PREVIEW – There’s always big pressure on spiritual successors. If the said game also got multiple millions (!) of dollars on Kickstarter, then the situation is even more complicated. Last year, Mighty No. 9 flopped in some ways (I think there are still platforms without having received its ports!), so Torment has a high bar set for it.
The game can jump the bar, though – as the successor to Planescape: Torment, it already surprises a few by the unbelievable amount of words in its script. It has over one million words. Then, add your decisions and the forks in the plot that come with them, and this RPG already put massive replayability on the table. That can sound good, can’t it? The disc might be in your PS4 for at least a hundred hours, which isn’t common in modern gaming.
Past in the future
Torment didn’t throw away its heritage at the first possibility, though. The combat system isn’t something you saw in games such as The Witcher series. Nope; here, you get some isometric point and click (while also being turn-based), and no matter if you choose a male or female character, you will either fight or pull out some tricks. Indeed, you do not have to fight every single enemy. If you use some stealth, you can move ahead without fighting.
If you persuade the opposition to lay off the weapons, you can do that as well. Torment builds on variety and replayability with this aspect, and while you play through the story, your character keeps remembering more memories and some areas of the personality. Now that I brought up character, you can play within your mind… or some of the other characters’ as well! You can hack their memories, too. I know, it sounds somewhat stupid, but the idea looks promising to me. It’s much better than say, 2011’s farce Mindjack, although that was never an RPG game.
An RPG wouldn’t be complete without creating your character and customizing it as much as possible. Thankfully, Torment doesn’t lack in this aspect, although the way it approaches you is in the form of a bit of quiz. You can be male, female, but not an Apache combat helicopter. You can pick some of the skills in which your hero/heroine will be talented as well. There’s also the Descriptors that can give some boosts to you in some aspects, but with a price: some other skills will be receiving deficiency in return. Torment makes you decide even before starting the game!
Don’t forget the partners in your team, though – if we can believe the game’s creators, then to see everyone show up in our crew, we will have to play through the game at least (!) five times. You should: the different side characters open up various special missions. You won’t see everything in just one playthrough!
If you’re done with your creation, you’ll end up falling… and even here, you can die already. Creative. Also, botching up some decisions early could become significant assistance later.
Torment‘s magic is called Nanos. The name is intentional: the game is set roughly a billion (!) years in the future. Monte Cook’s name might not mean a lot to you, but if you are experienced in table-top RPGs, you might recognize him. Thanks to him (partially), the magic system, which might feel a little awkward at first, is a little unique from other RPGs. Straying away from the original Numenera books doesn’t seem like much of a problem, so even if you’re right or evil (although they don’t feel crystal clear), inXile Entertainment, the developers, could open their wings.
Our decisions are based on Tides, with different colors. If you go for the greater good, you will shift towards the Indigo Tide. Harsher, selfish choices will move you to the Silver one. Expect a ton of moral decisions throughout Torment!
It’s going to kick ass
If you liked Planescape: Torment, this is a must-buy. As the game is out on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well at the end of February, having a weak PC is not a valid excuse anymore. The game’s success is going to depend on replayability and the ambiance: if anyone can pick it up and play it for two to three hours without ever noticing time passing by, the Blu-ray will be stuck in your console. If it gets annoying, the press might rate the game harshly.
Torment: Tides of Numenera got multiple millions of dollars, but you can trust inXile – Wasteland 2 was another great game thanks to Kickstarter. Let’s hope Mighty No. 9’s story won’t happen again. That wouldn’t be good for anyone.
These might make it a success:
+ Major replayability
+ Decisions, decisions, decisions!
These might make it a disappointment:
– The visuals might not appeal to everyone
– How much time will ONE playthrough take?
– The genre will make it a little subcultural (aka not mainstream)
Developer: InXile Entertainment
Relase date: February 28, 2017