'We Happy Few': A Happy Review... Maybe

by CD Turner 11 months ago in action adventure

You know I can't forgive you for the two-year long beta, Compulsion Games.

'We Happy Few': A Happy Review... Maybe

What in the hell was this game's development like? It was an Early Access title for two years. I have already made a post about this, but I will reiterate: I am not going to pay full-price for an unfinished game. Also, it's release schedule for PS4 was vastly confusing, because it said it was in its final release in April 2018, but the game in the Playstation Store said it was still a pre-order, not out until December 31st of this year. So imagine my surprise when it was finally released. I don't know if I even want it now. Are you sure you're done? You're not going to yank it back from me before I finish it, are you?

Early Access is a rip-off, and an insult at that. It's like some workers tell you they're going to have your driveway repaved by end of business hours today, but then they say it can't be finished until next week and the full price of the job needs to be paid before they can. This is extortion, game developers! Why would I invite you into my bed if you weren't going to let me finish?! Talk about selfish lovers.

Alright, enough grinding this cheese-grater of unfulfilled promises across your face, the game is actually really good—save for the voice acting, some of them are really overdoing it. I'm American and even I can tell that most of you watched one series (that's season for us Yankee-doo-dahs) of Broadchurch and just decided to wing it. What's that? Most of them are actually English? Then why do they sound like they're delivering their lines while someone's shoving pinecones up their ass?

Enough nitpicking. Let's talk about the things I like, shall I? I do like the aesthetic, it's like pre-war Fallout and A Clockwork Orange with twinges of 1984. The premise is that in this alternate 1960, Britain became a totalitarian country that forces their citizens to take a potent antidepressant and memory-wiping drug called "Joy." Not wanting to lose memories of his missing brother, Arthur Hastings refuses to take Joy and he's blighted by his co-workers as a "Downer," meaning he's a degenerate under this fascist law. He has to escape and avoid constables by going underground. I wish games explored dystopian futures more often, like the old sci-fi point-and-click adventures of the 90s. Fallout 76 seems to be heading toward a brick wall with its sketchy beta disasters and its blubbering insistence on being a "multiplayer experience." I don't like multiplayer because then other players have the sheer audacity to do things like talk to me.

Some issues did arise in the later game. I'm about 10 or so hours into the main story and I had an instance of the dialogue audio crackling and popping. I thought it was my headset so I took it off, but no, it's the game itself. A reset of the application fixed it, but I think this might be a bug from extended periods of play. Also, the loading times are complete ass, full of grass, and you get attacked by ridiculous load times in the middle of traversing through towns. This is especially annoying if you can't be bothered to "Sneak by the Bobbies" and are just high-tailing it to hiding spots. I am annoyed by the risk of memory loss every time I have to pop a Joy to get through Joy Detectors, but that's the point of the whole fascist state. I do like Arthur as a character, but the pacing of story is a bit long-winded. How many times am I going to see the memories of Percy being taken by the train? Also, don't get me started on how much I childishly giggle hearing his English voice pronounce "Percy" because it sounds like another word, a naughty word.

Overall, the game is well designed and I will be finishing it. Although, if I have to install a patch over 4 GB after your two years of beta, I'm going to take a flimsy cricket bat to your ghoulies, Compulsion Games. Happy is the game with no past, evidently.

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CD Turner

I write stories and articles. Sometimes they're good.

See all posts by CD Turner