We Happy Few
We Happy Few is an action-adventure survival horror game developed by Compulsion Games and published by Gearbox Publishing for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It was released as an early access title in 2016 for Windows, with all versions of the full game seeing wide release in 2018.
- When the game was in Early Access, it was only 20 dollars, which would've been a fair price. However, its price was tripled at launch, and subsequently quadrupled with the Season Pass bundle. It is believed that such move was made by Gearbox once they acquired publishing rights, but it's up to debate.
- Despite being released as a full game, it still feels like an early access title, with many side quests breaking, forcing the player to make a new save to progress, lots of framerate drops, freezing, and floating objects and NPCs. Even after early access, the game is still poorly optimized. In fact, the problems are so bad the game's subreddit is filled to the brim with threads about these issues.
- Boring and barebones gameplay that gets repetitive. The game focuses on mostly walking around and solving basic puzzles, while doing sidequests and the occasional stealth and combat, with the latter being very rare.
- Poor AI. The AI sometimes spots the player through walls and sometimes can't even see the player when they're standing right in front of it, and will often lead to mission failures constantly. Some of them even die when the player interacts with them.
- The open world is boring to traverse, despite the unique designs.
- The Joy system, while a cool concept, is executed poorly, since when it runs out, every single NPC will charge at the player and try to kill them for being a Downer, forcing the player to wait 3 real-world minutes to refill the meter.
- Despite the good graphics, there is horrible texture pop-in and constant screen-tearing. Also, the pre-rendered cutscenes constantly break.
- Broken physics, especially when you sometimes teleport to the sky and die.
- The voice acting ranges from okay to downright poor. The NPCs (when you're fighting them) are a good example of voice acting ranging in quality.
- The developers were extremely lazy when it comes to character models, as one might see the same few models for NPCs constantly recycled throughout the entire game.
- Speaking of the developers, they show extreme ignorance and have been ignoring every single complaint about the game so far, and they won't fix any of the bugs and glitches despite the constant requests to do so, even bugs and glitches reported two years ago when We Happy Few was in Early Access.
- In order to even play the game, players have to download an 8GB patch, which wasn't released when the game launched, and had to be added in later.
- There are only two bosses in the game, the White Bobby and Robert Byng.
- Many of the NPCs recycle and share generic appearances, despite the great designs.
- The second DLC, Lightbearer, has a campaign that is shorter than the game's first DLC and the main game, and the model for Foggy Jack is just Anton Verloc's model with some differences: the red eyes and an iron mask (see the similar problem in #10).
- The aesthetic and concept are great and unique, taking influences from dystopias such as the 1971 Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange.
- The graphics, despite the poor loading and popping, are pretty good.
- The soundtrack does have some very charming songs that fit the time period. The musical score is pretty good too.
- The story and narrative is pretty good for the most part, with some likable characters such as Ollie and Arthur Hastings.
- It's a decent take on why you shouldn't go denial-crazy or force happiness.
- It's pretty accurate on its take and satire of British culture.
- Some of the jokes are okay.
- Their DLCs are improvement than its main game, due of its downplaying the Survival horror mechanics for gameplay quality via a linear non-open world storyline, and expanding the main games' lore, with the following examples:
- The first DLC, Roger & James in They Came From Below is given a proper explanation of the setting's technology, and along for the three side characters, Dr. Faraday, Roger, and James more focus throughout the DLC.
- The second DLC, Lightbearer, with two decently-written characters from the main game (Nick Lightbearer and 'Foggy Jack') like the all DLCs, fewer bugs, and it continued the theme of drug addiction from a celebrity point of view.
- The final and third DLC, Well All Fall Down, focus on a now main protagonist Victoria Byng (a now former major antagonist from the main game) along with its anti-villainous (or antagonistic) major characters, and the soon aftermath of the city's fate. It also revamps the combat system too.
Reviewers highlighted that the game, despite being in early access for years, was buggy and issue-laden: Jim Sterling called the game "a joyless broken disaster" and suggested that it should be recalled. Sterling, having performed some minor voice-over work for the game during its crowdfunding phase, stated his embarrassment of "for having the loosest of loose associations" with the final game. Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of Zero Punctuation ranked it fourth on the list of the Top 5 Worst Games of 2018.