Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Watchlist: Consortium: The Tower

Title: Consortium: The Tower
Developer: Interdimensional Games Inc
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Releasing late 2017
The ultimate single player first-person immersive sim. Explore, talk, fight or sneak through The Churchill Tower in 2042
The immersive sim. It's a small subgenre of games, an eclectic mix of themes and gameplay all bound by a goal of letting you role-play as a character in believable reactive worlds that mold to your choices and actions. Deus Ex, STALKER, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, a few others, but perhaps most recently, Consortium. An ambitious sci-fi game set in the confines of a single plane, yet feeling like an expansive experience thanks to the depth of its narrative, relationships, and gameplay freedom.

Now developer IDGI is back with Consortium: The Tower, an even more ambitious sequel that takes what worked in the first game and evolving those elements on an impressive scale and scope.
Consortium: The Tower takes place in a near-future London, in the massive Churchill Tower, now controlled by a mysterious terrorist faction. You play as Bishop Six, an agent of the titular organization, on a mission to observe, report, and handle the situation. How you accomplish those goals are up to you. The tower is home to a whole array of different groups -  terrorists, police, civilians, Consortium and other more enigmatic individuals - each with their plans and agendas. You can sky-dive to flank enemies from above and unleash devastating firepower, cloak and sneak through unseen, explore the tower for better routes and hack into terminals for useful data and hidden secrets.

But Consortium wouldn't be an immersive sim if it doesn't offer choices beyond the shooting and sneaking. The spoken word here is as powerful as any weapon or piece of technology; in fact, it'll be possible to be complete a playthrough without firing a shot. Find yourself in a tense standoff with an enemy squad and you can press the talk button (that lets you engage in conversation anytime, anywhere), throw down your gun to defuse the tension, and convince the group that you're not a threat or even to fight alongside you.

Going further than that, disobey your orders, go against the Consortium's wishes, and you're be disavowed by the agency. In another game, that would be a game over, but here, The Tower continues along, except now you're a rogue agent. That status may make you very valuable to other factions and individuals in the game.
While the game is already ambitious, the developers have even bigger plans if budget allows. Their vision for The Tower is one of a nearly fully-explorable environment, with areas ranging from malls and apartments to museums and industrial areas, essentially what you'd imagine an actual skyscraper of this magnitude would contain.

Consortium: The Tower is expected to release late next year and is currently seeking funds on Kickstarter. You can learn about the game here.

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