We Happy Few was a game which got everyone talking when its reveal trailer dropped. It’s set in a dystopian 1960’s London where people are medicated to maintain happiness. Anyone who stops medicating is branded a “Downer” and treated as an outcast. It was an interesting concept that we haven’t really seen, coupled with the caricatured art-style is why it got such instant hype. Now, it has been confirmed that dj2 Entertainment and Golden Circle Films are teaming up to bring We Happy Few to the big screen. However, this news has sent shivers down my spine. Allow me to explain.
We Happy Few is another in the long line of early access games. A full release is still not here and its developers, Compulsion Games, are still updating it periodically. The problem with early access games is that people lose all the hype that they had for them. A trailer is released which gets everyone excited but then after playing the early access version they see everything that was in the trailer in the first 15 minutes of gameplay and there isn’t much more to it than that.
Video game movies
I am struggling to think of any video games that have gone on to become good movies. The closest any get is probably the Tomb Raider franchise but even they aren’t exactly the greatest films ever made. The problem is that during a video game there might be 40-50 hours of story involved that film producers have to condense down into 2-3 hours. It just leaves it feeling rushed and doesn’t explain any backstories or character depth. Recently the movie industry have been looking more and more at video games in an effort to create some original films but the problem still remains that they aren’t good.
There has already been the announcement of a Last of Us movie (which I am dreading even more as it’s my favourite game of all time), Uncharted, Watch Dogs and many more, I doubt any of them will be watchable although I do hope that I’m wrong.
Hope for a Happy movie
However, and this might be a stretch here, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing for We Happy Few. Firstly, as a game it will regenerate some of the hype that has been lost, resulting in more players and sales. But mainly I am a little more optimistic for a We Happy Few movie than I am for any other video game movie because it isn’t a complete game yet. There will be no story condensing as we don’t know what the story is yet. With The Last of Us we already know they journey that Joel and Ellie takes so to condense that down into 2 hours will ruin it but with We Happy Few, so little is known about what the final story will be that the film directors will be able to take whatever spin they want to with it.