Have You seen? We Happy Few
Awfully sorry, but was unable to get the video link to properly embed, just follow the link below and then come back for my thoughts…. Please comeback.
A good trailer for a game should get you grab your attention, massage your imagination and leave you wanting more. That is exactly what this announcement trailer for We Happy Few has done for me, and if your of a similar disposition to me then you’ll surely be salivating for more as I am. So what can we glean from this announcement trailer about the game itself? What does it tell as about the game that we should be excited for.
Well first we’ve got this feller, Uncle Jack, who continues in the long tradition of having your uncle be the creepiest member of any family. Awkward family relations aside, this guy helps set the tone of the whole game world perfectly. Here we have a kindly old Mr Rogers like figure who can make anything seem positive even an Orwellian acid trip. Uncle Jack clearly represents the larger powers at play in the world of Wellington Wells, while maybe not the big bad of the whole game, his presence is will most likely be felt through the game. As Uncle Jack talks, we’re given a glimpse into the world of Wellington wells and my word is it an interesting one.
A bizarre mix of groovy 1960s new age fashion for the women, and the more traditional working mans look for the men. In this picture alone we can glean clues to the games location, most probably Britain thanks to the iconic red telephone boxes and the cobbled streets that are common to many northern English towns and villages. The few frames of that do show off the games world, help establish what sort of alt-history setting we’re dealing with. Many have already compared the look of the world to something like Columbia in Bio-shock Infinite, these comparisons are fairly justified but to me as a Brit, they remind me more of some classic British Sci-Fi such as Dr Who and The Prisoner, with under tones of technological horror that the Black Mirror series has been spear heading of late.
But “What of their Faces?” I hear you ask
An excellent question if I do say so myself. In the trailer they show a few people doing a state-mandated drug called ‘Joy’ from my estimations, the taking of ‘Joy’ makes the user hyper aggressive but also suggestible, meaning the people in control can control and direct that aggression as they please. The make-up on the face then maybe a sign that you’re an active user of ‘Joy’, of course the player (Who we assume is without the makeup) could apply it and be hidden in plain sight, so I’d wager that the make-ups try nature is going to be a closely guarded secret for the next few months.
The screen is equipped with a camera that appears to be able to work out who is not falling in line and taking their ‘Joy’. This is where the Orwellian comparisons come into play, with these screens acting as the Telescreens did in 1984, monitoring and policing those in their line of sight. It’s fairly likely then that these cameras will be making an appearance in the game world, acting as sentries than must be circumnavigated past to avoid detection.
When things start heating up for the protagonist, those passing by turn on him, forming a mob that begins to follow him slowly. When the window is closed on them, they crowd around it as they are in the picture, but instead of breaking the window or using their intelligence to get through they simple knock at it. To me this implies that the users of ‘Joy’ become less intelligent with use. Their smart enough to use basic tools and the like but they are for the most part easy to out smart.
Now with more 60’s space age decor we see a bit of what life is like for the citizens of Wellington Wells. And I’ve got to say it looks rather pleasant. Pleasant that is until you realize that your TV is looking at you 24/7 (Insert Joke about Kinect here), again we get 1984 Telescreen vibes with this room. However, instead of dull and drab living spaces that made up Airstrip 1 we get the cool and vibrant world of a booming 60’s economy. To me this implies that the world of Wellington Wells is pretty affluent meaning that the Uncle Jack (The state) is probably far reaching and has control over more than just one two.
This picture is interesting for a few reasons. First it implies the game will likely have elements of melee combat. The combat however won’t be easy as your character is clearly no fighter, as he gets his ass handed to him by a bloke with a frying pan. This is likely to emphasis the use of stealth and your smarts to over come an obstacle instead of letting you charge through with a cricket bat. If you draw your attention to the table you’ll notice a range of needles and pills. This is ‘Joy’ a drug the user takes to feel at ease and submit themselves to the state. One needle is being show in a mug, implying that it can be ingested through eating and not just by the veins. It does beg the question of why doesn’t Uncle Jack just stick it in the food to begin with (I’m nitpicking aren’t I?)
Here with are with the money shot, where our dear camera man presumably has his face smashed in with a spade (Very British way to die). So that was my thoughts and theories on We Happy Few. Of course a trailer is designed to grab your attention and it’s fair to say this one grabbed mine. A master class in how to put a trailer together and set the tone for a your game if ever I saw one. Of course a wonderful trailer is by no means proof that the game is any good (Just look at Dead Island) but I certainly do look forward to seeing more from this game in the future.
Update: Pc Gamer released this video with some gameplay of the game, Thanks Pc Gamer