It has been a while since I tried out the Early Access build of We Happy Few. The latest improvements introduced in ‘The Clockwork Update‘ promise to improve the technical performance and quality of nearly every in-game encounter. No small task, but certainly one Compulsion Games have proved equipped to handle.
The first change players will notice is the new shelter area encountered following the prologue. There had always been a bit of a disconnect between the ending of the intro section and the beginning of the actual game. Now players will be able to see Arthur move between the areas, rather than just magically starting someplace new.
Another major change occurred with the addition of a new quest state system. Previously, quest tracking relied on a scripting-based system, which caused some encounters to behave erratically. The new code based system allows the game engine to keep track of exactly where the player is in each available quest line. This new quest state system also lead to improved and faster save/load times in-game.
My Kingdom For A Map
Map markers have also been reworked to be more reliable and consistent. If you watched my Early Access playthrough you’ll remember how lost I got just trying to move between quest objectives. This update enables encounter markers to not only track progression, but also let you know where you should go next. So very appreciated.
The NPC’s have also gotten a massive overhaul with this new update. Quest specific NPC’s will now enter into “conversation mode” when engaged by the player. This is a cinematic looking mode (letter-boxed) where the NPC is isolated against outside influences. This means no more sudden ambushes from off-screen during quest dialogue, but also no more hilariously bludgeoning the NPC in the middle of their speech. You win some, you lose some I suppose.
There are a whole slew of other exciting changes outlined in the update posted on the We Happy Few Kickstarter page. Enough that it’s actually worth watching the short video Compulsion released along-side the update, which I’ve included below.
I have to admit, I’m still ridiculously excited to play the full-version of We Happy Few. The game has always looked good, but it seems like the mechanics are finally catching up to it’s promise. This update might finally the one I’ve needed to jump back in and give Wellington Wells another look. If for nothing else then to check out the utterly fascinating world Compulsion has created.