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Planescape: Torment - Retrospective
Editorial - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Wed 30 June 2010, 12:54:10Tags: Black Isle Studios; Planescape: Torment
RPGFan fondly take a look back at everyone's favorite western JRPG.
Torment's gameplay elements weren't ignored in favor of storytelling, however. Mistaking Torment for a combat-light visual novel type game is a big error. Combat is complex, as are the game's magic spells, items, and quests. One ability has Morte the floating skull taunt a foe with a string of insults, and every time he hears an NPC utter a profane barrage of curses in dialogue with The Nameless One, the ability becomes more effective. So much detail for just one ability – that kind of industriousness is unknown today. Even enemies are more complex than they first appear. The game's answer to the sewer rat is more powerful in groups, for instance. With hive minds, cranium rats are stupid alone, but intelligent in groups – so intelligent as to be able to cast spells. Should The Nameless One come across a pair of cranium rats, he'll have no problem dispatching them. Should an entire pack appear, however, they'll start flinging abdomen-splitting lightning bolts.
Quest and dialogue mechanics are just as complex, requiring specific lines of questioning and careful selection of dialogue options to trigger the best experience awards and side quests. Items often become useful long after the player acquires them, and a careless inventory cleanup can cause a missed opportunity later. Equipment is well designed as well, and the pacing of the power level is superb. Every item seems to have a use, every character seems to have something to say, and every location is of importance. One gets the impression that the game has an infinite number of quests and dialogue options to offer, and that no matter what one does, the game will never reveal them all in one playthrough.
Combat complexity not detected.
Spotted at: RPGWatch