The makers of Contrast have released a teaser for their next project that was introduced with a couple photos a few weeks back– one of a rather unnaturally happy woman in a mask and another of a colorful street corner- that will be titled We Happy Few. The game was formally announced today on Compulsion Games’ website. Compulsion describes We Happy Few as “the tale of a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial.”
The game is set in the city of Wellington Wells in an alternate 1960s England. Everyone walks around with one of those weird white masks on, seemingly fueled in their unnatural happiness by a drug called Joy. The narrator of the trailer is Uncle Jack whose black and white image follows the viewpoint character around through the city who is apparently not doing what they are supposed to- that is, not taking their Joy and generally being “a downer.” The people of Wellington Wells do not take kindly to downers, as they begin to chase the character with weapons until they are eventually taken out with a shovel to the head.
The goal of the game is to not end up in this situation and instead blend in with the inhabitants despite not wanting to follow the society’s rules. The specific story of the game hasn’t been detailed yet, but it appears that danger will lurk in every corner even from the regular citizens of Wellington Wells. The happy atmosphere is twisted on its head to become extremely unsettling. So far it seems like Compulsion is not stepping back from the ambitious take on difficult themes.
Compulsion is showing We Happy Few much earlier in development than they did Contrast. The developers want to involve fans earlier in the process in order to better match what the players want from the game. Their first outreach will be at PAX East in Boston at the beginning of March where Compulsion will be showing off what they have at this point and inviting people to join their pre-alpha community. They also invite the online community to ask some questions on their forums. No platform or estimated release date has yet been announced. Check out the teaser below.