Review: We Happy Few (PS4)

Review: We Happy Few (PS4)

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We Happy Few is a complicated Game at first look. It’s acquired the trimmings, grand scale, and look of a AAA title. But dig slightly deeper, and it’s actually an indie title masquerading as one of many “big boys”. Given that virtually everybody within the Game wears a masks, it is a fairly pleasurable double entendre, however the true query is finally whether or not developer Compulsion Games – one of many studios Microsoft introduced it had acquired at this yr’s E3 convention – was capable of make us pleased with its Game. And the reply to that’s: it’s sophisticated.

Compulsion’s first title, Contrast, launched alongside the PS4, and together with the wonderful Resogun, marked the primary PlayStation Plus titles of the era. While it was finally a large let-down, there have been redeeming qualities to it. It was an uneven, buggy Game that however had some redeeming qualities, and that by-and-large describes We Happy Few as effectively.

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We Happy Few is an open world Game that takes place in a dystopian 1964 England in a world the place the Nazis received World War 2. Everyone who’s nonetheless hanging round is compelled to take a drug known as Joy that retains folks continually completely happy and unable to dwell on their previous or any unfavorable ideas generally. It utterly alters your notion of the world round you. The distinction between the brightly colored, 70’s world of Joy and the rundown bleak world that you just see when off your meds – individuals who don’t take their Joy are known as downers – is implausible.

Really, the hook of the entire Game is implausible. The dystopian world and the concepts offered are unimaginable and the surroundings of Wellington Wells is partaking to discover. For a time. The quirks of the gameplay begin constructing and making the Game really feel extra tedious. Resource harvesting and crafting are pervasive all through your complete expertise. Survival components are a supply of close to fixed irritation as effectively, though you do have a say in how vital consuming and consuming is to the Game. If you set survival components to low, it affords a chance to get a stat buff, however you possibly can simply flat-out ignore it if you’d like.

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Much just like the downers within the Game who cease taking their Joy, the cracks on this planet begin to leak via and issues start to look bleaker. The Game’s AAA scale is essentially due partly to the procedural era that Compulsion utilises to extend the size of the Game, which for essentially the most half works. But that’s actually all it does. It works. It actually doesn’t enhance the Game. In truth, the Game’s finest moments are all of the extra tightly scripted points because it permits for the story components to be extra elaborate and for the environments themselves to be extra guided. When you’re doing the disappointingly sparse variety of extra closely scripted moments, the Game performs and feels virtually precisely like an open world Bethesda title. Which seems like a praise, nevertheless it picks up largely the unfavorable points: uninteresting, if principally serviceable fight, with peaks and valleys of enjoyment, plenty of recycled and bland belongings, and woeful technical efficiency.

The factor is, the Game is a technological mess. We hit a number of Game breaking bugs which have been fortunately saved by the title’s principally beneficiant checkpoint system, and an innumerable variety of different bugs that don’t actually hamper the expertise however actually irritate. The most egregious of the efficiency issues nevertheless is the framerate. The Game runs at a largely unstable 30 frames-per-second, nevertheless it dips closely in moments of intense motion. And it appears to be a compounding downside, because the longer the play-session is the extra frequent and extreme the body dips get.

And it is a full $60 title, though solely one in all its two “included” modes is purposeful. Sandbox mode, which lets you extra elaborately customise the surroundings you’ll drop into, is a extra of a roguelike Game mode and was closely featured all through the title’s prolonged run as an early entry title. The different mode is story mode, which options three campaigns as you play as three completely different residents of the Wellington Wells. The first marketing campaign you play as a person named Arthur. This is the place the primary misstep of the story mode happens. You don’t get to play every marketing campaign independently from each other, which we predict would work significantly better. The first marketing campaign, which already ran us about 15 hours, felt prefer it was stretching issues out slightly an excessive amount of, which instantly led into the second marketing campaign, the place you play Sally, after which after Sally, Ollie. Doing them one after the opposite felt extraordinarily tiring and by the point we acquired to Ollie, or truthfully even Sally, we actually didn’t wish to play anymore. The greatest purpose for that is that what seems like a two hour story is strung out over a dozen.

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The issues are particularly egregious throughout Arthur’s playthrough, as his narrative is threadbare, and wildly uninteresting. The undeniable fact that Arthur’s true motivations are “the twist” on the finish of the narrative hurts many alternative points of the title. Without the complete image of why Arthur is doing what he’s doing, most of the conditions he flies into blindly are a bit too excessive. If there have been a lot as a touch that there was a deeper purpose behind him doing what he’s doing, the narrative may not have felt so scattershot.

On the intense facet, Sally is a vastly extra attention-grabbing character, and is the true standout of the title. A chemist and mom who crafts black-market Joy, you really first encounter her in Arthur’s marketing campaign. In the two temporary instances you meet up she manages to be extra attention-grabbing than the whole thing of Arthur’s narrative, too. However, one actually cool facet of the title – this is applicable for Ollie as effectively – is that everytime you encounter a participant character in every respective marketing campaign they play out in a different way than the primary time you noticed the occasions. This pairs effectively with the character of Joy, and the way perceptions can differ from individual to individual. Frankly, it’ one of many coolest issues in your complete Game.  

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Each character does mercifully play wildly completely different from each other, with completely different bodily limitations, run speeds, personalities, and even talent bushes. Some skills overlap, however they’re for essentially the most half distinctive to every of the characters. This capability to simply distinguish one character from the opposite is beneficial for justifying why every will get their very own marketing campaign, however we’re nonetheless flummoxed as to why you possibly can’t choose who to begin with, or play all of them individually.

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