We Happy Few is a game that takes place in a retro-futuristic British region referred to as Wellington Wells. Throughout the main campaign, you will play as 3 separate characters each with their own strengths and weaknesses as you seek to unravel the mystery of what has happened in the past and the direction that this region, and the characters you're playing as, move to in the future. To keep this review short, I'll first talk about the biggest positives that I experienced playing this game and the biggest negatives I had. I will also try to be as ambiguous as possible so I don't spoil anything for people looking to play this game in the future.
-The aesthetic: The look and feel of this game is fantastic; From groovy British synths in certain areas to slowed down 70s records in others, the game does a fantastic job at immersing you in it's atmosphere. On top of that, all the unique voice acting as well as NPC reactions are really solid at bringing some extra life into the world. (There is a caveat within the NPC voicing that I will be voicing in the negatives however).
-The Storyline: Each character is fantastic in their own way, and the story does a great job explaining how each of their disadvantages and advantages that each character are tied into parts of their persona. The world of Wellington Wells is an interesting, almost apocalyptic, world as well; with many side characters and subplots burrowing underneath each city and even each abandoned lot where the "downers" hang about. The collectibles in the game also offered nice insight and deeper world building, I'm not a fan of collectibles in general but at the very least the interesting quips and stories made the gathering in this game bearable.
-Minor RPG Elements: You have to perform some micromanaging in regards to food, health and drink meters as well as weight management while also being on the lookout for status effects that DO NOT go away unless you have the correct supplies. I'm a huge fan of things like this because it allows me to horde every item I come across and feels satisfying when you finally reach a point where these hindrances disappear.
-The AI: when you aggro a single NPC, the rest of the NPCs in the area and any subsequent area you attempt to run towards will be AUTOMATICALLY aggro'd as well, devolving into a ridiculous chicken run with 5+ people running after you over things ranging from murder to even accidentally trespassing. This mob mentality also affects the sound since with each new aggro: the AI feels compelled to scream one of it's very few alert phrases.
-The combat: The combat in this game feels very 1 dimensional and feels like more could have been done. While I didn't participate in much combat until I beat the game (As I was going for the pacifist playthrough achievement) when I did have to engage in fisticuffs, it often felt stale and almost unfinished to a point.
-The optimization: Normally optimization is not that big of a deal, video games have to load information and a HDD can only load it so fast, but this game definitely feels like there needed to be a few more months dedicated to lowering the frequency of load times and the length of them as well. Within one of the major cities, you will often be hit with 1-3 loading screens when traveling end to end and with many quests that require you to constantly travel long distances, this slowly becomes a larger and larger nuisance.
-RNG: This game is procedurally generated, meaning that the world I played will NOT be the same world you as a reader will play when you first load the game. Although key landmarks will remain within the game, they are shifted into a different layout which is definitely a cool and impressive concept if it wasn't for the fact that collectibles were put out onto this open world (albeit at landmarked locations). With different layouts, trying to find some of the masks was an arduous journey for me and forced me to run around like a madman until I found the landmark that I was looking for. On top of that, there is one collectible in this game that spawns entirely based on RNG, resulting in me spending roughly an hour or two trying to get ONLY the final one to spawn in.
Overall I would recommend this game while it remains on Game Pass as it was a positive experience for me in the end but can't help but feel like this would have been a few points higher if the developers would have worked out the technical issues that plague it. While going for achievements I was able to squeeze 35 hours out of this game which isn't bad all things considered. If I had to put a price on this game, I would probably say it's a great buy at ~$20.