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We Happy Few - We All Fall Down DLC Impressions: Ashes, ashes

A trippy new DLC expansion culminates in the end of We Happy Few as we know it, but was the whole thing worth the journey?


What happens when a drug-addicted town finds itself torn apart by its citizens once and for all? It might look something like We Happy Few's third and final piece of DLC, We All Fall Down. It's an intriguing cap to the promised trilogy of expansions, and one of the most exciting bookends to the game thus far. It's just a shame that things are coming to an end at last, because this was a world I was very much interested in exploring more.

We Happy Few's prior DLC installments with both Roger & James in They Came From Below and Lightbearer, both extended the game's narrative through characters like lovers Roger Bacon and James Maxwell and rock superstar Nick Lightbearer. We All Fall Down is all about the game's main protagonist Arthur Hasting's former supervisor, Victoria Byng. Byng also happens to be the daughter of one of the creators of Wellington Wells's odd way of life.

When the scenario begins, Byng has just run out of the state-appointed "happy" drug Joy, and she finds herself going through withdrawals. It's a terrifying pill that really warps everyone's sense of what's real and acceptable, and as soon as you stop taking it and see the world for what it is, you're in trouble – both mentally and with the law. As soon as she runs out of Joy, Victoria makes it a point to go find some again, but there's a mass shortage. Things are going to hell in a handbasket around the city, and nothing is the way it should be.

The solution? Rallying against the man, of course. One thing leads to another, and Victoria finds herself soon working to bring down those in power, and peeling back the layers of corruption to expose the hard truth behind those in power. Victoria is an exciting character to get to know, and her tale is a fitting one to draw the story of Wellington Wells to a close.

You may be aware of the fact that the two prior pieces of DLC each contained unique variations on the core game's mechanics. We All Fall Down places a unique focus on stealth elements. In fact, Victoria spends much of her time hopping from roof to roof instead of climbing down to mingle with the crazed rabble below. There's a lot of traveling through hidden areas, waiting around for enemies to disappear before proceeding, and crawling around through air vents.

Because of this, it's a far cry from the in-your-face action of the original We Happy Few's campaign. This may not sit well with some, but I found it to be reminiscent of games like Thief, one of my favorite series. For one thing, I love Victoria's whip. It's a versatile tool that you can use to attack with or lift yourself up onto rooftops. You can also use a special stun gun to electrocute others and mess about with surveillance TV and other electronics that need to be deactivated. Both go a long way in ensuring the stealth landscape continues throughout the entire adventure.

There are a few very challenging and menacing boss encounters, as well as a debonair escape challenge that feels like a scene torn straight from the pages of the No One Lives Forever series. In fact, much of the DLC's aesthetic (and We Happy Few as a whole) feels like that. There's a satisfying, cartoonish lilt to the environments, with a jaunty '60s vibe that permeates the dialogue, music, and even the ads dotting the landscape. I was especially smitten with Victoria's voice actress, and wish I had gotten more of a chance to get to know her before the DLC came to an end.

My only real complaint was the fact that We All Fall Down wasn't very long, as it only took me a few hours to complete, and I feel as though I could've spent less time if I didn't poke around so much. It is, by far, the best DLC installment We Happy Few was lucky enough to receive, and all things combined, it makes for an exciting climax for one of the most unique games we've seen over the past few years.

Here's hoping We Happy Few ends up getting a sequel in the near future. It would be a shame if this ended up being the end.

Senior Editor

Fueled by horror, rainbow-sugar-pixel-rushes, and video games, Brittany is a Senior Editor at Shacknews who thrives on surrealism and ultraviolence. Follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake and check out her portfolio for more. Like a fabulous shooter once said, get psyched!

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