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Kirk's Interactive Sim Recommendations

Kirk's Interactive Sim Recommendations

Kirk recommends:


Dishonored, as our regular readers will likely know, is one of my favourite games of this generation. It's a masterclass in fluidity of movement, and once you've mastered its systems, everything clicks into place - you become one with the game, like a symbiotic entity. There are only few games that make you feel so vulnerable, but at the same time completely unstoppable - when you die, it's your fault, you're not fit for Corvo's shoes yet.

Essentially, it's two games in one, because the stealth and combat feel totally distinct from one another, yet, at the same time, they work in tandem.

My stealth playthrough was a series of perfectly timed 'Blinks' (read: teleportations) through the environment, slipping past each sentry. I would combine this with heavy use of the 'Bend Time' ability, using gaps in patrols to weave through their ranks. Sometimes I would possess a rat, or even a fish, to accomplish my goals. Then, in the end, I had done it. No alerts and no kills.

Getting through a whole game as if you were never even there? It's a rare thrill.
And then there's the combat. I don't even know where to start, because there's an absolute mountain of moves, a mountain so vast that even the corpses that you'll leave in your wake will never reach its peaks. My personal favourite is to slow time to a crawl, and 'blink towards each target, slicing them, in turn, like a fencer with attention deficit disorder.

You could be less direct, of course, mixing stealth with violence and becoming a deadly shadow. Mix the brutal combat and slick stealth with a chilling, dystopian setting that's pulsating with hostility, throw massive lashings of player choice and you've got yourself some gaming cake. Mmm... cake.

Alternatively, try:

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

You've either heard of the Deus Ex series, or you been hidden under/ bashed over the head with a rock. Deus Ex's creator, Warren Spector, actually coined the term 'immersive sim' when looking back on the project, so it's quite fitting that its successor is still one of the best recent examples of the genre.

This game also has a broad set of powers and abilities that complement each other, and although the movement isn't as fluid as Dishonored's, the game kicks Dishonored's arse in some areas.

For one, Deus Ex has a really strong narrative, with much more player choice. Each conversation can completely change the way a mission plays out, giving the player tons of replay value. Then there's the fact that you couldn't hope to unlock all of the abilities in one run, so you obviously NEED to go back and play it a second time, because you never did get to feel the thrill of assassinating TWO goons at the same time with you metal, chicken wing-looking elbow blades.

The environments and the sound design work synchronistically to create a sense of place. It feels like the future: relatable, but alien, familiar, but strange.

It's a really convincing vision of the future, bathed in a golden hue and an onyx contrast. Deus Ex: HR is one of the most immersive games we've had this generation, and now you can pick it up for under a tenner. That's your signal to pop down the shop, by the way. Or you could get it off the PlayStation store where it's currently stupidly cheap.


Bioshock will be etched into the gaming history books forever, as a classic. On a pure gameplay level, there is nothing here that hasn't been done before, but the setting and writing will keep you ploughing through the game. The story certainly isn't without the odd misstep, but it's one of the most engaging and shocking set of twists and turns I had seen in a game up until that point.

The setting is completely unique, called Rapture, it's an underwater haven for the influential and the brilliant. What was once a hive of the great minds from across the globe, is now an apocalyptic hell hole that's undergone a complete social breakdown.

As with most sim games, you also have a plethora of powers that you can use in a variety of tactical and emergent ways: setting traps, imbuing them with fire.

It's the only way you'll get to experience the serene bliss of a blood-covered Art Deco aquarium, in a game, and probably in real life too, if you're lucky. And like Deus Ex, the price is ridiculous, so you have no excuse to not buy it. Unless of course, you're under the sea.

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Kaostic - 03:14pm, 18th July 2016

Alternatives to Dishonored? Who are you and what have you done with Kirk?

Ewok - 03:14pm, 18th July 2016

I'm sure you just made up a genre so you could put three of your favourite games together in this article... Dishonored is an interactive simulation of being an magic-powered assassin in a steampunk world. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an interactive simulation of being a cybernetically-enhanced super solider. BioShock is an interactive simulation of a mans exploration of a corrupted and fallen underwater society. Is an 'interactive sim' just a 'videogame'?