Planescape: Torment Retrospective Review

The folks at RPGFan decided it was a good time to go back and replay Black Isle's masterpiece Planescape: Torment and review it again, 12 years after its release more or less, and award it a 4/5 noting that while the writing is top-notch the combat leaves something to be desired. Here's a snip:
The constant saving is extremely fortunate due to quite a few glitches that like to appear. The worst of these crashes the game upon entering certain areas, necessitating a retry. Smaller bugs also appear, most prominently when the usual icon that marks the effect of clicking the mouse vanishes for awhile, and a few quests that cannot be completed if outside events are triggered. They're not unmanageable, but the glitch issues will frustrate all they afflict &emdash; until some more engrossing dialogue appears to alleviate this.

The music of Planescape: Torment is an atmospheric thing, with compositions that draw attention to themselves being relatively few. Instead the sound mix is used to great effect, letting the inclement noises of streets and people about their business do the job of setting the mood. Voices of NPC characters are used to lend further gravity to the environs being explored, and they do so superbly. A comparatively small percentage of the dialogue spoken by the main characters is actually vocalized, but the performances of the words they do externalize are uniformly fine, with Morte's quips being a source of frequent amusement.

Planescape: Torment may have an abundance of bugs and interface issues that are downright obtrusive, but somehow none of that matters too much when the fascinating world of Sigil and the planes it connects to are being explored. The incredibly well-realized and compelling tale put together by Black Isle serves as a great goad to keep playing, and it is a testament to the writers' skills that even what are technically fetch quests stay interesting throughout. I've never been much of a PC gamer for any genre, but this has me thinking about all the riches I have yet to experience on the platform.

While I can't disagree with the notion that the combat is inferior to most of its competitors at the time and that the game had a number of glitch, I can't help but feel that the accomplishment of Chris Avellone, Colin McComb, Guido Henkel and the rest of the team overshadow such problems.