As promised in June, the alt-history action-adventure nightmare We Happy Few is now live on Steam Early Access and GOG's Games in Development (opens in new tab). To mark the happy day, developer Compulsion Games has released a new gameplay trailer that puts a sharper focus on the action, and the ugliness that lies behind the joy.
The description on Steam has a little more to say about what's in store: “We Happy Few is about surviving in and escaping from a procedurally generated world, where you must learn to hide in plain sight. If you act out of turn, or you’re not on Joy (the local happy pills), the locals will become suspicious and will rapidly turn your frown upside down! Forcefully. You will need to practice conformity, stealth and combat if you want to survive long enough to escape.”
Beyond simple escape, the mystery of Wellington Wells, where the game takes place, and the events that led to its current state are there to be solved as well. That's the meat of the game, but also where it might fall short as an Early Access release: The listing emphasizes that not all of the promised features are currently in place, but “will become available as we develop them, leading up to the full release of the game.” The city is incomplete as well, and full character storylines aren't yet implemented.
There is an element of risk involved in handing over your money at this point, in other words, although the Steam user reviews so far are very positive. We'll have our own impressions of the current state of We Happy Few coming in the very near future.