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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Kotaku - Planescape Torment Love Explained - Editorial

Default Kotaku - Planescape Torment Love Explained - Editorial

March 8th, 2013, 23:34
Kotaku has penned an editorial about why people love Planescape: Torment. Here are some of these reasons - according to Kotaku:
Maybe it's just the little things
In Planescape: Torment…
•You can die. You'll come back to life. This is an integral part of the game.
• You can join a cult that worships death, or a cult that believes that everybody is a god. Or you can just become an anarchist.
• You can visit a pregnant alley, then prevent it from getting an abortion. This makes even less sense than it sounds.
• You can piss off the deity-like Lady of Pain and find yourself trapped in a maze for all of eternity.
• You can kill the incarnation of your character's mortality.
Although Planescape hasn't aged super well-and you need a high-resolution mod if you plan to play it today-it's a special sort of game, and it's had a significant impact on a lot of people. No wonder so many people want to throw money at the sequel.
More information.
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March 8th, 2013, 23:34
Well anyone who played the game knows why it is special. There are so many wonderful memories I have of my first run through Sigil but, oddly enough, nearly all of it can be summed up with the haunting Deionarra's Theme:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZOuy4YM0AI

It's game that actually taps into real emotions.. longing, betrayal, guilt.. in a way that no other video game has before or since. Planescape is my desert island game of choice and my reference point for the rather stupid question on whether video games can be art.
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March 9th, 2013, 00:52
My best memory: never played. Never will.
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March 9th, 2013, 01:09
Originally Posted by MigRib View Post
My best memory: never played. Never will.
Yep, there he goes again.
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March 9th, 2013, 01:30
Originally Posted by MigRib View Post
My best memory: never played. Never will.
Thank you for your contribution to the conversation. I shall treasure it always.
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March 9th, 2013, 03:04
Never played the game. Knows he will never play it because ????.
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March 9th, 2013, 03:38
How can you know if you like it if you never played it. It doesn't matter what anyone says or what you read about something you can't necessarily know if you like it or not unless you experience it yourself.
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March 9th, 2013, 08:47
He is just trolling guenthar. Don't look for logic or sense.
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March 9th, 2013, 11:05
I don't have to play it, there are walkthroughs of almost anything in Youtube, in case there was doubts about that.
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March 9th, 2013, 11:35
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
How can you know if you like it if you never played it. It doesn't matter what anyone says or what you read about something you can't necessarily know if you like it or not unless you experience it yourself.
You have never not bought a game because of what you read or heard or seen about it? Especially if there is no demo (AFAIK)?

MigRib - what was it that turned you off, then? I guess the most common negative impression people have of the game is the mediocre combat and "too much text". The latter is of course also what the fans love…
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March 9th, 2013, 11:43
Falchor summed it up great. I can only agree.
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March 9th, 2013, 11:50
Originally Posted by MigRib View Post
I don't have to play it, there are walkthroughs of almost anything in Youtube, in case there was doubts about that.
PS:T isn't linear game,it's game about personal decisions and their consequences you can't get good impressions from video walkthrough.
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March 9th, 2013, 11:54
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post

MigRib - what was it that turned you off, then? I guess the most common negative impression people have of the game is the mediocre combat and "too much text". The latter is of course also what the fans love…
Too much text is one of the main reasons, yes. But the most important thing about it is that I don't like and never liked what we now call old school RPGs. By the time they were made (and were, therefore, "new school") I was still playing (most of the time game mastering) P&P RPG games. I found the cRPGs lacking in any kind of interest to me by then, not because I had too much of "real" RPG, but because I never felt those games translated my experience as a gamer. Why? Well, when I began role playing, as most people did, I started with D&D and had my fair share of dungeon crawling, treasure hunting and random encounter tables. But I got fed up with it, and soon turned my D&D into an epic campaign where rules were mostly ignored (except in combat, and even then I tried to streamline it as much as I could, not to turn the whole thing into a game of dice). When the Storytelling system got big enough to be know in this small corner of Europe, I discovered that it was "my thing". Not the tactical minded or minmaxing kind of play we found in D&D, but delving into a narrative and into character interpretation, No dice rolls for hours, just role playing. That was why the old cRPG games never interested me - bored the hell out of me, in fact. Usually high fantasy, usually based on D&D, usually based on Forgotten Realms (something I never tried, even in P&P, I played in Dragonlance universe, which was much more close to the kind of games I was running). Turn based combat, tactical combat, lot's of text (I love to read, but give me a break, I read books, and not fantasy books for that matter), isometric perspective, lots of memorizing tiny bits of information that would be usefull in latter puzzles. None of that was for me. I know that Planescape Torment doesn't have all of the "flaws" (flaws in my opinion, of course) that are common to the old school RPG, but still it's one of them. And I always found the old school games - compared to my personal experience as a role player - more closely related to some board games, than to actual role playing games. I know this is considered an outrageous opinion around here, but it's my opinion.
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March 9th, 2013, 11:58
Originally Posted by Nameless one View Post
PS:T isn't linear game,it's game about personal decisions and their consequences you can't get good impressions from video walkthrough.
You are right, of course, that part of the game I couldn't judge from watching a walktrough. But, as I explain in another post, I have other issues with Planescape, Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights and all old school RPGs.

EDIT: Just remembered something to add that might explain my lack of interest in this game - and all the games that are being revived and remebered in this time of old school nostalgia: I love the Fallout setting. Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas are a couple of my favourite videogames. So, I tried hard to convince myself to play the original Fallout and it's sequel. I tried hard to like them, I tried hard to play them. Never played more than a few hours, 'till I got tired of trying. So I gave up on trying. If it's not my kind of game, and I already know it, better not waste time.
Last edited by MigRib; March 9th, 2013 at 12:15.
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March 9th, 2013, 13:31
Thanks for the reply. Well, I can understand that. To some extent old school RPG are an acquired taste for me - I didn't really play many in their heyday and discovered classics like Ultima VII, Fallout, and even Planescape only when they were already "classics". But I came to appreciate them - not that it's the only kind of RPG I like, far form it.

You are right, they don't translate the P&P experience well. I don't think any game does, really. But P&P is over for me, and I found other things to like in this genre. Including aspects that you can't have in P&P.

Still, with regards to at least some of the things you seem to value, epic tales, immersing into narrative (how else but through text would one convey that, at the time?), interpreting your character, unusual worlds beyond treasure hunting and dungeon romping - well PS-T is actually a pretty unique game in these respects, and better than most, I would say.
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March 9th, 2013, 13:44
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Still, with regards to at least some of the things you seem to value, epic tales, immersing into narrative (how else but through text would one convey that, at the time?), interpreting your character, unusual worlds beyond treasure hunting and dungeon romping - well PS-T is actually a pretty unique game in these respects, and better than most, I would say.
Sorry, I think I induced you in error about that epic thing. I don't appreciate epic tales nowadays, that was the only way I came to terms with playing D&D about 20 years ago. But I agree with you that by then, the time when the old school games were made, lots of text was the way to convey the story. Not anymore, though. I think that using the audiovisual approach to telling the story, using the quality graphics that nowadays can be made, combining it with the voice acting and soundtrack, is the best way to try to adapt the sense of immersion, interactivity, interpretation of character and exploration of a fictional universe that a P&P game provides. It is a difficult thing, and I agree with you that most games fall short (the classics and the new games). But picking on something that is being discussed in another topic, modern games are, in my opinion, much better at delivering good "narrative" games, as Chien Aboyeur calls them. I accept the term he uses, although I diverge in the opinion that "narrative" games are the best option for emulating a role playing game in a computer game. Concentrating on the rules and mechanics (like the old school games often did) creates a kind of mix between strategy and adventure, not really role playing either.
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March 9th, 2013, 13:54
Well, I think all of these approaches are valid, and I have an interest in all of them, and therefore place value in maintaining the diversity of styles.
While I love being awed by the graphics of modern games, I often find that the old games eclipse them in the storytelling and writing, and the "gamey" mechanics of TBN games have their own charme and offer a more involved tactical game.
So for me, it depends more on my daily mood what I prefer.
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March 9th, 2013, 14:07
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Well, I think all of these approaches are valid, and I have an interest in all of them, and therefore place value in maintaining the diversity of styles.
While I love being awed by the graphics of modern games, I often find that the old games eclipse them in the storytelling and writing, and the "gamey" mechanics of TBN games have their own charme and offer a more involved tactical game.
So for me, it depends more on my daily mood what I prefer.
About the "gamey" mechanics, well I have no doubt that you are right. That's one of the reasons I don't apreciate most old school (or old school inspired games), because they involve that kind of tactical gaming that I really don't like - except in extraordinary circunstances. For example, I played XCOM recently and I liked it. But had enough of it after about ten hours. About old games having better storytelling and writing… Hmmmm, not so sure. I won't mention the fantasy games, because I'm not a fantasy fan (well, maybe The Witcher, I don't think any fantasy game can beat that one storywise). Anyway, maybe some do eclipse the modern ones, others I don't agree. For example, I find the story of the original Deus Ex not as interesting as DE:HR - even though the newer game has much more combat than the old one.
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March 9th, 2013, 21:16
Originally Posted by MigRib View Post
My best memory: never played. Never will.
Haha. I have actually, but I won't do it a second time.

I actually backed Tides of Numenera in the hope that they will combine good storytelling with a working set of rules.
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March 10th, 2013, 08:11
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
MigRib - what was it that turned you off, then? I guess the most common negative impression people have of the game is the mediocre combat and "too much text". The latter is of course also what the fans love…
Mediocre combat and too much text is correct. I've installed Planescape 3 or 4 times and always got very bored and quit.

So what about Inquisitor? Mediocre, but superior to planescape, combat… Too much text but with more logical results and less "oh, that was random" things happening that don't relate to what you said.

Surely all the Planescape lovers also love Inquisitor?

There's probably a bit of "I'm so cool cos i played Planescape" going on too. I know this cos I wish I could say I liked it, as I do every other infinity engine game, but it was really just not all that good or I'd have made it through without getting bored.
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