descended into a hotbed for hallucinogenic fascism.
In the alpha version of the game, your character Arthur Hastings decides to stop taking Joy, and is swiftly pursued by his co-workers for being a “downer”. He starts to see the world for what it is: crumbly, grim and full of creepy masks. According to the developers, two more playable characters are planned for release, although nothing has been said about how they’ll fit into the story.
What do you do in We Happy Few?
When the first tidbits of We Happy Few surfaced, many were expecting a story-led shooter in the vein of BioShock. Then the early-access version of the game launched last year, and we ended up with a procedural, survival title. Aside from a nicely unsettling, linear prologue, the game largely involves schlepping around a decaying city, avoiding guards and finding food to eat.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with procedural survival games. They tend to be playgrounds where the emphasis is on player-created events and narrative, with lots of crafting and status measurements. How this will gel with We Happy Few’s enticing story, however, remains to be seen. Compulsion Games has said it is working on more directed moments, similar to the alpha’s prologue. Here’s hoping these don’t jar against the more explicitly game-like elements of We Happy Few’s roguelike design.
As evidence of its development on the game’s scripted moments, Compulsion has uploaded a number of clips detailing brief animations. The one below, for example, sees the protagonist stumble across an altercation between a reporter and some policemen.
In March 2017, Compulsion released an update to the alpha version of the game. This encompasses a new island (Maidenholm) and a choice of three playstyles, amongst a number of other tweaks and additions. More details in the video below.
The release of the trailer at E3 2018 shows that Compulsion Games has been hard at work building a story mode for the game, with what looks to be some well-written dialogue and strong voice acting. Here’s hoping it all comes together for a memorable experience that lives up to the intriguing, alternative history conceit.