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Planescape: Torment - The Gift of Torment

by Dhruin, 2010-03-30 22:35:55

Remember Greg Kasavin?  Former EiC of GameSpot?  GameBanshee has noticed his blog and an article called The Gift of Torment, on one of the pioneering aspects of Torment's dialogue.  He makes some curious assertions about Mass Effect 2 but it's otherwise a nice piece:

In other words, Torment is the first RPG to introduce player intent into dialogue, which may be contradictory to the substance of the dialogue -- it's a game in which you can say one thing and mean another, and use this to deliberately lie at times, by means of the authored choices presented to you.

In a typical RPG, you might be asked by a character to retrieve an item, and tell that person "Yes, I'll do it" even if you as a player don't really know if you're going to do it or not -- probably you just want the quest logged in case you stumble upon it. You don't think about these types of interactions, and, as evidenced by the completely disposable text content for quests in games like World of Warcraft, they do little to build a meaningful connection between you, your character, or the gameworld. But in this same type of situation, Torment typically would give you at least two options: "Yes, I'll do it" (Truth) and "Yes, I'll do it" (Lie). And it would fully support these choices -- lying would affect your character's moral alignment, leading to other changes in gameplay. But even when it didn't really matter whether you told the truth or not, the game made you stop and think about what you were saying.

Source: GameBanshee

Information about

Planescape: Torment

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released