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Torment: Tides of Numenera Beta Impressions

by Corwin, 2016-06-27

With the release of the new beta version being made available to all backers, I decided to download it and give it a spin. I backed this game early because like many people here, I am a huge fan of Planescape: Torment and couldn't wait to try a new game made with a similar style.

The 'look' of the game is very reminiscent of PS:T from the architecture to the camera view; I almost felt at home. The atmosphere also has been captured quite effectively, at least in the opening area of the Sagus Cliffs. Each of the many maps is made for exploration and this is an aspect to be enjoyed; there is something interesting to discover on all parts of every map; there's very little 'empty' space and almost all the maps are crowded with people. While some of these people are there merely to decorate the scenery, most will have a detailed conversation with you and many will offer a quest. Talk to everyone, some of them more than once.

The opening sequence/tutorial/character creation segment of the game remains a 'work in progress' and was at times somewhat confusing, as there are currently few explanations available for all the terms being used. Hopefully, when the full game is released, there will at least be some 'tool-tips' to help and guide players unfamiliar with the Numenera universe. At least once you reach the end of the opening sequence you have the opportunity to 'respec' your character, but it still would be beneficial to have more detailed explanations available. Oh, for a good, old fashioned heavy game manual.

When the game proper eventually begins you are introduced to your first two potential party members and you are ready to begin exploring and interacting with the world. I hope you enjoy reading. Just like the original Planescape, this is a VERY text heavy game. You will be reading and conversing with many people for many hours. Your initial character choices and the additional choices you make as you build and develop your party will seriously affect your dialogue and potential combat options.

Combat is not the focus of this game, which was fortunate in the Beta, since I found the actual combat a little buggy and uneven. The developers are aware of this and hope to have it all ironed out prior to release. Having said that, it was a pleasure to play a game where combat can be avoided if that's the style of game you wish to play. During the entire beta, I only had three forced combats I couldn't avoid, though there were several quests where resolving a problem using force was definitely an option.

As with the original, this is a cerebral game and will likely not appeal to all gamers. It has puzzles to solve, some of which have more than one possible solution. It has turn-based combat and a great deal of running around as you endeavour to solve a myriad of assorted quests. There is certainly plenty of variety and very little handholding. Don't look for arrows and flashing signs to tell you what to do next; they don't exist. However, your excellent Journal will provide a few guiding hints.

I don't want to reveal anymore, since much could be subject to change before its final release. What I will say is that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and can't wait for the full game. If you liked the original, then this is a game for you. If you're a twitch action gamer, then try something else.

Box Art

Information about

Torment: Tides of Numenera

Developer: InXile Entertainment

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Technofantasy
Genre: RPG
Combat: Turn-based
Play-time: 40-60 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced

Regions & platforms
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2017-02-28
· Publisher: InXile Entertainment

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