The world of We Happy Few was a place that I very much enjoyed spending some time in, but there were some problems. There were bugs. There were horrible survival elements. There were weird combat problems. But the writing, characters, and world-building in this strange 1960s alternative Britain combined to bring a wonderful piece of production. In fact I found it very much… groovy baby. Now though we have the first piece of DLC for the game; a new piece of story that has the very B-movie title, They Came from Below. So I put on my swanky psychedelic shirt again, combed my beehive and went wandering back into this weird and wacky world.
In the base game of We Happy Few you find yourself coming across a scientist called Dr. Faraday, who lives in this uncanny little house in the town of Wellington Wells, with a nice garden and two men dressed in yacht club attire who are in love with each other. This time with the They Came From Below content, we find things taking place 8 months before the main events as it focuses on the two nautical themed men – Roger and James.
Dr. Faraday has been working on a portal device and she fires it up to send her mysteriously away deep underground. The two heroes find out there is a basement leading down from the house to a huge underground facility where they soon find themselves surrounded by killer robots. But can they survive? Well, you’ll have to tune in next week…
From the very start of They Came From Below, you will feel that the story is very much more focused and stripped down through its gameplay. This is not a bad thing though as the goals and objectives become much more centred and streamlined. You play the game as before – in first-person – walking, running and jumping around the world. The survival elements and crafting are still there too, but you don’t need to bother with any of that stuff because it doesn’t take long before you’re given a ray gun/electrical mace to play with. And without a shadow of doubt, you’re going to have a lot of fun with this brilliant toy. It shoots out magical space lasers from its muzzle, allowing you to take down killer robots and then can be charged up for a super shot to open doors or activate puzzles. With a quick switch of the button, the gun turns into an electrical mace to hit your enemies with.
The focus with They Came From Below is much more about objectives and a singular, linear path. You find yourself with very clear things to do, partaking in fairly easy yet enjoyable scenarios to complete. There is some combat to be had too – but whilst it is fairly basic, it is decent fun. It can get a bit too hectic when there are loads of robots coming at you at once, but eventually – after you’ve spent a little too long dying – will start to get the hang of it. There are a number of puzzle elements included too; these are fairly straightforward though with nothing too taxing on the brain.
The visuals are exactly the same as what came about before it with the base game; expect a hugely colourful and vibrant world. The new environment of the B-movie underworld caverns with all its huge cables, elevators and big bright machines looks great in the beginning, but you do get a bit fatigued with the overall tone. It still works very well throughout though and it’s good that the character design is still as great as ever; I really like the robots, and the underground scenes certainly reminded of a James Bond villains evil lair, which is always a good look.
In the sound department, We Happy Few has an excellent soundtrack and audio design throughout, with great effects in the combat sections. The voice over work is again of a very high standard, making the characters fully dimensional and bringing to life the excellent writing. I have loved taking in the two performances of the main two heroes, what with them mixing their annoyance and fondness for each other in equal measure.
This new experience will take you a few hours to complete and that feels like the perfect amount of time to spend in this world. It comes across as a very complete package and I enjoyed this encounter hugely; even more so than that of the main game. Not having the open world gameplay or the survival mechanics haven’t hindered this journey one bit, and in fact, I think it makes for a better game. Of course, the bonus of a new location and enemies is hugely appreciated.
I will be honest with you here though, and when I learnt that we would be given the chance to hop back into the world of We Happy Few with the They Came From Below content, I was unsure whether I really wanted to go back. But walking into this piece of entertaining storytelling has seen me pleasantly surprised, with the prospect of more DLC in the future now looking very exciting indeed.