Planetscape: Torment (Steam)

  • Gameplay
  • Story
  • Audio
  • Visuals
  • Entertainment

Also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS, Android, Linux, and MacOS

Picture

Review written by Stephen Deck; originally published 05/26/2021 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night

Planetscape: Torment was a gift from my friend Aaron after he read my review of Torment: Tides of Numenera.  As I said in that review, I’m not a big 90s style CRPG fan, and unlike Tides of Numenera, this one is past old enough to drink in the United States, so I was more than a little hesitant going in.  Planetscape is definitely a lot rougher around the edges than Tides of Numenera even with the “enhanced edition” that added some minor upgrades, but as with Tides of Numenera, the game grew on me over time.

Picture

Planetscape: Torment is played from a top-down perspective where the player clicks to move characters around the world, attack enemies, talk to NPC, and interact with objects.  This is honestly one of my least favorite control schemes, but it works decently.  The premise of the game is that your main character, a man who cannot die named The Nameless One, wakes up in an area called The Mortuary with no memory.  He awakens near a floating talking skull named Morte who decides to tag along to help him escape.  His back is covered in tattoos which Morte reads for him; it tells him to seek out a man named Pharod to ask about his past.  As you cannot, die, every time your HP hits zero, you just wake up back in the Mortuary with no real death penalty aside from having to walk back to wherever you were.

Picture

As you explore the city of Sigil, you can take on a number of side quests, interact with a variety of different characters and factions, and recruit people to your party.  There is a TON of lore and small tidbits of story to be gleaned from these NPC conversations, but truthfully, I found most of the ancillary stuff to be relatively uninteresting.  I might have appreciated it more if I’d had any familiarity with the Planetscape D&D campaign setting, but as a Dungeons and Dragons virgin, a lot of it felt like pretty generic sci-fi fantasy dialogue to me.  The main story, however, I did find fairly interesting, so I paid much more attention to the dialogue and text relating to that.

Picture

With the exception of some parts in the latter half of the game, most everything takes place in and around the city of Sigil.  I’d have liked to have some more varied areas to explore, but there are enough sections of the city that the game never feels cramped.  The visuals are solidly okay with a few sweet craptastic late 90s CGI cutscenes; the music, on the other hand, was rather impressive as was most of the voice acting.  It set the tone and mood of the game nicely, and for a game with a tone as dark as Planetscape, that’s important.  I may not personally have been as enamored by the game as traditional CRPG fans usually are, but the dark themes of the game and brilliant writing have to be acknowledged regardless of personal tastes.  The element of choice also needs to be pointed out and praised especially given the age of the game.  There are seemingly countless choices to be made during the game.  Some of those choices have major impacts on your game down the line, and some of them change literally nothing; with no way of knowing exactly which choices will have major consequences and which won’t, you have to make your choices carefully and keep in mind the way you want to play and the type of character you want The Nameless One to be.  That aspect of player choice and agency more than anything kept me interested.

Picture

Planetscape: Torment is not my type of game, but I can recognize it as an excellent game despite that.  My biggest issues with the game were a handful of random crashes that I experienced and some things that I felt were a bit unnecessarily and overly cryptic.  Half of those cryptic things weren’t even puzzles I was too dumb to figure out but interactable objects or doorways that I didn’t notice because of the muted color scheme and dull building designs.  Fortunately, though, little criticisms like that are all I can really levy against the game; as far as writing, character design, and thematic presentation go, the game is superb.  The CRPG sub-genre just isn’t my cup of tea.  For those who are into that type of game, I doubt you’ll find many better than this one.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Latest Comments

Tags

#birdsofprey #harleyquinn #Chapter2 #code8 #Countdownmovie #Hobbs&Shaww #MIB #MIBInternatiional #njpw #petsematary #horror #stephenking #remake #robbieamell #stephenamell #Summerblockbuster #tokyodome #wrestlekingdom 3D0 8-Bit 2018 2020 Access Action Adaption All am2 Amazon Animal Crossing Animated Anime Anthem A Plague Tale Arrow Askiisoft Games Atari Atlus awesome con Bargain Bin black voice Blockbuster Books Borderlands Boss Rush Budget Title Call of Duty Capcom CBS CGI Champion Chinese Cinema clara delgado Classic Classics Cold War Comic Book Comics Commentary Console Contra coronavirus covid19 CW Cyberbug Cyberpunk Cyberpunk 2077 cytonius Dangerous Driving darius morgan Dark Souls DaveMarquez DC DC Comics DCComics DC Universe Devil May Cry Devolver Games DICE Digital Directors Cut Discovery Disney Division 2 DLC Doom DOS Dragon Quest Drama Dreamcast Dynasty Warriors EA EDF Edge Of Nerd Editorial Endgame Epic Episode One Fallout Famicom Family Film Fan Fan Translation Far From Home featured Fire Emblem FPS FromSoftware Furi Game Bakers GAMEBOY ADVANCE Game of the year Games gamestop Gaming Gearbox Gears of War Glitches God Of War Google Graphic Novel Gundam Hack and Slash Harley Quinn Haven Hellblazer Home horrible Horrible Games Horror Hyrule Warriors Import Imported Indie Jedi JRPG julio pena Just Cause Justice League Justice Smith Kingston Kofi Labo Launch Day Leaving Lego Lewd Live-Action Loot-Shooter Lootbox Lucifer Marvel Marvel Studios master arts studio May2019 MCU Microsoft mikhail hardy Miles Morales minorities in comics MOBILE Movie Movies Music Musou Namco Need for Speed NES Netflix New LIne Cinemas New Vegas NINTENDO Nintendo 64 NINTENDO SWITCH NioH NioH2 No Spoilers Obsidian Origin PC PC Gaming PC Mods Persona Platformer PLAYSTATION PLAYSTATION 2 PLAYSTATION 3 PLAYSTATION 4 PlayStation 5 PLAYSTATION VITA Pokemon Pokemon Home Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Pokemon Sword and Shield PopCulture pop culture Portable PRO Ps2 PS4 PS5 PSP Racing rae comics Reaction Reboot Refunds Remake Remaster Resident Evil Retreon RETRO reviews Rock RPG RTS Ryan Reynolds Samurai Sandman Santa Monica Sci-fi Scifi SD Gundam Season Four Sega Sequel Series Series X sharks Shazam Shenmue Shooter Shooters SNES social emotional learning Sonic Sony Soulsborne space speekgeekunlimited Spider-Man Spoilers Square Enix SRPG Stadia Star Trek Star Wars Steam stephanie kimou Stephen Amell Strategy Streaming Stylized Shooter Subscription Suit Superman Super Villain Switch tactics Team Ninja television tj sterling tony weaver jr. Trailer Turn Based Twin-Stick Shooter Ubisoft Video Video Games Visual Novel VR waifu WB Weezer weird enough productions WiiU Williamson_Josh Wolfenstein Wrestling WWE X Xbox XBOX ONE Xbox Series Zack Snyder Zelda Zombie
%d bloggers like this: