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The recent announcement of the Planescape: Torment's remastering came as a surprise, and not long after, the game is out. An official blog post by Beamdog welcomes the newest addition to their Enhanced Editions portfolio. Here's an excerpt:
The journey from PS:T to PST:EE has been an interesting one. From acquiring the license, to deciphering the source code, and working through the unique solutions put in place by the original team, the journey has been filled with valuable lessons, some of which we may bring to our other Infinity Engine Enhanced Edition titles.
We’d like to thank the original Black Isle team for bringing Planescape: Torment into this world. We’re all fans of the original and having the chance to bring games like this to both a new generation of players and back to fans who were there at the beginning is why many of us are here at Beamdog. A special thanks goes out to original Black Isle team members Eric Campanella, Kenneth Lee, and Tim Donley for taking the time to answer questions and point us in the right direction.
Everyone at Wizards of the Coast have been amazing throughout the development and release of Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition. They're as excited as we are to see more Dungeons & Dragons fans experience Sigil and the phenomenal Planescape setting for the first time or revisit to the planes to relive one of the greatest stories ever told.
Chris Avellone, as always, has been a joy to work with. Chris, you’re a master of your craft and we cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to bring one of your best works from 1999 to 2017. We loved your work as Lead Designer on PS:T and to have you reprise that role on Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition has helped us stay true to the spirit of the original game.
And now, the big question – is it any good? The general consensus is that it is, and the new features are mostly unintrusive quality of life improvements. As such, this Enhanced Edition comes highly recommended to anyone who hasn't yet played the original game, while those with a tried and true way of making it work on a modern system may find the enhancements somewhat lacking. Have a look:
The Zero Review Loves it:
While I personally think that the improvements are enough to sway most people, I also find it hard to recommend this one whole-heartedly to veterans of the planes. Planescape: Torment – Enhanced Edition is probably the best “Enhanced Edition” game that Beamdog has released to date. It shows just how far the company has come since the release of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition. Beamdog has finally managed to remaster a game without the bloat of new content and forced changes that are a turn off for old-school fans while including enough improvements to justify the release of an enhanced edition in the first place. However, I will say that by keeping the additions to ONLY those quality-of-life improvements, Beamdog’s latest title is doing its more hardcore fans a greater service. It may not be enough to sway all of them into buying it, but there is enough stuff there that many ought to consider it, especially when it goes on sale in the future. With that in mind, I think that Planescape: Torment – Enhanced Edition is a fantastic entry point for either gamers who are interested in the Planescape setting (or 2nd Edition Dungeons & Dragons in general), fans yearning for more isometric CRPGs, gamers who want to be told an amazing story or even older fans who don’t have the time or patience to go through the process of modding the game to have a similar experience.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun Scoreless:
Though PST is famed for its word count, the mandatory opening dialogue is tight and sparing, rather than verbose for the sake of verbosity. I know how the story plays out already, and sure, what seemed like high literature to me 18 years ago has a more obvious pulpish quality to it now, but even so, the sense of mystery and strangeness and character grabbed me all over again.
Not played PST before? PSTEE is all the invitation you need. Native high-res support, scaleable UI, a few helping hands and most of all it just works. Played PST before? Well, like me, the last time round you probably did it modded, and as such PSTEE, though a smoother ride, won’t feel particularly revelatory. If it’s your first time back since 1999, however, rest assured that it treats your memories well.
PC Gamer Scoreless:
None of it interferes with Planescape: Torment's greatness. So the main reason to buy the Enhanced Edition—aside from it being the only edition on sale—is that it'll run at your display resolution without issue, and with a high-res UI and remastered music. Mods can do some of that, too, and modders who carry out PC gaming's great tradition of making old games work on new hardware deserve much respect. But the upside of the re-release is that it's much easier to recommend to new players who don't necessarily want their games to come with 1,500-word mod guides—so long as the additional ten bucks doesn't turn them away.
If you are a newcomer to the game, I won't re-review Planescape: Torment here, but it sits at the top of our best RPGs list for reasons that didn't take me more than 30 minutes of play to recognize, and even with this re-release, our original review hasn't aged a day. Put on your reading glasses and play this thing.
At the end of the day, Planescape Torment: Enhanced Edition is just like the original, which means we're dealing with a masterpiece. Its script, its characters and its atmosphere, the three core elements that took it to new heights, have been left intact, so it's still an amazing game that feels like it hasn't aged at all and that promises many hours of fun, fascination, and exploration of the unknown. This is the perfect excuse for veterans to relive, or newcomers to discover for the first time, one of the best role-playing games of all time.
Planescape deserves to be played, even today. It’s still one of the weirdest RPGs ever made, testament to the fact that video games don’t need to exist within the tiny box of mass-marketability. There’s an audience for the strange and macabre, for games that are fiercely personal and meditative and thought-provoking. Games that are creative. Planescape’s not the only game to accomplish this, but it does it with a grace and charm most others lack.
I don’t have much more to add. You’ve undoubtedly heard people talk about Planescape for years. If you haven’t played it? This is the way to go, for sheer simplicity’s sake. And if you have played it, well, a replay can’t hurt. It's that good.
Gaming Trend 90/100:
If I had one word of caution for that new generation, it’s simply this: a lot of gameplay enhancements have occurred over the last 17 years. Torment has 800,000 words of dialogue, and it’s living in a world where Fallout 4 has 110,000 spoken words. In that same example, however, Fallout 4 has an endless stream of fetch quests and combat, whereas Torment has an abundance of plot threads where the outcome is not determined by fighting (unless that’s your choice). There are some elements that might be more simple than you remember, and there are others that have been improved by more recent games. This could be frustrating for newcomers, but anyone looking to experience the magic again will be pleased at being able to do so without arcane knowledge of .ini files and mods.
Good Enough Geek 10/10:
I heartily recommend checking out Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition. If you haven’t played the game before, it does a strong job maintaining the original experience (always my preference for interactive storytelling). Planescape veterans will likely find the Enhanced Edition to be like revisiting an old friend. And this time, we don’t have to install or swap a bunch of discs just to play it.