• Vasco "RaginRamen"

Updated: May 30


Lets See How Well You Really Do At Investigating?

In An Alternate Timeline, It’s the 80s, England.

The world is revealed to us through newspapers, bits of conversation and the radio station that can be heard in several locations. With the government tearing itself apart over cuts and Immigration Levels, they come across a “solution” called The Union Act. This law is controversial and scary and it is made even more so by the news of a terrorist attack that you are investigating.

The story does jump between the past and the present, but it’s not jarring and serves to strengthen the purpose of your investigation of the attack that happened. In the past you get some flashbacks of Scarlet, whose partner Michael was lost in the explosion, Henry is our present-day protagonist investigating this attack because all is not as it seems as there is the possibility that Alex (the accused) may not have done it. Although I came upon many cliches taken from the conspiracy genre, they didn’t feel tired or broken, they felt real and almost too on the nose about the subject this game explores.

So far, however, I am really enjoying it and find myself getting caught up arguing with characters.

I will solve this mystery, the game has grabbed me enough that I want to see how it ends.

Love the characters, Scarlet and Charles and their friendship with each other after the loss of Michael, how they deal with it. Henry I haven’t got to know well yet. Marlon, I don’t know a thing about him other than his messages in notes, but when I hear the radio coming in the distance, I know it’s my buddy, Marlon. Another great character is Steve, the wannabe actor-cum-security guard, his personality shines naturally.



Having a Lot of Fun So Far, and That’s the Most Important Thing Right?

You have all the mechanics you expect to have, hacking into computers, collecting keycards, breaking into offices and interrogating different staff members with the clues you find as evidence. The whole investigating and interrogating aspect of the game works for me.

It just enough works that when you trip someone over their lies you can’t help but point and shout A-HA!

They got that right. What doesn’t work for me is how accessible everything is. There has just been a huge bomb go off some months ago and the security is horrendous, not only is it easy to find vents to crawl into but there are chalk markings telling you where to go (It may be vital to the story, I don’t know), this just makes things way too easy and makes me wonder why I even need keycards. I’ve been caught only once so far, and all I got was an

“aw shucks, don’t do it again”??? Really? That was it? The AI also doesn’t seem to notice when vents have been pulled open and have walked right past me when I am standing in a no go area once or twice. It’s not the best and leads me to think if this game was not finished to the standard they wanted it.



80s Inspired Electro Beats and Guitar Solos Had Me Tapping My Foot

The dialogue, well I don’t need to go on again about how much I loved it, not just the delivery of lines but the social commentary was interesting and thought-provoking. Not all of it was serious and the chuckle I got from Steve’s audition tapes broke up the mood and kept things from getting too heavy.

All these good points about the sound make it all the weirder that the Sound Mixing was way, way off.

Multiple times in my playthrough I would panic when hearing someone approaching me, only to discover they were upstairs or in a different room. For a stealth game, this is really bad, making it another reason to make me feel The Occupation is unfinished or rushed through production.

The graphics are decent, nothing to shout about and also a comfortable style with a warm colour palette. The environment design is again, nothing to blow me away. There was nothing bad about it, it just didn’t give me anything.


Replay Value

With all the freedom and choice that you have in the game, there is definitely room for replayability, if only to get all the clues and find out all the secrets that the company holds. But with the bad sound design and simple AI, do I want to go through all that again? I guess it depends on how much of a completionist you are.


Final Thoughts

I expected so much with this game, and maybe that was part of the problem, that I had put it on this pedestal of what I wanted it to be. It’s like a burnt pie that you cooked too quick at too high a heat, there are some tasty bits in the middle that you can smell and would love to enjoy, but you have to bite through the burnt crust that is this games AI and Sound Design. Why did you rush the pie White Paper Games? Why?

We could have had something brilliant here.


Pros

+ Brilliant voice actors helping you engage more with each of the interesting characters

+ Multiple solutions for individual problems, giving us choice and freedom

+ Intriguing plot. Who doesn’t love an investigative conspiracy thriller?

+ Absorbing and well-written Dialogue

+ Real-time mechanic adds tension and urgency.


Cons

- Almost too easy to break into every room.

- Stealth Mechanic is basic and needs tuning

- Guard AI is too simple

- Badly implemented Sound Mixing



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