Warren Spector is known for the immersive sim. Games like System Shock and Deus Ex which later paved the way for games like BioShock and Dishonored. He was recently gracious enough to give quick reviews of modern immersive sim RPGs like the two mentioned as well as Fallout 4 and even The Legend of Zelda.
"I'm probably gonna get myself in trouble here, but in the Bethesda games their simulations are an inch deep and miles wide," Spector says in a new feature by PCGamesN. "Their whole thing is creating huge expansive worlds that you could explore fully and live in. My games and, I think I can speak for [game director [Joe Fielder and the Underworld Ascendant team as well, they're an inch wide and miles deep, if you see the distinction."
If we're picking up what Spector is putting down, he probably means that while games like Fallout 4 and Skyrim are expansive in size and content common in modern open-world RPGs, Immersive Sims are smaller in scale but feature meatier mechanics and game interactions that reverberate more strongly within the world. In the end, Spector says Bethesda games and Immersive sims are "definitely related, but...a little bit distantly related."
The full feature is worth checking out if only for Spector's micro-reviews. BioShock for example Spector considers more as a "kissing cousin" to System Shock rather than a spiritual successor and says director Ken Levine is more interested in telling his own story than letting the player tell a story like in Spector's games. Spector also "didn't play" Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. "I started and got distracted, but it wasn't a quality thing," Spector says.
He did play the first game, Human Revolution, and said while there were some moments of frustration Spector "really had a Deus Ex experience" and "That's pretty cool."
Bethesda is currently working on the online multiplayer Fallout 76. If Fallout 4 is a distant relative, then Fallout 76 could be considered a complete stranger. You can read our Fallout 76 beta impressions here, or check out our Fallout 76 guide.
Fallout 76 is coming out on November 14 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
An earlier version of the story incorrectly called Deux Ex: Human Revolution the sequel. It was the predecessor to Mankind Divided. The story has been corrected.