Planescape: Torment Retrospective

We haven't seen a retrospective feature for Planescape: Torment since last November, so the editors at RPGFan felt it was time to correct that problem. And I'm glad they did:
As a character, The Nameless One exceeds every video game protagonist to date. He is immortal, scarred, and tormented, and his every false death casts another inexhaustible shadow upon existence. He cannot die permanently. That means just as much for the player as it does for him. No Game Over screens. He is truly one of a kind. He regenerates hit points, he can change classes at any time, and he gains ability score points at nearly every level. And although his past is fixed, the player decides how he acts in the present, making this one of the best real role-playing games around. Dialogue options swarm the screen at times with a great level of personality customization. Having high Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma pays off with new and better dialogue options. Torment employs an alignment system that heavily complements the setting, but it never seems obtrusive the way moral systems often do. In the end, the player creates his own version of The Nameless One, but he isn't the only unique character.

A droll floating skull. A peaceful succubus who runs a brothel for the intellectual. A man turned into a conduit to the Elemental Plane of Fire for his crimes. A construct from the lawful plane of Mechanus gone chaotic. If The Nameless One is the best protagonist, his followers are the best supporting characters. Each is intelligently crafted and one of a kind. Special rules govern each of their statistics and abilities, and conversing with them reveals not only heart wrenching backstories, but new powers as well. While I would have preferred more inter-party dialogue, the amount that is present is amusing. Several characters don't get along, and that's always fun. It doesn't match Baldur's Gate II's quality, but it's done well nevertheless.

The majority of playtime in Torment involves talking to NPCs. The 800,000 words in the game demand to be read. Quests are common, and most of them are actually memorable, given by memorable characters, putting most modern RPG side quests to shame. Almost every NPC within the game features an interesting perspective, conversation style, or physical appearance. One NPC might babble on forever at a simple request. Another might only speak in magical curses. And many NPCs are just nuts. Interestingly, an enormous portion of Torment is optional. There are entire segments of the game the player can bypass if he just wants to play through the main storyline. Some of the best moments are optional, however, including the acerbic hack 'n slash satire, the Modron Cube. Sigil begs to be explored, and the game certainly rewards those who take the time to do so.
Thanks, RPGWatch.