We at Cliqist have long kept our eyes on White Paper Games’ The Occupation. Set in an alternate history 1980’s England, you play a journalist who’s taken it upon himself to find the truth behind a terrorist attack that’s led to the Union Act. The Union Act is legislation that will allow the government to spy on citizens is insanely personal way. Ah, remember when that was our biggest worry a couple of years ago? Such happy times.
Up until yesterday, all we had seen publicly was a single trailer and some screenshots. The Occupation was also shown at Double Fine’s Day of the Devs event, but no footage made it to the internet. That changed yesterday thanks to a new eight minute trailer, showing us our best look of the game in action yet.
Finding the Truth
Aside from the setting, there are two things that make The Occupation look so promising. The first is that there’s an in-game clock ticking in real time. One of the developers, who goes unnamed, says as much in the trailer. “One minute of real time is one minute of the game world.” You’ll have only four hours to uncover as much as you can about the attack and publish your findings, as that’s when the Union Act will be signed into law. If you can find evidence that maybe suggests the terrorist attack was an inside job, you might just be able to stop the signing.
The second promising detail is one that’s much easier to showcase in short video form – player choice. It looks like there will be dialog options of some kind, but the real player agency here comes from your actions. Where you go, how you choose to investigate, and what you choose to believe or not is totally up to you. Do you break into someone’s office and sneak past the guards, as we see in the above footage, or do you find a less risky approach?
Because of the fixed timeline, some events may happen without you being there to witness it. You may schedule a meeting with an informant, and have to skip it because you found something more interesting happening, or you might even forget about it.
From what we’ve heard and now seen, there are a lot of layers to this game. Whether or not it’s actually any good will come down to writing, pacing, and a whole lot of other things we just don’t know about yet. But right now, it’s okay to be cautiously optimistic, even downright intrigued if you’re feeling frisky.
Originally set for release in 2017, the game was silently delayed into 2018 according to White Paper Games’ website. Whenever it comes out, you can be sure we’ll be there to check it out.