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The weird joy of We Happy Few

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The Quality Control podcast travels to Wellington Wells

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We Happy Few screenshot Compulsion Games/Gearbox Publishing

In this week’s episode of Quality Control, Dave Tach and Charlie Hall talk about We Happy Few.

Press play below to learn about the game’s history from Kickstarter and then Early Access (where the original concept changed pretty dramatically), then to its recent release on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One (which at launch reflects the changes that the game’s earliest players asked for).

A lot of our discussion centers around what Charlie wrote recently in “We Happy Few is the story of what comes after the fall of European democracy:”

Throughout its long development journey, We Happy Few has been favorably compared to BioShock Infinite. After playing through most of the final game (We Happy Few has been available in Early Access since 2016) it’s clear that comparison is an apt one. Both do an exceptional job of storytelling, using environmental details, excellent voiceover and in-engine cutscenes to slowly fill in the game’s backstory. But, while Infinite presents an almost magical fantasy world filled with floating islands and superpowers, We Happy Few is much more grounded in reality.

At its core, the game is about what would happen in the 1960s if European democracy had fallen to fascism. Especially in its first act, We Happy Few envisions the world after “the greatest generation” refused to do their duty.

Email: qualitycontrol at polygon dot com

Music: “Goodwill” by The Custodian of Records