Bio
Idk
Personal Ratings
1★
5★

Badges


Clearin your Calendar

Journaled games at least 15 days a month over a year

GOTY '23

Participated in the 2023 Game of the Year Event

1 Years of Service

Being part of the Backloggd community for 1 year

Elite Gamer

Played 500+ games

Early Access

Submitted feedback for a beta feature

Pinged

Mentioned by another user

Famous

Gained 100+ followers

Treasured

Gained 750+ total review likes

Full-Time

Journaled games once a day for a month straight

Trend Setter

Gained 50+ followers

On Schedule

Journaled games once a day for a week straight

Gamer

Played 250+ games

GOTY '22

Participated in the 2022 Game of the Year Event

Adored

Gained 300+ total review likes

Busy Day

Journaled 5+ games in a single day

Popular

Gained 15+ followers

Loved

Gained 100+ total review likes

Donor

Liked 50+ reviews / lists

Shreked

Found the secret ogre page

Listed

Created 10+ public lists

Roadtrip

Voted for at least 3 features on the roadmap

Organized

Created a list folder with 5+ lists

N00b

Played 100+ games

Well Written

Gained 10+ likes on a single review

Best Friends

Become mutual friends with at least 3 others

Noticed

Gained 3+ followers

Gone Gold

Received 5+ likes on a review while featured on the front page

Liked

Gained 10+ total review likes

Favorite Games

Spiritfarer
Spiritfarer
Pentiment
Pentiment
Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

877

Total Games Played

080

Played in 2024

003

Games Backloggd


Recently Played See More

Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5

Apr 24

Deus Ex
Deus Ex

Apr 22

Anodyne 2: Return to Dust
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust

Apr 19

Harold Halibut
Harold Halibut

Apr 18

Laika: Aged Through Blood
Laika: Aged Through Blood

Apr 16

Recently Reviewed See More

Finished my replay of this game on hard mode. There wasn't much of a difference with normal except that obviously you take fewer hits before you go down. Perhaps one day I'll play on realistic but something tells me that will cross the line into being annoying for my playstyle.

If you've followed me for a while or even if you've been in the same room as me for more than 15 minutes you might now that I despise stealth games. I've tried, but I genuinely hate them all. MGS, Thief, Dishonored, even stealth sections in games I like (shenmue, max payne, disaster report 4). I've had bad luck with so called Immersive Sims because of it, as most of them are essentially stealth arpg hybrids like Deus Ex, but so far its basically only the OG (and consortium by virtue of not having stealth) that I mess with. Its not exactly a mystery why, and consider this a plea for other games to follow suit : let me murder everyone. Give me an actual choice between stealth and combat and not just stealth and "you fucked up the stealth you idiot! you might as well reload a save"

Importantly, Deus Ex's combat is deceptively fun to get to grips with. Its so simple but really effective the way that you start out as someone who takes 2 business days to line up a pistol shot to being able to run around with the gep gun blowing people up like nothing. I'm surprised no one else has tried emulating the system, with your RPG esque weapon stats determining how fast your crosshair takes to narrow and become fully accurate, presumably imitating how it takes someone to aim down the sights and prepare to fire a shot.

Now, obviously for this kind of game there has to be push back, and even with a combat build your ass is not going to last if you're trying to play the game like half life, which is precisely why its satisfying to completely forgo stealth and murder everyone through traps, ambushes etc. This playthrough I discovered how useful the non lethal gas grenades are for murder runs (ironically) cause it makes enemies freeze up to rub their eyes, lining up to get headshot with the pistol for maximum murder efficiency.

The playthrough did however highlight Deus Ex's biggest flaw : the save system. Its one of those systems which is simultaneously too annoying and too forgiving. Its annoying because I am forgetful, and losing 15 mins of progress because I forgot to save is just... frustrating. On the other hand, there is basically nothing stopping you from hardcore save scumming every 5 seconds. Ironically, there is nothing more appropriately "mean" for a choice based rpg than an aggressive auto save, as it is, you can basically game most of the big decisions and encounters. Maybe even a save room system like RE4 might be appropriate? Could even lock them behind doors with an interesting weighing up of resources if its worth risking a loss of progress for a lockpick or multitool? Idk now Im playing armchair designer but either way.

Area 51 is still kinda annoying, I didnt use console commands to noclip through it this time but I still fused with Helios because it was the fastest way to complete the level, the later bits of the game are kind of a downgrade from the initial half of the game.

Harold Halibut is a very technically impressive (when its not bugging out or dropping frames) feat, which unfortunately puts its gorgeous claymation style and cinematography in service of an overwritten, overindulgent miserable slog which might have been refreshing were it a fifth of its length instead of the overbearing wank we got instead.

Wank is the operative word here, the game is spiritually similar to jerking off. It takes inspiration from various sources, wes anderson films chief among them, but from what few films I have seen of those, they were much more entertaining and well written. The sheer nothingness of the gameplay even for narrative focused adventure games and amount of dialogue that was 3 lines too long for what it needed to be really fits together when you learn about the game's 10 year development time. This is someone's baby, presumably a labour of love, but thats the thing, sometimes you need to detach yourself emotionally from your work and cut things when they don't actually add anything. The most damning thing of all, after all that, 8 goddamned hours (it felt twice that) I feel nothing. The game is nothing. I am nothing. We're all nothing. And I have 8 fewer hours now before I return to the nothingness of oblivion with little to show for it.

As galling as delisting a game is when such things as licenses lapsing or developers going bankrupt slash any other quirks of the fucked up nightmare that is intellectual property law which also reminds us of how precarious our "ownership" of digital products are, at the very least there is a resignation of "well, what can you do?". The developers might be as upset by it than we are. Not so the case with consortium 2014, a messy, janky, rough gem of a talky imsim-lite and time capsule for the source engine's popularity during the 2010s, which you CANNOT have anymore (piracy and steam codes notwithstanding, of course) because its been delisted.

Not for legal reasons, its been delisted because the game is being remade in Unreal Engine 5 as "Consortium Remastered" and presumably they thought having the original compete with the new one would be bad for sales. Personally, I think such a thing should be punishable through some kind of public humiliation, like putting the CEO in medieval stocks in the public squares so little kids can point and laugh and others may righfully throw produce at em.

So much of consortium's charm lay in its janky source engine rough edges that this attempt at erasing history is as ill-advised as it immoral. I don't even hate Unreal Engine 5, hell, I use it for work all the time (both uni work and currently in an internship), its a great piece of software and has helped to further democratize development and lower costs. But well, opening up the remastered Beta Playtest given to every consortium 2014 owner and seeing the interior of the iconic Zenlil lit up in the obvious lumen light engine with its characteristic bloom, compared to the more grounded and lived in lighting of the original, well, its tiring.

At time of writing, consortium remastered is still in Beta, but seemingly close to release (though given this dev, their promises of release dates are hard to take seriously). There are few things I can say about this particular version of the game, given that its just consortium 2014 but shinier, basically; so if you'll indulge me I'll spend the rest of the review eulogizing the original and the rest of the "franchise" that never was.

Consortium 2014 is an im-sim lite / adventure game. Its close to the idea of the "one block city rpg" that figures such as Warren Spector have theorized in the past, with density and variation of gameplay approaches and world expanded through compressing the scope to a tightly designed small play area. Rather than a city block, consortium takes place exclusively with the Zenlil, a plane/spaceship of the 2040s. It starts in medias res with you taking control of bishop 6 through the metanarrative of IGDI, essentially a contemporary company which uses a sci-fi satellite to transfer the consciousness of its "players" to the future (yeah, you're playing a game within a game, it gets meta). If there is one strength of consortium, its mysteries : not in a JJAbrams sense, as they actually get somewhat satisfyingly resolved, but in the sense that you're the classic fish-out-of-water piloting the body of an existing person in an unfamiliar setting, hence there is much about the world and plot which is thrown at you without explanation and its up to you to find out. You CAN ask people about things, but they'll also be weirded out if you don't know about basic shit, because, well, its like someone today asking you who Joe Biden is and what a constitutional republic is etc. The Voice acting is pretty mixed in quality, admittedly.

Choosing how and if you want to share your REAL identity is great, and though none of you will be able to legally obtain this game until the remaster comes out, I'd feel bad about spoiling how it all unfolds. The bite-sized nature of the game allows for a pretty nice level of divergence, with multiple playthroughs yielding pretty different results. At the same time, the game was originally supposed to be much bigger and divided into 2 parts only for easier development/getting money in to finish the rest of the game, and you can tell. The combat is... not great, its like half life 2 combat but somehow even more weightless, and even the little that exists is basically completely optional. Arguably this is a good thing, both because of its mediocrity and also because an Im-sim allowing for completely pacifist solutions is a sign of good design, but it does feel like a waste. There's a high jump module you can equip, but its basically useless aboard the tightly packed Zenlil.

Its sort of the contradiction of Consortium, with the tight scope being much to its benefit, but also leaving a lot of room for expansion, its a game that definitely leaves you itching for more; especially given the cliffhanger. Spoilers I suppose, though I don't think it matters much: The game ends really abruptly with the player's death and a message from the fictional in-game development team saying "okay we can fix this and let you play the climactic mission the game's entire narrative has been building towards through some handwavey bullshit". Osama Bin Laden's 80s Ski Instructor son has taken over Churchill Tower (incidentally, of the game's various predictions its funny how they got the CRT nostalgia right but thought that Al Qaeda was still going to be relevant all the way to 2042) in London and its up to Bishop 6 to stop it through a combination of first person shooting and dialogue choices.

In real life, this lead to the sequel Consortium : The Tower, which at the time of writing sits in Early Access with a "mixed" reception on Steam. It has not been updated in years. From what I can gather, the game is on the level of quality and divergence of the original, but is equally buggy and only about 1/3rd of the final vision of the game's full scope. As morbidly curious as I am about the game's current state, especially given that it may one day be delisted or updated into a completely different state like its predecessor was, giving the studio money for it at this point feels irresponsible for me. Now, in fairness, as per the game's steam page, the developers claim that shifiting to UE5 and making a VR port (which they were working on for years instead of working on the Tower, though they say that they were doing it during their free time as a passion project) is all to make the development costs affordable enough to finish The Tower, that consortium 2014's bugginess prevented the game from taking off beyond its niche cult status and thus making the cost of the Tower (which admittedly had a failed kickstarter) prohibitively expensive without more funding or reducing the size of the dev team. I can sympathize with some of that, game dev is a nightmare pain in the ass and capitalism is a bitch to the niche products without major backing, but that doesnt excuse delisting consortium or even working on the remaster instead of The Tower. I can sort of buy the latter as "practice" on UE5 to make the Tower's eventual development smoother, but that all depends on whether or not that shit get's actually released at some point.

I don't know, I don't have much of a conclusion here, other than to thank you if you read the whole thing and excuse my rambling. If you can get a steam key or "gifted" copy of the original, that's great, I hope more people get to play the game in it's original janky glory.

Edit : Okay I thought of something I wanted to mention for a closer. There's a bit in the game where a grumpy injured crewmember is taken to the medical bay to be put in the futuristic scanner machine and he says "if you find cancer or something, I don't want to know" and even though I'd heard the line before it still made me laugh.