Deus Ex Plus Die Hard: Consortium – The Tower

As pitches go, Consortium: The Tower [official site] has a bloody good line up its sleeve. Like its predecessor, it’s a science fiction game set in a single environment. You can talk, fight or sneak your way past or through encounters, and many events will happen even if you’re not there to see or influence them. Everything takes place in real-time and though the fourth wall trembles and breaks, the emphasis is on immersion. And that pitch line? “Imagine the original Deus Ex combined with the film Die Hard.” OK. I am.

Developers Interdimensional Games have just launched a Kickstarter campaign for The Tower and they’re looking for $450,000 (CAD). The original Consortium was the product of a successful crowdfundiing campaign and Interdimensional say they’ll be even more efficient this time around:

We built Consortium Game One over a long period, and on a budget that was very small considering what physically went into it. We’ve become very good at ensuring that everything goes where it needs to go in order to get the game made. This is a passion project for us, and so the game always comes first.

We do have various options for investors beyond what we raise here, but it really does entirely depend on the overall performance of this campaign to determine what kind of deal we can get. We want to make the ultimate version of this game, and therefore want its development budget to be as high as possible. No surprise there :)

I’d count the original among the most fascinating games I’ve played since joining RPS. It’s not a game I’d recommend to everyone but it’s a game I’d recommend to anyone who’s interested in the structure of immersive sims and the possibilities of experimental gamespaces. The initial hook, that you’re playing a game that allows you to control an actual character in a living world, not only reminds me of Ultima’s Avatar, it’s a wonderful explanation for the quirks and qualities of the interface. I don’t expect NPCs to react to my every action with perfect precision and intelligence, and the fiction allows for the rough edges in the simulation that make Consortium credible even when it’s less than realistic.

In this sequel (the second part of an intended trilogy), save games from the original will carry over but if you haven’t played it already, you’ll be able to enter The Tower cold. All of the experience and tools used to create Consortium will feed into development of this new project, but the crowdfunding process is slightly different:

Unlike the campaign for our first game, this time around we are asking for a much larger portion of our total budget, and are therefore taking a bigger risk with launching this campaign. With the CONSORTIUM campaign we had already largely completed the game and required help to get us to the finish line (our CONSORTIUM Kickstarter goal covered about 10% of our total budget). With the larger scale of The Tower we are aiming for a larger total budget with a much larger portion of that coming from Kickstarter.

You can see some of the core mechanics in action below: “Featured is Kiril Angelov, antagonist from Consortium Game One, and he’s just been asked to comment on Bishop Six’s “recent behaviour.”

Estimated delivery, as Kickstarter puts it, is December 2017. A long time to wait but if The Tower is as interesting as the original, the wait will be worthwhile.

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  1. epmode says:

    Budget issues aside, the first game really impressed me. I love how it works you, the player, into the fiction. The devs are ambitious as hell and the few clips I’ve seen of the sequel show a nice improvement in production values. So yeah, I’m in.

    And really, that part in the pitch video where the player ignores orders is great. Immersive sims are lovely things.

  2. AlienMind says:


  3. Matt_W says:

    So, FYI for everyone, Consortium was 100% free this weekend (and you get to keep it forever) as part of the Steam weekend deal. It still seems to be free, even though it’s supposed to have reverted to full price. Get it while it lasts.

  4. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    I think this series has a lot of potential if it drops the shooting and the 4th wall nonsense. Real time single-space conversation + investigation is more than enough to carry the game without shoehorning in some really weak gunplay.

    • Llewyn says:

      I have no problem with the fourth wall nonsense; it works well as part of the game’s own fiction in my view. However the gunplay… I’m tempted to back this game because it’s the sort of thing I really want to be made, but I’m far from convinced I could actually bear to play it. Weak flatters it.

    • klops says:

      Yes and yes. The 4th wall nonsense felt like Assassin’s Creed’s nonsense. Why play a future guy who’s playing a guy in the past while you could just play the guy in the past? Or why play a VR playing guy playing Consortium guy while you could just play the Consortium guy? Uhh…

      Good game, still! And thumbs up for the rather unique approach.

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        Topperfalkon says:

        AC messed up with their story, I think. Either that or they just haven’t explored it yet. However, I think the series could set the stage for a purely present/near-future campaign once the number of interesting historical settings dry up.

        As for Consortium, the 4th wall stuff was a bit silly, but it also tied into the fiction in a nice way and the story still worked.

        I don’t really know if that same style will work as well for this game, but I’m willing to front some of the money to see if it can. It wouldn’t be the worst game I’ve wasted money on.

  5. kwyjibo says:

    Consortium is still free to keep on Steam right now. So you should click the green button before it goes away – link to

  6. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    The dramatic conclusion to the first part did seem to be gearing up to a somewhat more actiony continuation…

    • Quitch says:

      I was considered that The Tower would be too shooty, given that shooting was the weak link in the otherwise awesome Consortium. The pitch video has me very much reassured though, the multiple approach example they give early on was excellent, and they look to be taking their choice & consequence angle even further than before.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Jekadu says:

    The first game is one of the most unique experiences I’ve had in a video game. I won’t say that the writing manages to match the ambition of the setting, but I really, really want to see a sequel made. If I manage to scrounge up some money I’m backing this.

  8. steves says:

    $450,000 (CAD)

    So, about £10,000 then? I’m only bitter that I was living there in winter 2012, and getting paid in £:

    link to

    Still, Deus Ex meets Die Hard from Consortium devs is getting backed – Consortium was the best kind of mess-with-your-mind bonkers game that we need more of.

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    alison says:

    I thought the previous game was terrific, one of my favorite games i played last year. One of the things that particularly endeared it to me was the whodunit aspect. I got one dialog clue, which led me to the electronic journals i had previously completely ignored, and i read through a ton of them trying to cross-reference other clues till i was completely convinced of the guilt of Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick. After a bit of walkthrough-cheating when i realized i had missed my window for j’accuse, i reloaded and j’accused the fuck out of the aforementioned Colonel, and it turned out my suspicions had been correct. I felt like Hercule fucking Poirot. It was amazing. After completing the game i read some other people’s experiences and it seems i could have solved the puzzle in 2 minutes simply by observing the guilty party in the right place at the right time, or by ransacking some other guy’s locker, but still. Little gray cells.

    Meanwhile, there was this whole sci-fi meta aspect that Omikron: The Nomad Soul and several other games have tried so hard to do yet failed to pull off. And it succeeded wonderfully. Awesome game.

    Now, Die Hard was a fabulous movie, but if they force me to forgo this unique Agatha-Christie-in-space simulator for some kind of John McClane space marine shit this time round i shall be very upset.

    • Rizlar says:

      Well there is that bit where Alan Rickman pretends to be a random bystander and it takes Bruce Willis at least 2 minutes to work it out.

      But yeah, Consortium, what a game! Still haven’t finished it due to hitting an incredibly hard second combat section (I must have been near the end though). Didn’t successfully j’accuse anyone either, felt more like Captain Hastings. Might have to give it another go tomorrow, probably end up convincing myself to back The Tower as well.

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        I know the part you’re talking about (it’s avoidable, but easy to hit on your first playthrough). My advice to you is to retreat to the jefferies tubes – or whatever they’re called outside of Star Trek – whenever you need some shelter, as the killer can’t reach you in there. Also, remember to use the recharge stations throughout the ship to replenish your energy reserves mid-fight.

        It’s the toughest fight in the game (not that there are many that I’ve found) but it’s definitely doable. There’s another good 45+ minutes of story left, depending on your choices, so I recommend going back to it when you get the chance.

        • Llewyn says:

          Urgh, that fight. I shall try not to think of it further, or I’ll end up cancelling my pledge for The Tower.

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        alison says:

        If you’re stuck on the section i think you are, then you missed your opportunity to solve the crime immediately beforehand. This was exactly the point i reloaded – a rather tough solo enemy surprised me late in the game, and although i did manage to defeat it, i had a sneaking suspicion that the enemy who jumped me was exactly the person i should have accused previously. A very brief look at a walkthrough confirmed that you can avoid the fight by accusing the correct person beforehand, so i went back and all was well. Apparently you can also avoid (what i believe is) the first fight, but that was so early on i wasn’t entirely sure what kind of game i was playing yet and battled through.

        Perhaps i should go back and try one of the other routes through the story. The meta-game practically begs you to go back and choose other options given what you experience as an omniscient beyond the fourth wall is canon – but, you know. Omniscients got other games to play too :)

        • Rizlar says:

          Yeah, it is that bit, and yes, I failed to accuse the traitor. But I’m not going to savescum simply because I made a decision! What do you take me for… this isn’t a game, this is real life-as-seen-through-dimension-hopping-iDGi-satellite!

  10. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Backed and backed. :)

    This is the most I’ve ever paid on KS, which says something about how much I love what these guys are doing.

  11. April March says:

    Sometimes, there is an brilliant idea that becomes obvious only in hindsight. Sometimes, that is to give players an option to make “GHOST NOISES” when they are invisible above a cluster of enemies.

  12. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    I can’t believe RPS has no article – and only one passing mention of – ‘Sentient’.
    It’s a 1997 game where you roam around a space station trying to solve a crime, and all crew members have fairly complex AI and you interact with them by constructing phrases from words like Legos! And they react properly! Fuck! It’s like System Shock, but there was no disaster and everyone’s still alive!? How does this have any right to exist?

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      It earns its right to exist by having sluggish performance, an awkward interface that slows you down just when you need to act quickly, an excessive reliance on say-exactly-the-right-thing puzzles, and, well, 90s-calibre 3D graphics.

      It’s a pretty strong example of how a good idea can be killed by being drowned in a soup of mediocrity laced with chunks of awfulness.

      • Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

        Gotta try it for myself. Next time I’m in the mood for some chunky pixels ans stunning FMV.

  13. El_MUERkO says:

    They had to play the Die Hard card… those sick bastards.


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    yhancik says:

    Yippee-ki yay, a bomb!

  15. thelastpointer says:

    Is the game is set on Christmas Eve? ;)

  16. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Interesting. I’ll have to keep my eyes on this one. Might even decide to back it.

  17. soopytwist says:

    Not sure why but at the start of the pitch I immediately thought of D/Generation. Somebody should really remake that, like right now. Please. Thanks.