In his deep dive on the history of the best immersive sims, Rick Lane called 2014's Consortium "a dynamic murder mystery that takes place inside a giant military plane" that was "rather rough around the edges". Some of those edges are about to be sanded smooth, with indie developer Interdimensional Games announcing via Steam blog post that it's developing Consortium Remastered.
"The original Source Engine build of CONSORTIUM has now officially been retired", Interdimensional Games wrote, before explaining the beta of Consortium Remastered is available to anyone who obtained the original before it was delisted. Here's how to access it in Steam:
- 1) Right click on CONSORTIUM 2014 and click "Properties"
- 2) Click on Betas
- 3) Enter the following password into the field: 4Owners0fCons0rtium0nly
Consortium's hook is that you're basically playing Quantum Leap. You the player are hurled into the year 2024 to take over the body of Bishop Six, an officer in a peacekeeping force called the Consortium who is investigating a murder. The murder took place on a gigantic Consortium command plane called the C-3800-D Zenlil in flight, making this a sky-high locked room whodunnit holding more than 20 NPCs who might have dunnit.
As well as ditching Source for Unreal Engine 4, the remastered version will use an optional speech recognition system called V.O.I.C.E to let players choose dialogue options by saying them out loud. It's also getting a separate VR version, which is already available in Steam early access and on the MetaQuest store.
A sequel that was crowdfunded on Fig in 2016 called Consortium: The Tower remains in early access. The developer responded to concerns it had abandoned the sequel on the Steam forum, explaining that it plans to return "full-steam ahead into Phase Two of production for The Tower" after the full release of Consortium VR. "We understand folks thinking this game has been abandoned, and we accept that. This only drives us to get it done and prove you wrong", the developer wrote.
Consortium Remastered is scheduled for release on Steam and GOG later this year.