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Thread: What new games are "immersive sims"

  1. #1
    New Member
    Registered: May 2017
    Location: USA

    What new games are "immersive sims"

    What are some modern day games that you feel fit under the category of the "Immersive Sim"
    I already know about Dishonored and Prey (2017), but there's bound to be others that fit under that category...

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Alien Isolation and the latest Deus Ex probably fit the bill, though I have yet to play either.

  3. #3
    There are lots of games that incorporate immersive sim elements now, Prey and the Dishonoreds are the only recent ones (already out, anyway) that I'd say fit the subgenre neatly though. The Eidos Montreal games (DXHR, DXMD, Thiaf) are great action/stealth games but they don't really simulate anything. Apparently (haven't played it) the latest Metal Gear Solid would fit if it were first person. The ArmA games rely heavily on systems-driven gameplay. Bethsoft started incorporating immersive sim concepts into their games with Oblivion, but I wouldn't consider their stuff entirely simulation driven yet. Frictional's games, particularly Penumbra, are pretty close. Gone Home and Neon Struct were obviously influenced by immersive sims. I'm assuming Far Cry 2, the BioShocks, and the STALKERs don't qualify as new and they should probably have their own genre anyway (improvisational shooter?).

  4. #4
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    When this topic comes up there's always a bit of debate about what it precisely means. This article from Medium sums it up in 3 traits:

    -Persistent gameplay systems, which players can leverage to accomplish goals in creative ways not necessarily intended by the developers.

    -Open-ended level design and unpredictable AI, leading to emergent gameplay and ensuring that each playthrough will be different.

    -A structure of linear progression, whereby gameplay occurs within a well-defined, overarching story and clear objective.

    Under that definition I'd certainly put Metal Gear Solid V in there. Neon Struct I'm not so sure about. Been a while since I played it but IIRC it didn't give you all that much wiggleroom in how you approach problems, pretty much just a straight-up stealth-game. Ubisoft's openworld action-stealth games feel like they might fit when it comes to their side-missions, but when you get to the main story they have an unfortunate tendency to strip away your freedom in favor of making you play through linear, pre-scripted missions.

    Oh, Sir, You Are Being Hunted! It wasn't great, but it was pretty much entirely built on systems rather than pre-scripted events. It had a clear objective: build the teleporter(or whatever it was) and it gave you the tools to accomplish this in a variety of different ways.

  5. #5
    Big Robot's new game, The Signal From Tölva seems like it would also fit the mold although I haven't had a chance to pick it up yet.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I'd also mention the recent Hitman. It can be played as something much more linear if all the training wheel options are switched on, but deactivate some of them and Hitman is very much systems-based, with a few scripted options built into each open-ended level.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: May 1999
    Location: on the socio path
    Ugh that term is almost as bad as "intelligent dance music"

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I'd say that MGS 5 is an immersive sim regardless of it not being a first person game.

    I'd nearly call The Witcher 3 for this category as well since it feels like a living breathing world, though I guess it's more sandbox in the way that all the Assassin's Creed games are. Difficult to define.

  9. #9
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Speaking of Hitman (I do so love that game), did any of youse see the "Real Life Hitman" Youtube promo vid they made?
    It's awesome


    Fun fact: I had no idea the guy who voices 47 is actually a Brit!

  10. #10
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Warren Spector talked about feeling like you're actually in the game world, so just based on that I usually rule out third person games like Hitman and Metal Gear. Nothing kills immersion more than seeing your own ass while running around.

  11. #11
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Australia
    The Long Dark definitely fits the bill, in my opinion.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Landahn
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    Nothing kills immersion more than seeing your own ass while running around.
    Speak for yourself. I'm always immersed when I see my own ass.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    ... immersed in what?

  14. #14
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Ass, Thirith.
    Ass.

    Kinda like Eels.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    It's asses all the way down.


  16. #16
    New Member
    Registered: May 2017
    Location: USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Abysmal View Post
    Ugh that term is almost as bad as "intelligent dance music"
    What's wrong with it?

  17. #17
    Immersed in an immaculate emulsion.

    Er, what were we talking about? I think IDM is fine as a catch-all genre, but I hate this thing that started happening in the late 80's or early 90's where every genre of music has to be subdivided into 800 subgenres whose definitions are so limiting that everything ends up being musically identical.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    Speaking of Hitman (I do so love that game), did any of youse see the "Real Life Hitman" Youtube promo vid they made?
    It's awesome


    Fun fact: I had no idea the guy who voices 47 is actually a Brit!
    That's really cool. But it also brings into light just how unrealistic all the system are when translated to real life

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: May 1999
    Location: on the socio path
    Quote Originally Posted by SplitterTrace View Post
    What's wrong with it?
    Like IDM it's a douchey genre name, saying your genre is more immersive than others (not true), plus there's nothing particular sim-y about them compared to actual sim games.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    It's called "immersive sim", not "most immersive sim". And they are called simulations because things happen in the game as a natural result of physics and/or other game systems interacting, as opposed to being scripted.

  21. #21
    Defining a genre or subgenre of something is different than saying something's good or better than something else. Determining whether a game fits into the Immersive Sim category isn't a judgement on whether or not the game is good. The most recent DX games are fantastic whether they're immersive sims or not. And there's tons of bad IDM, take a look at everything Autechre's released since around 1996.

  22. #22
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Since I started playing Prey, I've been looking around to find other System Shock type games out there (there are quite a few). A few newer, indie games that might also fit the bill as Immersive Sims include:

    Routine
    Event 0
    Pamela
    Syndrome
    Alone In Space
    Outlast 2
    Tacoma

    BUT...I have yet to play any of them (and some aren't even out yet).

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: May 1999
    Location: on the socio path
    Yeah but the name is saying the defining characteristic is in being (gag) immersive, which most all games are (and what the hell does that even mean?) Just an unfortunate name to be stuck with, happens to a lot of genres though.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Draggy the Dragons house
    It all relative, I mean I would have definitely said Bards Tale was immersive when I played it at the age of 12, but not now.

    Also EELS, up inside ya

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Immersive here doesn't mean "engaging", which nearly all games aim to be. It means the game aims to evoke a specific feeling of being there in the game world, which means the game has verisimilitude, good worldbuilding, realistic level design and so on. This is also why first person view is so crucial to the concept. An immersive sim wants you to forget that you're playing a character and convince you that you are the character.

    Just a couple of snippets from a Doug Church interview that help illustrate the concept:

    http://ttlg.com/articles/SSint2.asp

    ...the emphasis is on giving you a feeling of being there, in this rich, exciting, active environment you can work with.
    So what are you proud of in System Shock? What makes it great to
    play?

    Doug Church: The immersive environment. Trying to set up a world which looks unique
    and interesting, which begs you to look around the corner, or down into the
    chasm, or up toward the cathedral-like ceiling. We've always felt that
    first person games are maximally atmospheric, and in System Shock we are
    pushing that in as many ways as we can.

    If you want atmosphere in a game, things have to look real, and they also
    have to *feel* real. So in addition to the 3-D physical environment, we
    have a plot that goes beyond "bad things have happened, go and kill
    everyone." There are mystery elements, as you go through the space station
    and unravel what actually happened. There are log messages and email
    messages from the past and the present that you read during the game, and
    we've tried to make them more than "you must pull lever N" and instead make
    them feel as though they came from and are going to someone real.
    So System Shock is an action-intensive 3-D game, but the real focus is on
    making the 3-D world really immersive and interactive, "you are there", and
    that's the goal which motivates these really cool things in the game.
    Last edited by Starker; 17th May 2017 at 00:38.

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