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Immersive sim Consortium: The Tower hits early access

Ooh how ambitious

One grand dream of the immersive sim genre is Deus Ex director Warren Spector's one city block, an idea for a game simulating one city block and its inhabitants in great detail to set up so many systems to play with. Consortium: The Tower [official site] might not have the dream's full detail but it is a pretty complex immersive sim and it is set in one single block - a mile-high futuretower currently occupied by terrorists. It's the sequel to 2014's Consortium, which was set on a single plane, and it looks fascinating. The full launch is still a way away but The Tower does today launch into early access for the curious.

So! The year is 2014 but through advanced technology we can remotely pilot agent Bishop Six in the year 2042 as he ventures into the mile-high Churchill Tower. Terrorists have seized the incomplete building's power facility and are holding the employees hostage, so we have to help Bishop Six stop them. Somehow. However we please, really.

As you'd expect from an immersive sim, stealth, shooting, and chatting are all valuable tools. Developers Interdimensional Games say it will be possible to complete the game without even raising your weapon. Expect a non-linear story, factions and factions to meet (or murder), the option to try to chat to anyone, and oodles of ways to upgrade and customise yourself.

It's an idea so big that I want to downplay it because surely it can't be real. But after reading Sin Vega's Consortium retrospective, I am keen to see quite how big The Tower is. I'm glad it found crowdfunding success - on its second attempt.

This initial early access release isn't the full dealio, of course. Right now it contains roughly the first third of the game with all core game systems, but is missing character choreography along with several other potential features and, y'know, the rest of the game. Interdimensional Games expect to launch the full version in 8-15 months.

Consortium: The Tower will hit Steam Early Access in a few hours.

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