We Happy Few for Xbox One, Windows 10 will get a full campaign mode

We Happy Few emerged a year ago on Xbox One as a timed exclusive, catching the eyes of gamers everywhere for its Bioshock-like creepy aesthetic, and intriguing premise.

You see, in We Happy Few, nothing is as it seems. All of the game's citizens are high on a powerful antidepressant that turns the game's post-apocalyptic dystopia into a colorful land of rich abundance. At the start of the game, you begin to see the world for what it really is, and you embark on a dangerous, sandbox survival mission to escape the twisted town of Wellington Wells.

We Happy Few hit Game Preview on Xbox One initially, and its general lack of polish and features saw it fade away fairly quickly. Its initial trailer was perhaps a little too promising. It's quite possible that the Alpha state of the game took players by surprise, leading to disappointment.

But now you can take a joy pill and join me for some rather amazing-sounding news.

The future of We Happy Few

Gearbox, best known for Borderlands, is now involved with the project, lending their backing to bring the game to retail on April 13, 2018. We Happy Few will also pick up even more updates to further flesh out its gameplay (which by the way, has improved considerably since launch), including three playable characters, 250 unique encounters, and a full-length story campaign.

Despite the partnership with Gearbox, We Happy Few will remain the property of Compulsion Games, which brought the project to life from an initial round on Kickstarter. The game will remain Xbox Play Anywhere across Windows 10 and Xbox One, and it will also hit Steam and PlayStation 4 (PS4).

The three protagonists will have unique abilities, stories, and "dark secrets," according to Compulsion Games, each with their own reasons for wanting to escape the British dystopia. The character's storylines sound as though they overlap in some ways, as they hunt for freedom and the truth behind Wellington Wells.

Compulsion Games Studio Head Guillaume Provost praised the partnership with Gearbox, emphasizing the goal to deliver the game Compulsion fans expect:

"Our team was humbled by the initial public reception to We Happy Few, and delighted to have this chance to make it bigger. We're longtime fans of Borderlands, and we're excited to be part of a line-up that also includes games like Homeworld and Fortnite. Gearbox believed in us from the very beginning, and we think this partnership will make it possible to create the game that our community expects.

Additionally, We Happy Few will pick up another update on Game Preview and Early Access today, dubbed the "Life in Technicolour" update. With an improved UI, upgraded AI, new joy effects, "and more," the update marks the last feature pack Alpha testers will see ahead of the game's full launch, as Compulsion shifts development towards finishing the game.

We Happy Few will go all the way up to $59.99 for its retail launch, which should give you a good indication of the quality and depth Compulsion is gunning for. Those who preorder the game will get early access to the Alpha client, while Windows 10 Store customers will get early access later this fall. PC and Xbox One players who own the game already should receive the full game on April 13, 2018, for free. There will also be a Collector's Edition, priced at $149.99, full of We Happy Few-themed swag.

As a fan of survival games, I was incredibly excited about We Happy Few initially. But like many Early Access games, my interest waned pretty quickly, as the reality of Alpha testing reared its ugly, buggy head. To hear that it could achieve its full potential with Gearbox's backing is certainly welcome news. Hopefully, We Happy Few can claw its way back into the spotlight and become a pleasant experience without magical happy drugs.

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Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!