Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition Impressions

Geek & Sundry managed to get their hands on an early copy of Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition. They now offer a review from the perspective of someone who has never played the original game, a look from the other side, so to speak. An excerpt:

Stories of Infinite Worlds

The second thing you’ll notice about Torment (we’ll get the to first thing later) is its writing. The game’s alien setting allows Torment’s story to delve into the realm of the philosophical and the melancholy. The way that this story plays out may actually seem familiar to modern gamers; your character, the Nameless One, wakes up in a strange facility and emerges into a larger world to regain their memories of their past life. We get a taste of this storytelling method in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but Torment hangs its entire story on this central theme of rediscovery. This sort of self-sleuthing always makes you feel like you have a personal stake in the game, even when Torment goes into incredibly cosmic, high-concept places.

If you love cosmic, high-concept fantasy, you’ll find plenty of it in the countless worlds of Planescape. In many ways, Torment feels like a classic Elder Scrolls game—particularly the metaphysical acid trip that is The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Except while the land of Morrowind is filled with optional books you might choose to read, playing through Torment feels like you’re engaging with a singular, interactive novel.

Your Game, Your Playstyle

Torment prioritizes storytelling and player choice over thrilling combat encounters. Simply, this means that while you have only limited input over how the larger plot plays out, your actions to get there can be wildly different. Again, let’s return to the Elder Scrolls comparison. In both Torment and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, your class selection determines if you want to be a warrior, a mage, or a rogue. But in Oblivion, that choice really means “do you want to focus in stealthy combat, physical combat, or magical combat?” In Torment, if you play your cards right and choose exceptionally stealthy and diplomatic character traits, you’ll only fight enough battles to count on two hands.

All this to say, combat in Torment is only as important as you make it. (Which is a good thing, because… well, let’s say the combat system isn’t Torment’s strongest point.)