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The developer of the striking survival horror game We Happy Few set in an alternate reality version of England has been chugging along nicely since its release on Steam’s Early Access platform. Yesterday, they released a new video detailing the 3 distinct playstyles players can choose to use as they desperately try to find their way out of the dystopic city of Wellington Wells. Here’s the video detailing the different playstyles, which function like the traditional difficulty levels usually found in games. Alternatively, you can go here to read the full post on the Steam Community page for We Happy Few.

As we have found from interacting with you and reading the forum posts, players of WHF generally group into three categories or playstyles. For this reason we are taking a playstyles rather than pure difficulty settings approach to make balancing the game for each category of player a realistic proposition.

To accomplish this, players are divided into three categories:

Birdwatcher

This playstyle is meant for players who just want to experience the game’s creepy narrative without all of the hassles that come with a survival game. This mode is also for people who like to explore the world to their heart’s content. When you’re playing the Birdwatcher playstyle, NPCs you meet will instantly trust you and you won’t have to manage thirst or hunger.

Downer

This playstyle gives you the experience the developers intended. This playstyle is more challenging than the Birdwatcher playstyle and needs you to manage the survival aspect of the game. NPCs you meet will be suspicious towards you and escaping Wellington Wells becomes significantly more difficult. If you like your games to challenge you then this playstyle is perfect for you.

Vigilante

The Vigilante playstyle is the highest difficulty level in the game. You will have to carefully manage your thirst and hunger. NPCs immediately distrust you when you’re within visual range, and NPCs have been given a larger health pool which makes them a lot harder to kill.

Additionally, if you want to further control the challenge or flavor of a playstyle, you have the opportunity to choose whether you play on “second wind” or permadeath. We’re getting rid of the existing second wind mechanic (see below), and this mode will basically be normal – you can resume playing after death with modest penalties. However, permadeath kills you forever.

The blog post goes into a little more detail as to why the developer decided to remove the Second Wind mechanic from the game’s normal mode.

We felt that the existing second wind mechanic didn’t make much sense (“waking up” from dying in a damaged state), and it led to a bunch of problems with respawning, design (what happens if you can’t get a healing balm?), and problems in the story mode etc. So instead, as your health (or food/water/disease on Downer or Vigilante) gets low, eg 10-20%, you’ll enter that dying state without blacking out.

The Steam Community post also includes some new screenshots of a retirement home for “little old ladies”. These old ladies will not hesitate to call the police as soon as they’re aware of your presence, so you’ll need to be extra careful when you decide to break into one.

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The post also gives some new insights into the game’s main campaign. The game’s shelters, which function as a base of operations for you in between supply runs, are getting tweaked a bit so you now have to unlock a shelter before you can use it. You can do this by completing little challenges in every shelter, some of which will be almost completely shrouded in darkness until you complete the challenge.

The post also includes a recent video showing some behind the scenes footage of a recording session with one of the game’s voice actors:

The Steam Community post has a ton of info to browse through, so if you’re interested in reading the less-impactful tweaks and changes I suggest you read the full update!

The team also goes into more details on what players can expect from We Happy Few in 2017:

We released the Clockwork Update on December 8, after releasing the game in late July. As you may know, an update like this (where we’re refactoring stuff to improve the quality of our work) means that we need to add some time to the end of the development, or cut existing planned content.

Because of this, We Happy Few‘s will be in development a little longer than the developer originally expected, but the update containing the new playstyles will make its debut on Steam before long.

What do you think of We Happy Few so far? Let us know in the comment section below!

More About This Game

Chris Anderson

Assoc. News Editor

I've been playing games since I was just barely able to walk, and I never really stopped playing them. When I'm not fulfilling my duties as senior staff writer and tech reviewer, I'm either working on music, producing one of two podcasts or doing freelance work.


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