I was first introduced to We Happy Few at PAX East this year and I got a small taste of what the game was all about. Sadly, I just did not have the time to delve into the game as much as I wanted to with the time constraints that I had. Now that the preview version is out I am free to explore the game for as long as I wished I could have before. Once in the menus I was able to pick different constraints on gameplay. I preferred the permadeath feature because the world in We happy Few is procedurally built. This means that every time a new game is started the layout of the world has completely changed.
The first thing I noticed was the interactive intro which I had not seen at PAX. This introduced me to a second playable character available in the game. Once I was outed as a Downer, I found myself in the familiar underground shelter where I had begun my previous adventure at PAX. I did miss the garbage can where I had originally disposed of my suicidal roommate so instead I ended up throwing her outside. I began my exploration with the populace being a bit more hostile than I remember. They were not overly aggressive, just miserable with no hesitation to tell me off. Under normal circumstances I would have to be the aggressor in order to get into an altercation.
There seem to be a few encounters that are standard for every game that I played, while others did not seem to show up in every playthrough. Some of my favorite encounters are the eavesdropping mission where I had to come back to a particular spot on consecutive nights and The Cult of Uncle Jack who did actually instigate a fight. I have come across some encounters that do not work properly yet, and the people at Compulsion are listening to make sure everything runs well. The world looks beautiful to the point that I changed my Xbox background to a screenshot of a sunset that I took.
I like how the inventory system is like a minigame in itself. Oftentimes I found that my full inventory simply needed to be rearranged in order to accommodate more items. Crafting items is as simple as gathering the proper ingredients which is great for my packrat open-every-drawer-in-the-game playstyle. For some cons, other than some encounters not working, the day cycle seems to be a bit short. Also, the survival aspects of sleep, thirst, and hunger seem to have a fast runout. Overall I am enjoying this title and I can only see it getting better with every update.
Impressions Made on We Happy Few during the Xbox Game Preview