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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Planescape: Torment - Retrospective @ Resolution Magazine

Default Planescape: Torment - Retrospective @ Resolution Magazine

November 17th, 2009, 04:24
Resolution Magazine's Lewis Denby has written a 2-page retrospective on Planescape Torment.
Published to critical acclaim a decade ago, this game never sold well. Yet, it still managed to find itself into the hearts and minds of fans, which, even today, are very passionate about this game.
And you avatar, The Nameless One, will have a talking skull at his side - and can never die.
He’s bound to live for all eternity, across multiple lives, resurrected after each death and returned to Sigil once more. This isn’t a measly plot device, either, for Planescape is a game in which you can never die. You are only ever snapped back to life in an arbitrary location of the world, your memories of lives gone by becoming ever more hazy.
The writing in the game is superb and continue do be so - even a decade later:
Decoded, it was some of the finest of any videogame in the world, and remains such a decade on. Its brand of corrupted Victorian cockney slang, merged with the elegance of the best high-fantasy literature, makes it an outlandishly unique thing to read through. And although it asks a lot of the reader, the reward it pays is remarkable: it tells a story unlike no other game, in a way that no other game has dared to even try mimicking.
Interplay is re-releasing Planescape: Torment on November 20th 2009
More information.
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November 17th, 2009, 04:25
Some would say that Planescape Torment is an true RPG, but IMO it's more like adventure with lot of dialog. Nevertheless, it's a good game but not for everyone.

"What can change the nature of man?" quote is one of the most memorable as are all the characters in the game. I'm afraid that we will not see any big budget game with that kind of uniqueness in any time soon. The recession has driven all big game developers to only make "sure shots" and variation in gaming will be even more narroved down.

Why I have missed Interplay Re-releases news? Have RPG Watch informed about them?
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November 17th, 2009, 08:00
That one features big on my (long) backlog list. But if it's £17 - that's like, 20€? That seems a bit much for a vintage game, to be honest.
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November 17th, 2009, 08:30
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
That one features big on my (long) backlog list. But if it's £17 - that's like, 20€? That seems a bit much for a vintage game, to be honest.
The few used copies in amazon and ebay costed up to 55€ just few years back. The game was hard to get and expensive. Now you can get a new one for less than half the price.

I myself bought just the worn out cds (even the original cd case was lost) for 15€ 2 years ago.

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
"Those who dont read history are destined to repeat it."– Edmund Burke
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November 17th, 2009, 09:04
One of these days I have to force myself through this story.
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November 17th, 2009, 12:07
Originally Posted by Ergonpandilus View Post
"What can change the nature of man?" quote is one of the most memorable as are all the characters in the game. I'm afraid that we will not see any big budget game with that kind of uniqueness in any time soon.
Not sure what your're talking about. Mask of the Betrayer was quite a AAA game and it was very similar to PS:T in tone. It did not feature as much dialogue as PS:T, but asked interesting questions, too. It felt so much deeper than the story of the OC.

@D'Artanag: Why do you have to force yourself? I really find the story very intrueging.

@all: Don't be sissies. I payed 60€ for the Collectors Edition and bought the novel for 5€, too, just because it wasn't part of the European release. Even it was very crappy.
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November 17th, 2009, 12:10
@D'Artanag: Why do you have to force yourself? I really find the story very intrueging.
Because I found the gameplay dreadfully dull and simplistic. It's the same reason I don't read as much as I used to, except it's made worse by having to actually interact with the game to get the story told in bits.
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November 17th, 2009, 12:56
Originally Posted by Ergonpandilus View Post
Some would say that Planescape Torment is an true RPG, but IMO it's more like adventure with lot of dialog.
It's just that the aspects beyond writing and NPC interaction (combat, exploration, character building, etc.) are so mediocre they're completely overshadowed by the story and the whole experience ends up feeling more like a gamebook. It's comparable to Temple of Elemental Evil: a game that does one element very well indeed, but the rest is entirely forgettable.
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November 17th, 2009, 13:10
Originally Posted by Cassius View Post
It's just that the aspects beyond writing and NPC interaction (combat, exploration, character building, etc.) are so mediocre they're completely overshadowed by the story and the whole experience ends up feeling more like a gamebook. It's comparable to Temple of Elemental Evil: a game that does one element very well indeed, but the rest is entirely forgettable.
Yeah, I'd agree with that.

You might say Temple is the reverse example, where the core gameplay is great - but all the other "flavor" stuff is crap. The core gameplay being the combat engine and rule mechanics. The entire game is like one big combat sequence interrupted by some minor exploration and NPC interaction.

Torment is like a big interactive book interrupted by trivial combat sequences.

Then again, it's all relative. Some people evidently find the gameplay in Torment engaging and that's likely due to the "roleplaying" aspects of having dialogue choices matter - or so I've heard.
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November 17th, 2009, 14:38
Originally Posted by Ergonpandilus View Post
Why I have missed Interplay Re-releases news? Have RPG Watch informed about them?
There's not even any news on the Interplay site about them. They are out in 3 days time according to amazon.co.uk and I'll certainly put a news post up when they are available if none of the other editors do.
Last edited by woges; November 17th, 2009 at 16:13.
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November 17th, 2009, 15:52
I just recently discovered ToEE and I have to say that it has the best implementation of D&D 3 (or 3.5) edition rules and the game mechanics works amazingly, much better than NWN series or IWD2. Sadly the story is weak, but Co8 mod helps a lot and they still continue the development.

Planescape Torment still has good game mechanics for its purpose. I can easily name dozens of games that has worse game mechanics, but it's not that easy to name RPGs with even more dull story than in ToEE. It's just so different and much more a role playing than other infinity engine game. I'm quite sure that people who like P&P or LARP, will find PS great. If you want to name an opposite game for PS, then it's Icewind Dale.
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November 17th, 2009, 16:34
I've placed an order for PS:T. At first it was said to be released around 1st opf november (if I remember correctly), but I've twice got a mail from them saying that the release had been postponed. I'm not sure how to interprete this. We'll see on the 20th, I guess. Or later…

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November 17th, 2009, 17:30
I'll just say that PST is in my top10 cRPGs of all time and although WoTC trashed Planescape universe for whatever reason I'm still secretly hoping that Obsidian will make Torment2.
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November 17th, 2009, 18:51
Originally Posted by Ergonpandilus View Post
I just recently discovered ToEE and I have to say that it has the best implementation of D&D 3 (or 3.5) edition rules and the game mechanics works amazingly, much better than NWN series or IWD2. Sadly the story is weak, but Co8 mod helps a lot and they still continue the development.

Planescape Torment still has good game mechanics for its purpose. I can easily name dozens of games that has worse game mechanics, but it's not that easy to name RPGs with even more dull story than in ToEE. It's just so different and much more a role playing than other infinity engine game. I'm quite sure that people who like P&P or LARP, will find PS great. If you want to name an opposite game for PS, then it's Icewind Dale.
This discussion implies:

A PS:T remake as a mod for ToEE would be a roleplayer's dream.
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November 17th, 2009, 19:39
PST is unique. "Interactive book" is fair. In a way it's more of a text-heavy adventure game that happens to look like an RPG of its time. It's the only "game" that's ever made me cry (in a good way).
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November 17th, 2009, 19:47
Originally Posted by DogInARocket View Post
PST is unique. "Interactive book" is fair. In a way it's more of a text-heavy adventure game that happens to look like an RPG of its time. It's the only "game" that's ever made me cry (in a good way).
Well, I just inadvertently parroted what Ergonpandilus said.
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November 17th, 2009, 19:56
The crying bit is why I'm wanting to force myself through the trivial gameplay.
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November 17th, 2009, 20:44
As they say, your mileage may vary. Just as the gameplay doesn't bother me, the story may not move you. If the experience feels like punishment half the time you may cry for different reasons

I'll admit, when I first installed the game back when it was released, I was expecting something a lot like Baldur's Gate. At the time I wanted it to be like BG. My initial impression suffered for it, and I even stopped playing. After a while though I gave it another try, played the game it was, rather than the game I wanted it to be, and I enjoyed it immensely. I've replayed it a couple times since then. But again, YMMV.
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November 17th, 2009, 21:05
I've tried coming back to it 3-4 times by now. I got it for my birthday years ago.

The writing always struck me as pretentious over-the-top stuff, but I never really gave it a proper chance and I know many people consider it something special so there must be something there.
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November 17th, 2009, 21:36
PS:T is my all time favourite. It's the only game that has made a lasting impression on me. And the only game which made me sorry when I finished it, as I could never play it for the first time again. And the only game which in my eyes approach being "art".

To me it's the game equivalent to Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir". I don't think I'll ever find anything beating it.

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