Consortium: The Tower‘s dialogue and diplomacy systems are so robust, you could use them to bypass combat entirely.
It always fascinates me when action games let you win without killing enemies, Deus Ex and Dishonored being notable examples. But Consortium: The Tower wants to go a step further by letting you complete the game using dialogue alone. While combat options will still exist, Interdimensional Games wants to expand Consortium‘s scope so NPCs can be defeated with carefully chosen words. Which is impressive, considering the game takes place during a tense hostage situation.
“In The Tower you will never be forced into solving things violently,” lead designer Gregory MacMartin wrote in a Kickstarter update. “As with Consortium, you will be able to play the entire game without ever raising your weapon. This will, however, be extremely difficult to accomplish.”
According to MacMartin, Consortium: The Tower will use a “talk anywhere” system that functions independently from NPC dialogue trees. At any point, players can press a talk key that opens a list of default voice commands. If you’re standing near an NPC – even if you can’t see them – they’ll respond depending on your chosen dialogue and reputation. You could order enemies to stand down, whistle to attract a civilian’s attention, or throw someone off using ghost sounds.
Depending on your reputation and where you are in The Tower, NPCs will respond in various ways. For example, enemy soldiers might throw down their weapons rather than risk being defeated by the infamous Bishop Six. On the other hand, they might also call for reinforcements and you’ll have a fight on your hands. If a conversation begins, you’ll also be able to draw on diplomatic tools, befriending, bribing, or threatening NPCs to do what you want.
Victory through dialogue certainly isn’t new – the original Consortium allowed for it – but expanding these systems across an entire in-game skyscraper could be very exciting. And if pacifism isn’t your thing, players always have the option of falling back on combat, especially if attempts at diplomacy fail. The full Kickstarter update is long, but worth a read if you’re interested in how Interdimensional Games plans to make this a reality.
Now the question is whether Consortium: The Tower can reach its Kickstarter goal and produce the full game. As of writing, the team has raised $98,000 out of $450,000, with 25 more days to go.