Despite blazing reviews, Interplay's formidable marketing machine, and many accolades of "1999 RPG of the year" Planescape: Torment did not achieve the same commercial success as Baldur's Gate. Perhaps some of the reasons are the numerous bugs in the initial release, the sheer amount of text the player had to read, and the fact that the familiar Baldur's Gate interface was changed into something more difficult to use. Interface tweaks, however, were necessary to make room for the larger and more detailed animations. Or perhaps the leap from the familiar AD&D backdrop of Baldur's Gate to the alien world and more mature storyline of Torment was just too great for many. Nevertheless, if you are looking for an excellent RPG with a truly superb storyline that puts the "kill the foozle" plot in most other RPGs to shame, Torment is a must-have. |
The game casts you as Nameless, a typical amnesiac. The catch: you have become an immortal. A god walking on Earth, so to speak. As you journey into the strange and wonderful world of Planescape, you will slowly learn about your life... and must eventually come to terms with the horrible deeds you have committed.
Anyone who has played any Black Isle game will recognize the elements in the intuitive interface. There are many keyboard shortcuts for most important actions, and you will quickly get used to the keyboard + mouse combination. The graphics are simply superb, and even strangely compelling. One of the most fun aspects of Torment is that the weird setting influences everything from weapons to NPCs and beyond. What other game lets you recruit a talkative flying skull as your companion, and then lets you equip him with different kinds of teeth as "weapon upgrades"? Like any good RPG, there are plenty of people to talk to, experience to gain, cool magic to wield, quests and sub-plots to enjoy, and deep, dark secrets to discover.
Although Torment is not free-form in the same way that Morrowind is, it still offers a good range of options and alternate paths – many of which are dependent on your character's alignment, which is in turn influenced by your behavior. You can be anything from a teetotalling do-gooder to an absolute evil prick – it's all up to you. Your actions will lead you to one of the game's multiple endings, each of which nicely ties together loose ends, but not all of which are wholly satisfying.
With the best writing I have ever seen in an RPG game, Planescape: Torment will leave you deep in thought long after the game is over. That's how profound and fascinating the story really is. Truly a masterpiece, and a must-have for every RPG fan.
Reviewed by: Krovax