Whether your first glimpse of We Happy Few was at E3 this year, or in February of last year, when its trailer first debuted, chances are it was head turning but not particularly revealing as to how the game played.
We saw clown based people messed up on some drugs Called Joy and got the distinct feeling that things were far from right in this ultimate retro futuristic version of 1960s England.
Obviously it's early days as the game has just arrived on Steam Early Access, and in my experience so far the game is kind of riddled with bugs.
That said, I am finding the game intriguing enough to push through.
At the start of the game, you can opt not to take your Joy.
But then you've find yourself facing off against the drug-addled inhabitants of Wellington Wells and branded as a Downer.
This is where the game really begins.
You'll start off in In the garden district, where all of the downers or wastrels/s have been segregated into a dilapidated part of town, away from the rainbow roads and skipping civilians in the village of Hamlin.
To call the wastrels downers may actually be an understatement, You're regularly accosted by people telling you to, **** off, and similar delightful salutations, while your protagonist, Arthur Hastings, occasionally amuses himself about his depressing predicament.
Interestingly, the game is described as a survival rougelike, and it features a procedurally generated town.
Before I got my hands on the early access build, this seemed like a massive shame to me.
As survival rogue likes it usually results in you dying constantly.
Since there are lots of quests to complete and things to do, I wasn't happy with the idea of constantly losing progress.
When I actually got into the game though, the rogue Permadeath mechanic mostly just led me to be more cautious.
I never lost progress as the result of it.
A big cushion to the game's Permadeath Mechanic is the second wind feature, which lets you get back up after your health is completely depleted.
After which you have a short window of time to heal from your injuries or run away and find something to heal you up.
It is worth noting that as of the latest build both permadeath and second wind are optional mechanics and they are both on by default.
While you will want to be careful, this isn't the sort of role game where you can expect to be killed off every 20 minutes because of a little mistake.
That said, I'm an overly cautious player in survival games.
My friend died of starvation, food poisoning, and the plague during his time with the game.
So you may need to watch out a little more, depending on your play style.
You will need to Constantly tend to your vitals if you want to survive.
Arthur needs food, water, and sleep and if he gets hurt you'll need to heal him up.
If Arthur is hungry, thirsty, tired, or wounded these will have lasting negative status effects.
That can affect your stamina and rate of fatigue, among other things.
You can also temporarily dose him with the joy drug to blend in with the joy junkies in the village of Hamlin, so you don't arouse suspicion.
Fortunately, these aspects rarely felt aggravating.
And instead encourage me to always have my mind on scavenging, exploring new areas, and crafting new supplies wherever possible.
Crafting is another central mechanic in We Happy Few.
You can make everything from healing salves to new clothes that will affect your conformity stat, which affects your ability to go unnoticed.
As well as tools like lockpicks, weapons, and devices that will disarm traps.
You'll find blueprints to learn to cross these things strewn about the game world and the supplies you'll need to make them with.
Of course Arthur doesn't really earn anything so mostly you'll be stealing, like a lot of stealing.
Like when you would hit up the weapons trader in oblivion after closing time and bag 20 **** iron daggers The amount of glass bottles and empty pill bottles [UNKNOWN] will be staggering.
Unlike Oblivion however, [UNKNOWN] has no indicator of when you're hidden.
It only tells you when you're already doing something bad like holding a weapon or Breaking into a coin box, so you'll actually need to have a good look around and make sure any MPC's are, at the very least, facing away from you before you pilfer their ****, lest you find yourself sprinting away from their house with so many bruises.
Your inventory is limited, although you can expand it slightly with collectible expansion devices.
There's only so much you can carry at one time.
Your safe house does include a personal safe that functions as a stash point.
So, like so many other aspects of this game, you'll just need to think ahead and know your priorities.
This same rule applies to combat, where I found the best way of attacking was using my stamina sparingly, falling back frequently and landing [UNKNOWN] heavy attacks.
Preferably while wielding something hefty.
Belts, takedowns and running and hiding are also valid alternatives.
If you only have one opponent you could probably go to town with well timed punches and not die.
In any case, patience is key as is not getting surrounded.
Eventually you'll need to make your way to the main city to complete your main quest and escaping Wellington World.
This is why things get quite a bit more difficult.
You probably find yourself running from hordes of civilians and policemen screaming that you're a dilemma at 1.4 another.
This is why you'll make use of trap disarming devices as many as the Hamlin houses he wants to raise a riddle with trap.
You also need Jimmy Barnes to break into the house From the outside, and if all else fails, you can pop a couple of joy to get the crowd of shiny happy people off your downer back.
If you don't have any pills on you, hightail it back to downer town.
That works too.
We Happy Few asks you to be careful, clever, [INAUDIBLE] selfie occasionally aggressive and just generally good at improvising when things go wrong, which trust me, they absolutely will.
The easiest way to figure out if you'll enjoy this one is if you are keen on games like Don't Stop and Say You're Being Hunted.
It will interesting to see how replayable the game proves to be when you do complete the main escape quest.
But the fact that there are multiple playable characters on the way should hopefully help in that department.
So while the tense moments are challenging, compilating quests and crafting new items is satisfying.
And while I personally found the game to be pretty buggy in its current state, even being off your joy feels Pretty bloody good.
That feels better, doesn't it?
See, you never have to feel down.
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