Torment: Tides of Numenera Reviews

The reviews for Torment: Tides of Numenera are coming in and the current aggregate Metacritic score sits at 84. The individual reviews tend to be on the positive side, with only several outlets giving the game middling scores. The biggest PSA right now is that, at the moment, the game seems to suffer from some framerate and crashing issues on consoles, so if that is your preferred method of playing – be advised that perhaps it's better to wait until the issues are resolved.

IGN 8.8/10:

The turn-based combat may be a little disappointing, but Torment: Tides of Numenera manages to live up to the legacy of Planescape: Torment by offering a fascinatingly weird and well-written tale. Thanks to a wide variety of options in conversations and the influences of its tidal system, it offers decent opportunities for replay value and a memorable tale each time. This is the rare game that leans almost entirely on its setting and writing for its appeal, and the miraculous thing is that it usually succeeds.

PC Gamer 89/100:

After Torment sheds its initial inertia, however, a few problems persist. Companions sometimes move erratically and get stuck on scenery, although this never really hinders your progress—it just looks strange. Animations can be stiff, particularly when viewed up close, and particle effects aren't as dazzling as the phenomena they're supposedly representing.

This is also the sort of RPG that might frustrate serial completitionists: if you're the type of person who wants to rinse out every area and ace every quest, recalibrate your expectations before jumping in. Trying to min-max Torment misses the point, which is to live out your character's decisions. This is an RPG that you roleplay, not an RPG that you game.


Despite these issues, I'm impressed by Tides of Numenera both as a follow-up to a beloved RPG and as the digital debut of a fascinating setting. I've deliberately avoided specifics in this review, but I'm confident that if you've got a part of your brain dedicated to clever sci-fi story prompts you'll find a lot to love here. There's no escaping that Torment is a strange beast—it's a game for readers, an adventure for people who don't necessarily want to fight—but it's great to have it back.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun Recommended:

It has its pacing issues,[so] does Torment, and sometimes it can be too preoccupied with showing off the quality of its ideas and language over and above getting its emotional hooks in. Nevertheless, this would be considered a triumphant, wildly inventive and highly reactive roleplaying game even if Planescape: Torment had never existed.

Eurogamer Recommended:

And in that regard, it's successful. Like its predecessor, Numenera may not have invented its world, but it makes it one you'll want to spend time in. Where other RPGs are still content with a dragon or some apocalyptic end of the world boom, here the stakes are personal, as well as both asking and inviting far more interesting questions than how much fire you can fling from your fingertips. It's a far more welcoming game than the original Torment, though a slower burner as far as the main plot goes, and one that never quite has its predecessor's dark confidence. It is, however, as close as we've had in the last 15 or so years, and certainly doesn't invoke the name in vain.

Destructoid 7.5/10:

The various parts of Torment: Tides of Numenera come together in a solid package. Though it isn’t perfect, there’s no doubt that this is an RPG that will appeal to a specific type of person. The Ninth World, with all of its bizarre inhabitants and exotic locations, is worth exploring at a slower pace. Outside of your main goal – uncovering that nature of your existence as a discarded puppet of the Changing God – there are dozens of side quests and diversions. Every nook and cranny holds a secret, be it an item or a bit of insight shared from the mouth of a tortured mutant.

Like the way that the Ninth World rises from the ashes of other civilizations, Torment: Tides of Numenera is a layered experience. For role-players keen on experiencing a game of consequences and twisted fantasy, it’s well worth the adventure.

The Guardian 4/5:

Torment is designed to be replayed, you can’t fit a billion years into one play-through and expect to see everything. The sheer mass of stories and lore is impressive, and with less focus on combat, you can build characters that are designed for exploration and dialogue instead. The game is less a hunt for fights and gear and more a philosophical journey into what identity truly means. This is an intriguing, altogether different approach to storytelling. Torment: Tides of Numenera is more than a nostalgic homage to Planescape: Torment – its own innovations will mark the genre as much as its spiritual predecessor did.

PCGamesN 9/10:

In a non-linear experience of time that befits the setting, we already know that Torment succeeds. At least 75,000 people are behind it, willing it into being. What’s so delightful is that it succeeds not primarily as a nostalgia exercise but as as a genre-pushing RPG, and a beautifully told story about things left behind.

CGMagazine 9.5/10:

It was with games just like this, with their rich stories and seemingly endless attention to detail that I first found my love for writing and creating. To say that my time with Torment has been profoundly personal and joyful is an understatement. But ever the cynic, what is truly special about Torment is not what it means to me, or its Kickstarter backers, or to who knows how many more may come to it with love for the genre, it’s that I can finally shut up about how “storytelling in games was better when I was young.” Because what Torment has shown, much like Pillars and Tyranny, is that storytelling and immersive narrative in grand RPGs is still just as good, right here, and right now, and it’s exactly the sort of long-awaited spiritual pseudo-sequel I would expect from a studio named inXile Entertainment.

Ragequit GR 60/100:

In its present state, Numenera shamelessly usurps Torment's name and legacy and does not even scratch the surface of the majesty, glory, importance and damn it, plain old good fun that it's "spiritual father" provided. The feeling of a hastily released and under-developed game pervades every second of Numenera and will be the subject of a myriad RPG post-mortems in 2017. Something obviously tragically derailed between the Kickstarter campaign and its actual release and the game was released "as it was" in order to recoup development costs. inXile's Wasteland 2, whilst not creation's greatest RPG, stands as a towering and eternal masterpiece compared to Numenera.

TheSixthAxis 5/10:

Torment: Tides of Numenera is a game whose plot, with its well written characters and plentiful twists and turns, could easily hook you in. However, it’s a game that is currently fundamentally broken on consoles. Despite the technical flaws, the plot definitely grew on me and it would be great for others to be able to experience it, as well as the world they’ve created, but until the game is fixed on a number of fronts, Torment: Tides of Numenera is hard to recommend.