We Happy Few is meant to be a sprawling survival game played out on a maggot-ridden, drug-addled British stage, but it doesn’t have to be.
At the very beginning, the game gives you a choice: pop a pill of Joy, the drug that keeps the citizens of Well Wellington from remembering some Real Messed Up Shit that went down in the past, or don’t. The first time I played the game’s promising-but-barebones Early Access version, I refused to take my prescribed Joy dosage because fuck the man, and also I wanted to see just how ugly things would get without it in my character’s system.
On my second go, though, I decided to begin the game on a more Joyful note. Here’s what happened:
“Snug as a bug on a drug.” Roll credits.
It’s cheeky and on-the-nose, but it makes sense. That is, in all likelihood, what your character did at his history-censoring job every day before this one. So, revelatory moment squashed, he gets on with his blissed-out life. No need for a video game here. The end.
Aside from the opening segment, the game’s main story isn’t really in yet. It seems like it could go in some exciting, unsettling directions, though. I’m holding out hope, despite the fact that the game isn’t entirely great just yet.