The Occupation - PS4

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Also for: Xbox One
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Adventure: Point and Click
Media: Blu-Ray Arcade origin:No
Developer: White Paper Games Soft. Co.: White Paper Games
Publishers: Sold Out (GB)
Released: 5 Mar 2019 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+
No Accessories: No accessories


It's the 1980s in North West England. Well, it's certainly a version of 1980s North West England, anyway. A time of grand architecture, British synthpop and political unrest. The milieu you step into is a bleak mix of Thatcherism and the worst impulses of today's more paranoid politics. A bomb goes off, killing 23 people and setting in motion a series of events that will see the Union Act passed and British citizens' civil rights deeply undermined. Unless, maybe, you can stop it.

The Occupation is, in the words of developer White Paper Games a 'fixed time investigative thriller', a breed of immersive sim that will see you, a whistleblowing journalist, investigating what might be a far-reaching conspiracy behind the Union Act.

The catch is that you have four hours. That's it. If you choose to, you can sit in the immaculate toilets of the building you start the game in, flushing them for four hours (they do actually flush). The game won't stop you, but you'll (presumably) have no discernible effect on the events unfolding around you, because unfold they will.

If you decide to take the preferred route of actually doing the detective work to suss out what's going on, you'll poke around environments, interview people you suspect of being involved and try to put together the puzzle pieces before the clock runs out. White Paper Games has put an incredible amount of detail into the world. Everything seems to work. Want to close those blinds then peek through? You can. Will it help you? Who knows. This isn't the sort of game where the fact that you CAN do something necessarily means that you SHOULD do something.

And the whole time that clock (or, rather, your digital watch) is running. Every prick of ink from that dot matrix printer you're using is costing you time, and boy will you feel it...

The game is dripping in atmosphere, tension and detail. An ambitious outing from White Paper Games indeed.