Prompted by the crazy success that inXile Entertainment is enjoying with their Torment: Tides of Numenera Kickstarter campaign, Kotaku has editorialized on why so many of us role-playing game fans adore Black Isle Studios' original Planescape: Torment. I'm not sure if they quite "get it" as much they think they do, but I'm not going to complain about some new Torment-inspired light reading:
Your choices actually matter
In Planescape: Torment, a lie can bring a person to life. You can talk your way out of boss fights. You can even convince the final boss to kill himself.
When people talk about Planescape, they generally talk about how good the writing is, but they're not just talking about prose and flow. They're talking about how your decisions carry weight. How every bit of dialogue almost feels like a puzzle to solve, a tree full of complicated choices whose branches all lead to different possibilities.
There's a question asked frequently in Planescape: Torment. "What can change the nature of a man?" It's one of the driving themes behind the game. But the real question you'll be asking as you play is: how can you change the nature of man?
Maybe it's just the little things
In Planescape: Torment...
'¢ You can die. You'll come back to life. This is an integral part of the game.
'¢ You can join a cult that worships death, or a cult that believes that everybody is a god. Or you can just become an anarchist.
'¢ You can visit a pregnant alley, then prevent it from getting an abortion. This makes even less sense than it sounds.
'¢ You can piss off the deity-like Lady of Pain and find yourself trapped in a maze for all of eternity.
'¢ You can kill the incarnation of your character's mortality.