We Happy Few is a pretty deep game full of twists and turns, but there’s actually a way to finish the game very quickly. The title, which was developed by Compulsion Games, was one of the most anticipated games of the year after making a striking first impression with its initial reveal, following up with a successful crowdfunding campaign and early access support.
Finally, with Compulsion Games finding help from Gearbox Software to a somewhat mixed reception from backers, We Happy Few has seen release. As it stands, the title hasn’t quite reached those expectations set of it, but nonetheless it includes a very compelling story and a well-crafted game world, albeit one that is occasionally a chore to explore due to the game’s sometimes-frustrating survival mechanics.
If, for some reason, the idea of running through the game’s story doesn’t quite have much of an allure, then Compulsion Games did include a secret ending. What’s more, this ending cuts out all but the first couple of minutes of the game, meaning that, if gamers want to see those credits roll quickly, they can do so.
Accessing the secret ending is actually incredibly simple, as pointed out by those fine folk at Gamespew. After booting the game up and starting Arthur’s story, players will witness their character sitting down at a desk. Arthur is running the Redactor, a handy little device for dystopian office work that allows them to go through sources and remove unwholesome information such as references to tragedies or successful campaigns of mind-altering substances.
One particular article makes reference to Arthur and his younger brother, Percy. However, Percy’s history and tragic past starts to take its toll on Arthur, who suddenly takes a turn for the worse. At this point, the player is given a choice: take a Joy pill to remove the feeling of sadness or discard the pills and think freely.
Now, most would-be resistance members would know the right option to take here. Refusing the Joy kicks off the game proper, leading Arthur through the twists and turns of Wellington Wells and also opening up the player to the campaigns of fellow characters Sally and Ollie. However, if the player takes the Joy pill, their journey will end instead, drifting back into happy compliance, returning to the game’s mundane dream, and leaving players to wonder on that potential We Happy Few‘s movie adaptation.
It’s a neat little touch from Compulsion Games, reminiscent of those hidden endings found in Far Cry 4 and Far Cry 5, where the player could avoid partaking in any violence themselves by simply taking a few less aggressive actions and leave scot-free. There’s less to it in We Happy Few, of course, with it simply being a 50-50 option, but even so it’s a nice addition.
This ending does a good job of showing a little more of the world of We Happy Few, and how a drugged population has become the norm. Soon after this, the reality of a world on Joy becomes all-too-apparent in a quite grotesque manner – through something that is not quite a piñata – and if a player has tried out the Joy ending before starting the game proper this scene becomes a real eye-opener. After all, if Arthur had taken his Joy he would have been joining in with that particular activity without seeing the real events.
Exactly how well We Happy Few does for Compulsion Games will be something of interest to follow. Although the studio’s future is secured for now, courtesy of an acquisition from Microsoft, if We Happy Few does well with fans it could allow Compulsion to put a real marker in the ground. Hopefully, there’s space for plenty of other hidden endings going forward.