Consortium opens a rift to an alternate future of peacekeeping jumbo jets

Consortium , a new sci-fi adventure from Interdimensional Games, imagines a future of giant space planes running on clean energy. But the idiosyncratic starting point of this narrative involves the fictional launching of a satellite by the game developer that lets it communicate through a portal with an alternate reality. It's through this “rift” that players inhabit the role of Bishop Six, a member of the Consortium crew.

Taking place in the year 2042, the game plays out on board an advanced jumbo jet that serves as the staging point for confrontations with mercenaries and the uncovering of an apparent murder mystery. The crew, a kind of paramilitary peacekeeping force, operates in a world still emerging from years of terrible wars over dwindling resources. And it's an open question, according to Interdimensional Games, whether or not the Consortium crew is a force for good in the world.

While there are definitely FPS elements built into the game, some of which you can see in the trailer below, the developer also promises the ability to make an entirely non-lethal playthrough. This should depend on how players negotiate Consortium's branching story and dialogue system. The trailer also offers up a preview of the soundtrack written by Jeremy Soule, whose work you have likely come across in The Elder Scrolls series, among many others.

Much of the developer's official website is itself a window into the game's backstory and its unusual world. It's worth checking out just to get a sense of the personalities behind the indie studio. Originally beginning as a Steam Greenlight project, Consortium was moved up in December for release this week. It's currently on sale for $18 on Steam.