Immersive Sim – Genre Evolution

Immersive sims, a fairly unique and tough to pin down subgenre of roleplaying games with its roots stemming from the likes of System Shock and Deus Ex, seems to be undergoing a bit of an evolution. According to this PC Gamer article, after years of being limited to first-person single-player experiences, the genre is currently being augmented in order to make it broader and even more inventive.

Here’s a quick excerpt to get you started:

This isn’t just a temporary blip in the genre’s evolution, either. Arkane’s next release, Redfall, is an online co-op shooter about hunting psychic vampires. Multiplayer seems like an odd fit for a genre that focuses on empowering players to choreograph their own experiences and tell individual stories. But Arkane says Redfall will continue its “legacy of carefully crafted worlds and immersive sims” by adapting, rather than replacing, the studio’s “signature gameplay”. From what we’ve so far, that means lots of opportunities for stealth and multiple ways of approaching combat.

Even Warren Spector, who had a hand in several of the earliest immersive sim hits, is trying to regenerate the genre he grandfathered. We don’t know much about his next game, Argos: Riders on the Storm, other than it will also focus on multiplayer, but his involvement counts for more than you might think. Spector moved on from immersive sims more than a decade ago to make the Epic Mickey series for Nintendo Wii, and even after a disappointing initial comeback with 2018’s Ultima: Underworld Ascendant, his legacy still looms large.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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