I LOVED Planescape: Torment. It ignited a passion in me for RPGs in the same way that Baldur’s Gate did before it, and it left a void once I realized I wouldn’t really see a sequel. Then Torment: Tides of Numenera was announced! I was filled with huge trepidation, joy and a level of anxiousness. Will it live up to the standard of its predecessor? Will it have memorable characters and a detailed tapestry-like story?Needless to say, Planescape clearly had an impact on many, many gamers all over the globe. Read our Torment: Tides of Numenera review to learn more about this release!
When Torment: Tides of Numenera went live on Kickstarter, it smashed its goal and went into countless stretch goals, leaving fans eagerly awaiting its release. But did the developer deliver? inXile have, thankfully, managed to keep hold of the feel of the original game and rekindle my love affair with the vivid and deep worlds they create.
I’ll start this review by saying that I don’t want to go too deeply into the game’s story, as I don’t want to ruin the experience for fans of the series. As you fire up the game, you’re playing as the Last Castoff. Think of a God-like entity who likes to change his look every ten years or so, building new bodies and discarding the old like unwanted trash. You start the game by taking almost like a personality test, and it’s this that rolls your character.
The game’s set in the Ninth World, a futuristic setting that’s almost unrecognizable to the Earth we know now. Magic is still alive and well, but now is in the form of a form of science. The game is designed in such a way that it’ll pull together a vast array of plotlines to sync into your personal playthrough. Want to play the game with no violence at all? You can literally complete the game without laying a hand on a single enemy – but really, where’s the fun in that?
Visually the game’s pretty solid. Some unique environments and nicely designed characters are all here – but there are times when some elements just feel a bit…rushed? Don’t get me wrong, when the graphics are good, they are SUPERB. But every now and again there’s something that just feels a bit sloppy.
You and the Castoffs (the old bodies) are being hunted. A killer called Sorrow is after you, and you’re faced with having to escape this seemingly-inevitable fate. This motivates your initial adventure into the Ninth World and as you start tentatively exploring, Tides of Numenera becomes more about discovering the world and its inhabitants, with side quests intertwining and actually becoming part of the integral story arc.
Choices in the game MATTER and thankfully, there are multiple ways of approaching scenarios and any decisions you make do impact your game’s story. Sometimes the game plays and honestly feels like a book, and this is not a bad thing – if you’re a reader. It’s a deep, deep story and is really quite immersive – but you WILL have to read. The voice acting, although present, is about as common as unicorn turd – but the quality of the writing shines through.
Sometimes combat feels a bit unbalanced, often with a crazy number of enemies just thrown at you. Other times you can breeze through a confrontation with God-like ease and, honestly, as you play you’ll level up your group with so many combat skills that you’ll have trouble remembering what they all do – struggle to actually feel the need to use them all. However, it’s not without its merits. You can avoid violence by using your attuned influence and intimidate or scare foes out of fighting. Neat if you’re just unlucky like me and keep facing random packs of enemies just wanting a fight for no good given reason! I do feel, though, that combat here just isn’t as satisfying as Baldur’s Gate. It’s good, but it’s just not on the same level.
A wide variety of conversation options, an incredible story, and generally excellent visuals means that Torment: Tides of Numenera is a great game with a huge replay value to it. But would I go back again? Probably, but just not right away.