hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Consortium

5:00 PM on 02.06.2014 // Steven Hansen
  @dtoidsteven

Detective spaceman

Right click. Left click. Right click. Left click. The old one-two. Jab and then...jab again. Or are they hooks? I can't tell in first-person. Regardless, I was wandering around the spaceship, punching aimlessly, until I heard, "Buon pomeriggio, Bishop."

The voice was warm. It came from a handsome man with whom I engaged in conversation, learning a little bit more about the ship I was dumped in. I stopped punching.

Consortium has guns and it has first-person punching, but it's a talkie. Following in the vein of Deus Ex, System Shock, and the non-shooty bits of Mass Effect, you're tossed aboard a ship and things start to go awry. You have to find out why. Or not, I guess.  

Consortium (PC)
Developer: Interdimensional Games Inc
Publisher: Interdimensional Games Inc
Released: January 8, 2014
MSRP: $19.99

Consortium's difference when compared to other dialogue-tree based choice-'em-ups is its central conceit. You are not playing a blank slate (Ms. Shepard) or a written character (Lee Everett). You are playing you. The front-end menu purports to act as a satellite link that sends you through a digital rift in time and space and into this semi-utopian future, pushing you into the body of Bishop 6, the newest crew member of Zenlil.

"Everyone you are about to meet is real and everything you do will affect countless lives with limitless consequences," the satellite terms of service warns. This may be true. 

The best part of Consortium is its detective twist. Early on you're tasked with finding the perpetrator of a crime and doing so makes up the bulk of the adventure. Thankfully, you can fail -- which I did my first time around, because I am terrible. So many games mismanage that sort of thing or throw glowing hints at you. Here, it's up to you to figure things out based on your interactions with the crew members.

There is some gunplay thrown in as well at choice moments, as well as an unnecessarily complex inventory system through which you manage armaments and gear. I think shooting will come into play more frequently in the game's follow-ups -- this is the first of three planned titles -- so that's why the system is so established.

Of course, with proper diplomacy, you can avoid having to lift a gun altogether. With bad diplomacy and a conscience, you can handle the combat in a non-lethal manner. It's much easier to kill, though.

The biggest problem is definitely trying to keep all the NPCs, who go by names like Pawn 4 and Rook 9, sorted, especially when you have to finger one as the culprit. Consortium doesn't overstay its welcome, running at a short three or so hours (four or five if, like me, you're slow and explore every nook and cranny of the ship), but it also makes it hard to get a handle on remembering all of the characters in the interesting, but somewhat brief interactions.

It makes sense, given Bishop 6, whose body you inhabit, is also new to the ship, but it makes it more of a two-playthrough experience, unless you don't want your choices denigrated. But your choices don't exactly matter by the world's logic, because every time you jump in you're just making alternate streams of history.

On my second run through I was able to pick the right bad guy and also found even subtle choices to dramatically change my interactions with certain characters, and it's sort of freeing working on a more amoral scale where you're not exactly being judged for your actions, set on a sliding scale of "good buy" or "bad guy."

It's a little rough -- with the most recent patch, I didn't experience any bugs, though some people are still having trouble -- but it's endearing. The sci-fi meta-narrative, as well as the conspiracy-laced in-world narrative, are both interesting and this was the first time in a while a game has made me do some real detective work.

Simply running about the ship, crawling through its underbelly, and chatting up the fully-voiced (mostly well) crew make up the bulk of Consortium. It's a nice change of pace for anyone who wants that older style of RPG where you learn about someone's mom who is suffering from Alzheimer's, argue whether or not videogames are insulting "murder simulators," and are exposed to suspicious organized religion.



THE VERDICT

7

Consortium - Reviewed by Steven Hansen
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Steven Hansen, Features Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dtoidsteven Tips
Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Paul S avatarPaul S
GeoHolmes [img]https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/ntf3p5PqS2GteYfXUH33[/img]
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
I have no idea what this game is about but if this isn't the best goddamn cover art ever, I don't know what is. [url=http://imgur.com/3yw3G8S][img]http://i.imgur.com/3yw3G8S.jpg[/img][/url]
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
#thanksnintendo.
Shinta avatarShinta
Xenoblade X limited edition on Amaxon now. Will probably sell out very fast like usual. http://m.neogaf.com/showthread.php?t=1103729&page=1
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Just got a Vita with a 16GB card for super cheap. What games should I be looking out for?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
So the XCX Special Edition was marked as in stock for 20 seconds and I got a copy! I am disproportionately excited considering what it comes with. Hopefully the art book and packaging are high quality. WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Surprise, Xenoblade Chronicles X Special Edition has already sold out on Amazon.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Just a heads up, the Xenoblade Chronicles X Special Edition is up for preorder on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Xenoblade-Chronicles-Special-Edition-Wii-U/dp/B014LNTVGK I think it'll be available elsewhere but you know. Nintendo. Love em but hard to find.
Clicks Clacks avatarClicks Clacks
Picked up Valkyria Chronicles for $5 in the Humble Store, figure I'd advertise that for anyone that doesn't have it yet. Sale ends in less than 42 hours after this post yo. https://www.humblebundle.com/store/p/valkyriachronicles_storefront
gajknight avatargajknight
My copy of National Geographic came today. Best subscription I've paid for, worth it for the lovely pictures alone. This one has a story about elephant poachers and ivory tusks with spy chips in 'em. James Bond shit man.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
If someone used the blog reply feature to just divide a somewhat long blog into easier-to-digest chapters that could be consumed at the leisure of readers, would that be kosher?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
[youtube]https://youtu.be/7bzKWOeSVn4[/youtube]
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
@Barry Kelly It looks like it will get pretty difficult later on. It even has instafail stealth sections according to @Chris Carter #neededanexcuse to #tryouttheatfeature
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
I hope MGS V manages to have some sort of challenge to it. I just replayed MGS 4 for the first time since release and wow that game just practically plays itself. And that's outside of the long sections it is playing itself!
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Splatfest Decipticons, Let us crush the Autobot menace [img]http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/attachments/transformers-fan-art/27462687d1408744118-3d-tarn-model-tarn-propaganda-copy-01.jpg[/img]
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Hey, all you Australian/UK/German Pokemon trainers out there! The Shiny Rayquaza event is ending, has just started, or will be starting in a few days (respectively), so be sure to get in on it while the getting is good!
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
4 days unt... no, wait... 3 days until Sahelanthropus.
Jish K avatarJish K
Greetings. For I am new. And still struggling to get that dang blog header to change.
From Must Git Gud avatarFrom Must Git Gud
MGSV is looking very good so far! Played to 2% completion last night. Pure stealth seems REALLY hard so far. PS3 version runs fine, loading times are OK, no slow downs, draw distance and pop-in are a bit rough. No glitches. Be prepared! Get it on PS4.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Jealous of all my brethren at PAX Prime. Sad I will miss out on the drinking, orgies and catching the PAX flew. This time next year though, I'll be there! I promise!
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Consortium


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -