Blood On Your Hands

Doing your duty isn’t always pretty.

You might need to prevent an uprising of sentient robots, further destabilise a society that barely functions as it is, or embark on an otherworldly journey through countless mind-altering drugs. These are the untold tales of the heroes that Wellington Wells never recognised, but were instrumental in changing the lives of those around them. We Happy Few continues its narrative-driven adventures through a drug-addled society with three distinct DLC experiences, each introducing a different protagonist with wholly unique mechanics and their own events to follow.

And their own problems to solve.

Of the three, the third, We All Fall Down, expands on the events of the main campaign. Lending insight into how Wellington Wells functioned as a society after Ollie realised the truth, and how his actions influenced another prominent character to take their own drastic measures.

The second, Lightbearer, was easily my favourite, and the most creative. Following the misadventures of Nick Lightbearer was hilarious enough, but the bizarre combat mechanics made it even more enjoyable. Using his guitar to deal damage (and parry incoming damage) was ridiculously fun. I also enjoyed its final boss, despite it being the simplest to defeat. They Came From Below had an interesting final boss, too. A hectic encounter that required you to manipulate the environment to reduce incoming damage, which didn’t always work as expected. We All Fall Down relied on puzzle solving and navigating the environment for its challenges, often shying away from combat despite how versatile the whip proved to be. You could easily avoid damage by stunning (or knocking down) your opponents with a volley of strikes.

Setting the stage for a grandiose finale.

Unlike Arthur, Sally, and Ollie these protagonists have no means by which they gain skill points. But they do unlock new equipment and new abilities throughout their adventures. Victoria is the only exception as she can find and use contraptions to upgrade herself and her equipment, or completely forego those for the challenge. And the associated achievement. You’ll be rummaging through bins less often, too. Crafting mechanics are notably absent, and each character can only make use of a few items. Healing items are available to all but in surprisingly limited quantities.

Making them ridiculously valuable.

You won’t be able to develop as extensively to favour stealth or combat, so running away and hiding in the nearest bush isn’t an option. You’re going to have to fight. Usually in confined spaces and with limited movement. Or while becoming accustomed to different mechanics.

The diversity of the DLC has exceeded any prior expectations that I had for it, with the developers once again exhibiting their seemingly unending creativity as they craft three enrapturing campaigns. Each featuring the same painstaking attention to detail that made We Happy Few the one-of-a-kind experience that I found it to be. Each adding to the impressive content-density of the main campaign. And each implementing its own unique mechanics. If the developers were considering a sequel to We Happy Few, I’d be interested to see how that would deviate from the established mechanics we’ve come to know and love in this ludicrously content-dense experience. I can wholeheartedly recommend We Happy Few in its entirety, and encourage those who have completed the main campaign to try the DLC.

Have a nice week, all!


The Burden They Bear

They’ve cast aside their masks.

Exposing the truth about the sordid events that Wellington Wells hides underneath its colourful exterior, while making it painfully apparent that their society is on the brink of collapse should things continue as they are. Which couldn’t have happened to nicer people. Not that everyone was complicit to the events that occurred during the war, but most have perpetuated that lie for their own happiness. We Happy Few is an enrapturing narrative-driven adventure through a drug-addled society, in which three separate protagonists discover the truth about themselves.

Or what they believe to be the truth.

Many of the events are left open to interpretation, with few explicitly stated, while the recollection of events given by each protagonist can’t be trusted, as they’ve each got their own justification for their actions. Their perception has been been irreversibly warped to fit their narrative.

Most notable with events involving multiple protagonists, as the actual events often differ, highlighted by subtle hints in the dialogue, suggesting that each is witnessing their own version of the truth. Or that their recollection of events is hazy due to substance abuse. Making them an unreliable source of information, especially when each exhibits their own selfish tendencies on a regular basis. Only furthering the ambitions
of others if it aligns with their own motivations. Which suits the bleak landscape of Wellington Wells (and its inhabitants) perfectly. Rare is it to encounter a protagonist that isn’t inherently likeable, but We Happy Few proudly presents three of them. Which is what I’ve enjoyed most about this experience. Nothing is ever what it seems to be, and you’re rarely able to fully predict how events will unfold.

I don’t know what they’re taking in this house, but it isn’t Joy.

Having favoured stealth as Arthur it was easy to adjust to Sally, who favours stealth due to her non-existent combat proficiencies. Even using the same non-lethal weapons as I’d used with Arthur she could barely deal any damage. Or take any in return. So she relied on her chemical concoctions to gain the advantage. Ollie, however, favoured combat, but relied on his fists due to a lack of non-lethal weapons. Then he acquired a recipe for the best non-lethal weapon I’d ever seen. Which, due to its durability, never broke, despite how many people he hit with it.

And he hit a lot of people with it.

Opting to knock the opposition unconscious has made this experience more challenging, and I’m glad that non-lethal weaponry even exists as it would’ve been ridiculously tedious relying on their fists. Unarmed damage remains absurdly low even after investing in the relevant skills.

Of the purchases that I’ve made in recent months, We Happy Few is easily one of the best. It’s proven to be an exhilarating one-of-a-kind adventure through the wholly believable society of Wellington Wells. Every aspect of its creation has been meticulously crafted by incredibly passionate developers, whose creativity continues to shine in the three delightfully diverse DLC experiences. Each featuring their own unique mechanics and recounting the (often bizarre) misadventures of lesser known Wellies. Misadventures that I’ll be writing about in a separate post, as I’d like to highlight how different and how fun they are. Due to how content-dense it is, I can’t recommend We Happy Few highly enough to those who crave a satisfying narrative-driven RPG. It truly is the experience that keeps on giving.

Have a nice week, all!


Atoning for Past Sins

We’ve come to the end of our time.

Something that shouldn’t come as a surprise to the residents of Wellington Wells, as its bleak landscape is decaying more rapidly than a plagued corpse in Lud’s Holm. Their reliance on Joy to forget who they are and what they’ve done is a problem, as bad batches are becoming increasingly common, and those who can’t take their Joy are exiled from civilisation. Thrown to the destitute and plagued of the wilderness. Scavenging the ruins of a near-extinct society, that has no means by which to sustain itself, as its ageing population will eventually expire.

But maybe that’s for the best.

Arthur Hastings, former resident of the Parade District, awoke to this nightmare, and fled its institutionalised indoctrination to rediscover his own forgotten past. Something that he may regret doing once he discovers the truth about who he is, what he did, and how he came to be here.

I’ve found We Happy Few to be deceptively content-dense, with three distinct playable characters, each with their own motivations and talents, and each witnessing the intertwining events from their own perspective. Arthur is the first, and most versatile, of the three. Favouring either stealth or combat, while having the fewest equipment restrictions. Uncharacteristically, and solely because there is an associated achievement, I’ve been avoiding combat where possible, instead relying on subtlety to fumble my way through Wellington Wells. Only using weapons deemed as non-lethal, and thus only capable of rendering an opponent unconscious. Not that I’d agree that wrapping a cricket bat (or rolling pin) in cloth makes it any less lethal. But only with non-lethal weapons will I be able to avoid murdering the general populous as Ollie.

Happy as can be.

Character development is surprisingly extensive, too. There are three different skill trees per character to invest in, with skill points being awarded for the completion of numerous quests. Some skills, such as those that increase maximum health, or weapon damage, are shared between characters. But every character has their own particular talents as well. Having to explore- and interact with- the world around you to further the capabilities of your chosen character is very satisfying, and encourages meaningful exploration that often yields other boons.

Such as Inventory Expansion Kits.

Allowing you to satiate that desire to hoard every glass bottle, brick, and rock that you find in the bins you’re rummaging through. Regardless of whether they’re actually useful to you or not. Never daring to sell them as you’ve no need for more currency that you won’t spend.

I’m curious as to how my approach will change, if at all, for Sally and Ollie, as they’ve got notable strengths and weaknesses. Which is as exciting as it is terrifying, as there might be some really annoying mechanics pertaining to those two. Or they might be jolly good fun. Sally, who seems to favour stealth, and chemical warfare, should be easy to adjust to from my time with Arthur. Ollie, however, needs to fight. Needs to rely solely on non-lethal weapons to avoid undoing everything that I’ve done in the last fifty hours. I’m fairly proficient at engaging in combat, but I’ve never had to default to it. So I’m (rather surprisingly) unsure whether I can. But I believe that your experiences should teach you something about yourself, and relying on stealth in We Happy Few has certainly done that. I’ve learned that I’m really good at running away.

Have a nice week, all!