One of the most intriguing games announced at June’s E3 conference was We Happy Few, a dystopian adventure where the world thinks it’s happy, but it’s all just an illusion.

Set in an alternate 1960’s England, the aim is to survive a procedurally generated world where the people around you have been drugged to believe that happiness comes from conformity, that following the rules and being happy at all times is the way to live. But that’s far from the truth, as you quickly discover that the world is falling apart as you choose to ignore taking your prescribed ‘medication’.

There’s a sort of Bioshock mixed with Portal vibe going on, or at least that’s the first thing I thought of when developers Compulsion Games played their live demo during Microsoft’s Xbox presentation. There’s also a subtle nod to the Joker himself on those smiling white faces (seriously, look at that menacing face and say it isn’t), but that scene of the people eating at the end? Yeah that weirded me out the most, but not in a bad way. I’ve been looking forward to finally getting my hands on it, which leads me to how…

We Happy Few’s early access begins this week on both PC and Xbox One, making it one of only a small handful of games (including Ark: Survival Evolved) that are part of Microsoft’s preview program. It won’t be the full experience, as most of the narrative will be left to the side until the full release (Complusion are officially calling this a ‘Gameplay Alpha’), but what will be included should at least give us an idea of what to expect going forward. It’ll also weird us out even more, I have no doubts about that.

There’s no price confirmation yet, so you’ll have to double check once the game goes live. In the meantime, we will have our own impressions on We Happy Few as soon as we have the game downloaded, so be sure to tune back in here to get the lowdown. Or the highdown.

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Mark Isaacson is the Editor of PN2. Go say hi @Mark_D_Isaacson and keep smiling. No, really.

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