Play a nice set of missions with good character development in We Happy Few - DLC
Give this DLC a try as it really is a fun way to splurge ¾ hours on a video game.
BY MICHAEL SWINNERTON
£19.99 Season Pass, £70.77 Bundle on Steam
The first piece of We Happy Few DLC is here and it is, on the whole, an enjoyable way to spend four hours or so re-entering that world, without any of the tedium that the base game has.
In this new DLC, called 'Roger and James in They Came From Below', revolves around three characters you meet and interact with in the base game towards the start of the story.
We Happy Few is the tale of a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial in the city of Wellington Wells. In this alternative 1960s England, conformity is key. You’ll have to fight or blend in with the drug-addled inhabitants, most of whom don’t take kindly to people who won’t abide by their not-so-normal rules.
Are you sitting comfortably? Have you taken your Joy?
So, We Happy Few, the game that captured the imagination and attention of people when the first demos and screenshots were released, only to end up ultimately a disappointment almost suffering from the “No Mans Sky effect” as it were, just on a much lesser scale. So, why am I bringing up this nearly a year old game you may ask? Well that is because the first piece of DLC is here and it is, on the whole, an enjoyable way to spend four hours or so re entering that world, without any of the tedium that the base game has.
New yet old characters
So in this new DLC, called Roger and James in They Came From Below, revolves around three characters you meet and interact with in the base game towards the start of the story. Namely, Dr Helen Faraday and her two “Numpties” as she calls them. In which you help her harvest some resources, and then she promptly vanishes in some sort of wormhole leaving the two “Numpties” who have nothing to say to you. In this DLC you play as Roger, one of the two “numpties” in question. It starts off simple enough, you have just a small list of errands to run, not having to worry about how much time you’re joy will last for, not having to worry about having to hide from certain people or avoid certain things. Just merrily going about your day. Even though its a simple errands list, it’s still got a little carry on style humour, as you have to go get a modified police helmet from a woman who is desperately trying to flirt with the Roger, but in the most awkward British way possible (a fruitless endeavour, as will be highlighted later), which was amusing to watch.
Now in the base game, we see Dr Faraday learning how to open up portals and wormholes within space and time, this DLC delves much further into her experiments and her progress into this, as once you get home as Roger, there's a loud bang, and the what appear to be tesla coils on the roof are going nuts with a strange purple swirl in the sky, which evidently is Dr F and her playing with the laws of science.
It's all gone a little James Bond
Prompting a search for the missing Dr F, Roger and James discover she’s got a giant secret underground lab and had so the whole time, without either of them knowing of its existence, and it’s here we see in this small cinematic the first glimpse of the main enemy that you will face, what is essentially, a robot. Which once again has been rendered and designed in the same 60’s-esc way that the rest of the game is in. These enemies which, there are three types and all of them are a pain to put down, while you do get given a new type of weapon, which is a very nifty little thing, namely it’s a ray gun but transforms into a mace if close combat is more you’re pace. In addition, you collect upgrades for this gun so it’s almost integral to the playthrough. So here you are, running around with a ray gun, shooting robots that look like they’re out of Wallace and Gromit.
You two are adorable!
One of the things I really did enjoy with this DLC, was the back and forth the two characters have over the radio with each other, it’s clear they are a couple, and frankly, even in this day and age, it’s still rare to see playable characters and other key characters who are LGTBQ people in a video game. So it was incredibly refreshing to see two male characters be the focus and the spotlight and just seeing two people deal with a stressful situation, and how they are as a couple was good fun as the game progressed. Just listening to their sass and vague sarcasm in a loving way to each other was heartwarming to a degree, and very funny for a lot of it. There was a good juxtaposition between Roger, who is the Oxford/Cambridge educated well off one, who values philosophy and theorising on certain ideas, whereas James, the ex soldier is far more pragmatic and looks at the situation for what it is, rather than what could be. Which lends itself to something I’ve found with my slight foray into the base game, which is it is very well written, and actually some decent voice acting in it. It’s not often you find solid actually believable British accents in a video game or animation, however there was an attempt at a Scottish accent which was a little iffy mind!
“If you liked and/or tolerated the base game, I’d highly suggest giving this DLC a try as it really is a fun way to splurge ¾ hours on a video game.”
WE HAPPY FEW: DLC
I want to like We Happy Few, I love the look of it, I love the idea of the story behind it. However, one my major pet peeves is having to repeat myself, especially in video games, and having this game insta-crash every now and then causing me to replay the last half an hour gets very infuriating. Add into that the whole “Joy” mechanic which again, is a lovely idea, but does get irritating quickly, having to hide so people don’t see you in withdrawal of the drug, and then making sure you wear the right clothes for the right areas. I like the immersion of those mechanics, I’d just like it if the Joy pills lasted a little longer. Thankfully I don’t have to worry about any of those mechanics in this new DLC as it’s not an issue if you’re on Joy or not. Not that there’s any joy to take during these new missions.
It’s a nice straight forward somewhat simple FPS set of missions to complete with some good character development along the way, culminating in a decent boss fight, and a satisfying ending as well.
The Good Stuff:
- Great story, great look
- Funny, heartwarming banter
- Nice straightfoward set of missions, good character development
- Decent boss fight
- Satisfying ending
The Bad Stuff:
- Replaying every 30 mins gets infuriating
- "Joy" mechanic is a good idea, but gets irritating quickly
Review code kindly provided by Gearbox Software.
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