Melancholy and despondent, Westport Independent will not be clingy. Twelve weeks of game time are blitzed through in minutes, hardly time enough to pick up the strands of capitalist conspiracy occurring in the background. A touch of arrogance in the tutorial offers no favors, either too jokey or too serious as Westport Independent claims itself “Soon to be GOTY winner.” Maybe not.
Perspective is admirable. Sell your paper to the rich with fluff articles about celebrity news. That helps those of high class ignore the uprising forming in the southern poverty districts. Sell the latter on stories of crime and white collar industry. All manner of articles are shoved onto the news desk – corrupt cops, fluoride fears, closing business, outsourcing, and arrogant politicians. Set in 1949 or not, Westport Independent keenly reflects the modern political spectrum while taking its shots at contemporary media.
The mood is pleasant. Jazzy, serene. Reporters are bathed in backlight, silhouetted after each week discussing their positions. Some disappear. Publish stories written against the communist government and writers will vanish – it’s for reconditioning, you’re told. They won’t come back.
Westport Independent presents an interesting balance, portrayed with a numbers tug-o-war which one hopes stories can stir the impoverished into action. The rich won’t be swayed, so carefully editing stories to insinuate poor working conditions are a fault of the government is key. Passive aggressive letters, stern as they are, come in from political offices if you push to far.
As a work, Westport Independent can be viable. Ingenuity and cleverness spark a worthy thought project about media, its influences, and the hidden truth. It also bops the naive idiocy of Gamergate on its noggin; there are infinitely more critical media issues to reflect. Westport Independent shows actual corruption and media control.
Never is there a sense of tension though. Reporters fail to be developed as characters and being challenged on a story is overruled by a button press. People, their circumstances, and problems are shrunk into tappable icons, their cause(s) whittled to a few stray notes. Their plight is only a goal to overcome. Westport Independent needs a face to display instead of the hazy (if stylish) cigarette-lit pixel art.