Humble Bundle Presents: The Occupation - Launch Trailer
Who it Caters to
It’s always a pleasure to see new faces tackle new endeavors and really test the waters on new gameplay. The Occupation is a first-person investigative thriller from White Paper Games and published by Humble Bundle, and allows players to roam around a 1980’s West England where a lot of corruption is taking place. You’re a journalist who must dig around for clues to help piece things together in order to uncover the truth behind what’s taking place in society, and the controversies surrounding the massive explosion that threatens to erode civil liberties. If you’re out on the market and are looking for a game where you can sift through evidence to find clues, communicate with witnesses to determine the truth, and roam around an intriguing world, then perhaps The Occupation is right for you.
What to Expect
The Occupation has a lot of things going for it, but there are a myriad of problems that plague as well. We’ll get into that later but for now, The Occupation is all about roaming around and collecting as much information as possible in order to bring closure to this heinous crime. Each person you encounter will have a different story to tell based on the events that took place, and so your goal will be to deduce each clue thoroughly to see which things make sense and what to rule out. With political unrest creating a lot of tension, it’s up to you to try and restore some sort of structure back into society before it all crumbles.
While The Occupation makes use of 3D models to really convey emotion, a lot of the animations in the game looked very stiff, and the environments looked dull. The cutscenes were decent at best, but a lot of the time things just didn’t seem to flow in a seamless manner. To elaborate more on the environments, everything just felt a little lifeless and a lot of the time, you were just running around in a somewhat open area but with very little room to expand or truly explore. The way in which you interact with things, such as doors or removing the gate from a vent, just felt slow and somewhat unrealistic. Visually speaking, The Occupation didn’t quite deliver all the way through.
Sound and music were actually quite nice since much of the game incorporated themes which complimented the 80’s vibe. The one major selling point that we really liked was the voicing in the game, which really helped to bring the characters to life and give them true emotion pertaining to the events taking place. There were some instances where some sounds were a bit off, but it wasn’t anything that would’ve created a totally bad experience. Needless to say, it wasn’t perfect but it didn’t really provide any significant merits either.
Initially, we were quite excited to actually dive in and really explore The Occupation, especially since it has a lot to do with investigations. However, once we spent a lot of time with the game we realized that a lot the issues derived from the gameplay itself. As we mentioned earlier, animations within the game felt very stiff and somewhat sluggish, almost to the point where things felt robotic. Opening doors or interacting with objects felt more like a chore than anything, and not a lot was really explained with regards to how things function. Little information windows would pop up to give you some detail as to what to do, but it still didn’t really provide anything substantial to truly bring the game to life. Running around didn’t really feel as if you were running, it was more of a speed walk than anything. Things just felt buggy throughout the game and while patches were in place to fix them, a lot of issues still remained which ultimately created a lot of mixed responses. Don’t get us wrong here, the overall theme of the game is great, and being able to gather clues is truly fun.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Fun starts to wane when you start to interact more with other things and they don’t respond the way you want them to, take opening a vent for example. Beyond the issues lies a game with a core fundamental theme based around stealth simulation and immersion, which gets a big plus in our book. If all the bugs can be patched out entirely then perhaps things may improve, but for now, this occupation is one that we may have to pass on.
We enjoyed the voice acting as it helped to bring the characters to life and felt authentic, especially with the 80’s vibe.
The overall theme of investigation and stealth simulation is also a plus.
The sound and music weren’t all that bad and managed to stick to the 80’s theme.
The game is plagued with a lot of bugs, which hopefully will be patched soon.
It’s not a very long game, but the sluggish animations really drag things out.
The save mechanic needs a bit of fine tuning as well.
Honey's Final Verdict:
There were certainly a lot of good things going for The Occupation, but unfortunately, those good things were overshadowed by the growing pains of sluggish animations, buggy interactions and and save mechanic that didn’t really work as well as we initially thought. We do hope more patches are released which help to fix a lot of the problems, and hopefully down the road we can see another release with much better results. Until then, we’ll have to let this one go!
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!