8 mins read

The Occupation, the review

The Occupation is the latest experiment of White Paper Games, small independent studio based in Manchester, which some will probably remember for the creation of Ether One. The two adventures have very few elements in common, despite sharing the authors’ aim: to create video games focused on the development of one plot and puzzle solving. In this case the skein to be unraveled takes on an investigative slant, putting us in the shoes of a journalist looking for information and answers on events destined to change the life of an entire country. After completing the title on PS4, let’s take stock of the situation in ours review.

There history of The Occupation is set in the same universe as the aforementioned Ether One, although the two events are completely unrelated to each other. The events told in the game mostly take place within a single building, on October 24, 1987. A recent terrorist attack caused the death of 23 people, prompting the British government to consider approving the Union Act , a controversial bill that aims to implement significant restrictions on the individual freedom of British citizens. In the role of H. Miller, journalist for a local newspaper, we are called to shed light on the events that have shaken public opinion across the Channel. A certain Alexander Dubois was held responsible for the tragic act, but some rumors would seem to clash with the official version formulated by the competent authorities. Precisely with these intentions Miller decides to go to the structure where the perpetrator of the massacre worked, which is also the same one where the explosion took place. Officially the protagonist is hosted to interview three individuals aware of the facts, but in reality the real objective is to extrapolate as much information as possible by trying to recover top secret details. To do this it is necessary to access some areas of the building authorized exclusively for service personnel. Just as it would happen in reality, however, the research has a significant limit: the inexorable passing of the hands of the clock.

PlayStation 4 Trophies

The trophies in The Occupation are 16 overall, divided into 5 silver, 10 gold and platinum. Some are linked to completing the story, others to performing certain actions during the game or collecting collectibles.

In The Occupation you have just four hours to try to successfully complete your delicate investigation. Miller crosses the threshold of the building at 3:00 pm and can stay there until 7:00 pm to collect as much evidence and information as possible on what happened. Not a minute more, not a minute less. At the end of his visit he will necessarily have to leave the facility, regardless of whether he managed to complete the work or not. For the entire duration of the match it is therefore possible to consult the watch that the protagonist wears on his left wrist: a sort of countdown therefore marks the frantic search for evidentiary material between one appointment and another on the official agenda. The further variable to keep in mind is Paulie, the security officer who moves through the rooms and corridors of the building to check that everything is in order. To avoid having problems you have to act stealthily: sneak into restricted areas when the man is not around, change direction as soon as you see him in the distance armed with his torch, and so on. One of the safest methods to avoid being detected is to take advantage of the ventilation channels hidden in various sectors of the structure, where you can slip into to reach offices that are otherwise out of reach. As you may have already guessed, being detected can have disastrous consequences on the continuation of the investigation: in some cases you end up receiving a simple warning and can continue further without limitations, but in other situations the player is blocked and escorted to the manager’s office of safety. With a quick cut of the shot we find ourselves in front of another individual in his sixties, who will not hesitate to recommend himself so that the unpleasant inconvenience does not happen a second time. Furthermore, by being in the wrong place close to the times at which the interviews were scheduled, you will also risk moving directly to the next sequence without having had the opportunity to attend one of the scheduled appointments. The Occupation mostly has a limited duration dictated by the passing of time, with the exception of a couple of sequences in which we live briefly flashback from the perspective of a second character.

In the manner of the most consummate assault journalists, Miller writes down everything that may be useful in his trusty notebook: in the first entry the main objective is developed, to which all the elements concretely identified through exploration will be added. We then have a second entry in which the questions to be asked to people informed about the facts are updated. Their number will depend on the player’s ability to uncover evidence that can somehow shed light on the whole matter. Finally, in the third and last item, there are a series of useful observations for research purposes. Although at the level of gameplay While the idea behind The Occupation may seem captivating, the development of the narrative was not convincing enough. Especially in the second part of the story, the events are told in a rather confused and poorly articulated way; as time passes, the questions outnumber the answers and even the epilogue fails to provide a gripping and paced conclusion to the gaming experience. Even the characterization of the characters involved, as a whole, seemed unconvincing to us. On consoles, however, one cannot help but point out some limitations that afflict the control system: evidently designed for use with a mouse and keyboard, the interface has not been optimized to work properly with a pad in your hands. Difficulties that are encountered both in navigating the few menus available and in interacting with the objects available in the scenario; the result is a clear inconvenience of use which contrasts with the reduced choices and times granted to the player. Despite turning a blind eye to the duration of loading times, The Occupation also presents some problems in terms of localization. The dubbing remained the original English one, and so far nothing strange. The anomalies emerge instead by observing the Italian subtitles, given that not all the lines of dialogue have been regularly translated into our language. The hope is that, at least on this side, the necessary corrections will soon be made via patches.

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