First details on Compulsion Games’ recently announced We Happy Few have come out of hands-on impressions from the PAX East show floor.
The game is set in an alternate 1960s England, sometime after an unknown catastrophic event. In the false utopia of Wellington Welles, everyone is forced to take happy pills known as “Joy” to remain cheery and forget the catastrophe. And people who fail to comply—downers—and show signs of unhappiness are hunted down by the brainwashed and killed. These citizens wear masks similar to those worn by splicers in BioShock.
To keep in good standing with the citizens of Wellington Welles, and your true identity as a downer under wraps, you must watch their behavior and learn what is and isn’t normal. Here are some things that will raise suspicion and eventually get you killed:
- Getting caught crouching.
- Breaking into a house and setting off too many booby traps.
- Raising your suspicion level with three or more people
- Eating too much food.
- Enjoying yourself too much.
While observing, you’ll need to craft items for healing, attacking, and scavenging, as well as find items in homes and shops in town. And you’ll need to do this without raising citizen’s suspicions.
All the food you obtain will contain the Joy drug and therefore must be consumed in proper intakes. In addition to your health, the heads-up-display will have a happiness meter, which will also factor your hunger, thirst, and sadness. If your happiness is low, you can take Joy to boost your mood, but the drugs cause dehydration, which leads to sadness. But when you’re dehydrated, you can simply walk into someone’s house and drink their tap water. But again, you must do so without getting caught.
We Happy Few also has a world-generation feature that automatically creates different maps per every replay.
Development on the game is currently eight months in, and the developers stress that the it is currently only in its “pre pre-Alpha” stage. Compulsion is planning to launch a Kickstarter in the coming future.