We Happy Few is a game that has been on many people’s radar for quite some time after debuting at PAX East 2015 with a fantastic trailer and very early hands on demo for attendees. You play as Arthur Hastings, a regular citizen of Wellington Wells; a dystopian English village that seems lifted straight from George Orwell’s 1984. Arthur starts to notice something is awry and decides to stop taking his Joy; the ecstasy-like drug that everybody else in Wellington Wells is under the influence of.
Thematically, a lot of comparisons have been made to BioShock, which is fair, but the theme and setting is where the similarities begin and end. Despite We Happy Few having a prologue that implies a narrative driven experience, it only lasts for a few minutes as your work colleagues realise you’re not taking your Joy anymore, call security on you then as you try to flee you’re bludgeoned over the head and wake up a few days later in an underground room with minimal supplies. From then onwards, you’re fending for yourself in the procedurally generated world that is Wellington Wells.