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E3 2016: We Happy Few Doesn’t Take Kindly To Downers

Montreal-based developers Compulsion Games’ upcoming Xbox One and Windows 10 game, We Happy Few, looks like a pleasant one, but only if you remember to swallow a little happy pill called Joy. In an alternate George Orwellian dystopia where everything is basically the worst, nearly everyone relies on this magical drug to mask just how truly ugly their reality is. Unless you’re a Downer who refuses to take the pill, in which you’re in big trouble.

From a visual and tonal standpoint, We Happy Few seems to draw a lot from the BioShock series—with a dash of Clockwork Orange—only this time you’re in a retro-futuristic city called Wellington Wells. In place of guns and special powers, it looks as though you’ll be wasting most of your energy bludgeoning enemies with cricket bats.

In the game’s intro, which you can check out below, you’ll meet a character named Arthur Hastings, who works at City Hall’s Department of Archives, Recycling and Printing. After doing a little digging, we learned Arthur is actually just one of three playable characters drying to escape Wellington Wells.

We Happy Few was first playable at PAX East 2015, and now E3. More happy few will be able to get their hands on it next month, when the game gets the Stream Early Access and Xbox Preview treatment July 26, allowing gamers to sample what was playable at this week’s E3. As for its wide release, mark your calendar for early 2017. And don’t forget to smile!