Compulsion Games / Gearbox Software (studio)
30 July 2019 (released)
27 August 2019
We Happy Few has travelled a bumpy road since its early access release. Over the years it’s seen much needed improvements and upon release, it received praise and concern. We loved the compelling story and gripping gameplay but the bugs were another thing altogether. However Compulsion Games have done a stellar job at fixing all loose ends and now they’re on track in delivering addition story elements for We Happy Few.
The second additional story in the We Happy Few world is Lightbearer. The tale is of famed and beloved Rock Icon Nick Lightbearer and a series of misdeeds which has led him to a devastating crossroads. Nick is a sort of Beatles wannabe whose legion of fans will follow him to the ends of the Earth. He awakens one morning after an extreme night of partying, only to find a murdered fan in his bed and he’s covered in blood. Also there’s a talking rat who’s speaking like his old manager. Either Nick is extremely high or having a down moment or his life has turned into a literal nightmare.
Nick must now find out what the hell is going on and avoid any police, his fans or those who lust for his blood! That includes some of his fans. Now Lightbearer takes a slightly different approach compared to the core game. The story is much more linear, with Nick having to traverse a number of confined locations by evading the law, blending in and fighting off his most extreme fans.
Nick is not the kind of guy to whack someone over the head with a frying pan or cricket bat but rather use his riff-tastic melodies in order to overcome hostiles. Nick will be armed with his guitar which he can play awesome riffs off and dazed his crazed fans. He can also persuade a single NPC to help him out and fight on his side (although this tactic is a little rubbish as the effect doesn’t last very long). There’s a certain element of tactics implied with his style of combat as you’ll need to either time your attacks accordingly or break up bigger groups and take them out one by one.
It’s a nice change of pace compared to the melee combat and evasion tactics of the core game. Nick has a little more room to explore, discover interesting lore and actually have some character development. The story for Lightbearer is pretty decent and one that really taps in more on the world of We Happy Few, the delusion and what drives it. Nick is someone you can certainly hate but really he’s just someone who’s making the most of the world he lives in.
There are some neat set pieces including a moment where Nick is shrunk down to the size of a mouse. It’s nothing new but still a heap of fun. There’s the occasional moment you have to sneak around or blend in, but these don’t tend to last that long and act as bridges between the more interesting moments of the campaign.
The only major downside to Lightbear is that the story is very short, lasting only a couple of hours with very little to come back too.
But this is a pretty solid bit of DLC and a great addition to the We Happy Few story overall. It has a great visual style, sound design and some neat new ideas that work out very well. It’s a shame that the campaign is pretty short but it’s worth checking out for the fans.
++ Neat new dynamics including combat changes
+ Decent story and visually pleasing
- Short in length and little replay value
An Xbox One review key for Lightbearer was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.