The end of trilogies can be hit and miss affairs. They have so much weight on their shoulders, needing to deliver that final ‘kick in the teeth’ chapter of a beloved story that people so desire. However, for every Return of the Jedi, there is a Matrix Revolution. And in We Happy Few we’ve had a trilogy of new content promised since the release of the main game and, in my opinion, they have been inventive, great fun and even better experiences than the source material. They have also told three very distinct and individual stories, all while still being set in the We Happy Few universe. But can the concluding part of this trilogy – We All Fall Down – deliver the goods and take us home in a pleasant and rewarding way?
In We Happy Few – We All Fall Down you play as Victoria Byng, the daughter of one of the main engineers of the system of government that makes up the city of Wellington Wells. The game starts with just the usual normal day, but Victoria has run out of Joy (the state-sanctioned happy drug that keeps the population in line and stops you become a dreaded downer). She heads out into the town to find some Joy but soon discovers that there is a shortage and things around the town are falling apart. Soon you’re on a mission to bring down the establishment, trying to find out the truth about the system and attempting to free citizens from their drug-induced lives. The story and the writing is – as always – excellent, and once more the whole thing runs as a brilliantly conceptual storyline, working with themes of fascism and state control that are delivered through humour and drama with perfection. Victoria is a likeable new character too, and throughout we are introduced to some strange and disturbing figures that provide us with a real insight into the universe.
Gameplay-wise, each piece of the content trilogy has been completely different from the last. From the first DLC of Roger & James in They Came From Below, we were found enjoying puzzles and ray guns, whilst Lightbearer was the second, with all efforts focused on using special guitar attacks. In this one though, you have a whip. The whip is a powerful weapon at your disposal; one that you can use to attack any enemies coming towards you, but also it can be used to pull yourself up onto the rooftops to swing across high up ledges.
The good news is, like the other bits of DLC, the survival elements of the game have been thrown away. Stealth is a key gameplay technique in this content pack and it does it very well indeed. You have the option here to prowl the rooftops, moving around the locations silently without alerting the coppers or drug-crazed population. You also traverse through a lot of vents and hide behind barriers or in undergrowth, waiting for the prime time to action stealth takedowns, or to ensure that your enemies give you less aggro.
In the latter stages of We All Fall Down you’ll also gain access to a gun that can electrocute enemies and most importantly turn off surveillance TVs that will alert the authorities to your presence, all by firing an electrical charge at them. As you progress through the story you can also find some components dotted around the levels that provide you with upgrades, from making your stamina stronger while using the whip to even upgrading abilities so you won’t be heard while crouching.
There are also some excellent set pieces included like a James Bond styled action-escape section along with some decent boss battles. I sometimes think the enemies could do with a bit of a higher intelligence level though, as they can occasionally be a bit stupid as to whether they see you or not, and when they all start running after you it does get a bit ridiculous and annoying.
The visuals though are brilliant, still coming with that comic look to things, and I personally think they’ve had a little upgrade over those that have come before. The cutscenes are stunning too, as are the character animations. In fact, the whole tone of the game is still consistent with the 1960’s vibe that We Happy Few has embraced, and there are some very witty, well designed posters dotted around. The voiceover work is – as always – right up there with the best of the best, with the main character delivering a solid endearing performance.
I’ve really enjoyed this latest and last piece of DLC for We Happy Few. It’s been an excellent season of extra gaming goodness, and if you decide to play through the base game plus all of the additional extras you’ll discover a very tasty package indeed. We All Fall Down on Xbox One is my second favourite episode just behind Lightbearer and I have loved the storytelling and whip action immensely. Yes, the enemies do come across as a bit useless and it’s sometimes hit and miss whether they see you or not, but the pros far outweigh the negatives in that respect.
I do hope this isn’t the end for We Happy Few though, and a sequel to this franchise or even the addition of further episodes down the line would be great. It’s a wonderful universe and one that I feel a bit sad to say goodbye to.