If I were to tell you that there’s this cool shooter/rpg hybrid set in space with a strong emphasis on player choice and dialogue and plans for a full trilogy, you’d probably tell me to go back to 2007 when Mass Effect was actually news. I’d then inform you, the hypothetically smarmy wise-ass, that I’m talking about Consortium, a new indie RPG built in the Source engine by Interdimensional Games Inc. The game promises an intricate web of choice and consequence, where your action (or inaction) organically affects the outcome of the gameplay and story. You can do your duty as a space soldier, disobey orders and kill everything in sight, or use diplomacy to finish the game without firing a shot. You can even choose to tell the characters that you’re playing a video game where they’re characters, and explore a metanarrative with all the oddness that conceit implies.
On top of the choice-driven narrative, Consortium aims to be a real “gamer’s game,” with pitched firefights against intelligent AI enemies and a neat energy management system that gives you control over your character’s abilities and inventory. Though the game takes place on a single spaceship, effort has been taken to make it a dynamic and realistic environment. Consortium simulates turbulence, and even decompression if you manage to blow a hole in the hull or take off one of the outer doors. You’re also free to walk around entirely at your leisure – much like Half-Life, the game never takes control away from you for any reason.
If you’ve been itching for a meaty, choice-driven RPG to sink your teeth into, with a side-order of challenging FPS combat, Consortium might well be the game for you. Look for a review from us in the coming days to see our final verdict on this intriguing title.