It’s rare, but sometimes I sit in front of this computer, and I experience the dreaded writer’s block. Usually reserved for the novelists and the screenwriters, the writer’s block a critic gets is a uniquely challenging obstacle. But regardless, I must try my very best to concisely explain The Occupation to you. How it’s a game that I love, and respect for its many quirks. How you the viewer may love its eccentricities. But how do I start talking on this game I adore, and the many things I admire about it? For you see, I don’t feel like I love it as much as I should.
It’s 1987. Following an attack on a government building that killed 23, the British Government is poised to set “The Union Act” into motion. A controversial bill, citizens see this as a threat to civil liberties. In the lead up to a series of interviews, Harvey Miller, an investigative journalist, is prompted by an anonymous source to investigate the government closer. Is the suspect pegged for the bombing the real culprit? Is there a cover-up of the true perpetrator? What, if anything, does this have to do with the Union Act? Sneak around and find the information to get to the bottom of this conspiracy.
This is a pretty great story that The Occupation has laid before us. A political thriller that really strikes the right tonal balance. On one hand, we feel as if we are at the helm of some great political machine, tearing through the city. We alone can stop it. We are responsible for what happens. Will we be complicit to whatever the Union Act will bring upon the people? Or do we expose the truth?
On the other hand, it never feels like it gets to far beyond the characters. Despite it being such a big political thriller, it still manages to feel like a very personal, claustrophobic drama. The truth is I didn’t uncover a lot of the leads and thus the story, but even the general premise shone through. Suffice to say I’ll be returning for another playthrough soon to uncover the rest this game has to offer.