We Happy Few is a newbie for me. Oh, how adore games I’ve not written about before. It gives a new sense of freshness, and it allows me to explore new territories too. However, I must admit I did tackle some cool dystopian games before. Rage 2 is a cool one and it allowed me to explore some dystopian TV shows (available here). And so is Freedom Fighters. Which allowed me to dig into some cool alternate history movies. Check it out here.
We Happy Few VS The Prisoner: The Similarities Are There
But We Happy Few offers new insight into the dark and scary world of dystopian societies. And because of that, I’m going to explore a different project. I’m talking about an older TV show that still sends chills to our spines. Yes. I’m talking about The Prisoner. The 1967 British TV series got a follow-up mini-series in 2009, but the original series remains the best to this day. Both the video game and the TV show have plenty of similarities, and I’m going to explore every single one of them. However, I believe that an introduction to the game is in order.
What’s We Happy Few All About?
Developed by Compulsion Games and published by Gearbox Publishing, We Happy Few is an action/adventure game set in a drug-fuelled, retro-futuristic city in an alternative 1960s England. Furthermore, in this alternative 1960s England, conformity is key. So, you’ll have to fight or blend in with the drug-addled inhabitants of course. Most of whom don’t take kindly to people who won’t abide by their not-so-normal rules. Not to mention, Everything appears joyful in Wellington Wells. Including its roads, its people, and its omnipresent television personality: Uncle Jack! But, it’s a world on the brink of collapse. And it’s up to how you’ll be able to survive there.
But what are some of the Steam Users saying about the game?
* Police beat you if you don’t use drugs 10/10. If clockwork orange and 1984 had a baby says, Crybaby
*While Shisureen says There is so much to love about this game. I really liked how each of the 3 protagonists had their own missions that showed you their point of view on the events. I loved their funny lines and actually the whole world and its lore. The DLC is a must to have too.
We Happy Few is available for purchase here at IndieGala. Just click here and get it. And while you’re here, feel free to check out our cool Murder Mystery Sale. Here. It has over 400 titles in it, and it’s great.
And why is The Prisoner a good pick for this article? Well, as I mentioned earlier, because of the similar themes. But let’s start from the very beginning. The developer’s inspiration for We Happy Few comes from plenty of fictional dystopian societies. From movies and literature to TV. However, the main inspiration comes from projects like Brazil, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World. And the MaddAddam trilogy as well. V for Vendetta and Doctor Who are also a strong influence on the game, and so are A Clockwork Orange and… The Prisoner. Indeed. And I’m here mostly about that.
What’s The Prisoner You Might Ask?
Well, it’s a British 60’s Spy-Fi/adventure TV show that is gaining a new dose of popularity now, thanks to We Happy Few. It had only 1 season, consisting of only 17 episodes, but although it was considered avant-garde for the time… It does have a cult following now. And for good reason. It’s amazing and still relevant to this day I might add. But in a nutshell, the Prisoner is about an unnamed British Man and his imprisonment in a mysterious coastal “village”.
Just before his capture, he resigned abruptly from his job in the government secret service, and his old bosses need to find out why. Is he hiding any secrets? What possessed him to do so? There’s plenty of paranoia and lots of questions here. However, the fascinating part of the story is when he gets to the village. What he finds there. Aside from the loss of his autonomy and overall freedom.
A TV Show Ahead Of It’s Time
Indeed it is. Not just in the actual concept, and the themes that are explored there. But in pretty much every other aspect too. Such as fantastic set design, production design and practical effects. Not to mention great costume design and pretty cool acting. But when you’re describing The Prisoner you can’t help but use terms like Kafkaesque or Orwellian. Because you can find them in almost every episode really.
There’s a heavy emphasis on themes like surveillance, espionage, identity theft, mind control, dream manipulation. Through the prism of social indoctrination and even physical coercion. But probably the main theme is the destruction of one man’s individualism. The loss of freedom is another great one, but all the things that I could possibly write here won’t be enough to capture the scary premise of the series. You really need to watch it. Especially if you’re a fan of We Happy Few.
But yeah. The Prisoner is one of the most original and well-done series on entire British television, and yes I highly recommend it. You can clearly see the similarities with We Happy Few in plenty of the visuals too. Not just in the themes I mean. The clothes are similar, and so are some of the surroundings. It’s a must for every fan of dystopian fiction.
Check Out The Mini-Series Too!
Yes, I mentioned it at the start of this article, but a 2009 mini-series remake does exist. Although not captivating and intriguing as the British version… The six-episodes long, mini-series is also worth the time. It has a great cast and a pretty decent production design as well. But the cast is truly something. From Ian McKellen to Jim Caviezel and of course Hayley Atwell. It’s a mix of American and British actors and it’s also worth indulging in.
Are You A Fan Of We Happy Few? And The Prisoner?
What are your thoughts on the game? What’s your favorite thing about it? Let us know in the comment section. We’d love to know all about it. Don’t be shy. Hit that comment section and let us know.