Coming off the back of completing Prey, Dishonored 2 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution + Mankind Divided over a period of 2 glorious gaming months, I felt compelled to post some thoughts about this most rare and incredible of gaming experiences: The Immersive Sim.
IMMERSIVE SIMS ARE RARE. And they probably always will be.
Mainstream gaming tastes do not, mostly, match up with the kind of
mature, considered, well-designed and carefully crafted immersive
experiences that have been created by incredible developers such as
Creative Assembly (Alien Isolation), Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex: HR + MD),
Ion Storm (Original Deus Ex), Arkane (Arx Fatalis and Dishonored) and
the oh so mighty Looking Glass Studios (Ultima Underworld, System Shock,
Thief). These are special, deep gaming experiences which don't come
along very often because the market does not "demand" them nearly as
much as Generic Sports Game -insert year-, Generic Open World
Collectathon, Generic First Person Shooter, etc.
This is sad. There is art to the game logic / visual / sound / level
design to any game but with Immersive Sims these things become far, far
more important and are often executed to a standard that very few other
developers match. I cannot wait to play the new System Shock and
Underworld games. The rewarding learning, exploring and discovery
offered by Immersive Sims are the gaming experiences I crave the most.
Apart from Demon's Souls and classic 90s shooters like Doom, Blood and
Descent... most other gaming experiences just fall flat for me.