Planescape Torment

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Planescape Torment

Postby BlueSalamander » Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:26 pm

I tried this game around a decade ago but I couldn't really get into it. I've tried again recently and I finished it. In my opinion, it's very wordy, but most of the text can be ignored without problems. Out of all the text, dialogue choices are the only important part, and these are quite short.

So in Torment, you wake up one day in the zombie-operated morgue of the city of Sigil. You have no memories of your past. A talking skull helps you. First, you have to find a way out of the morgue. Then you need to explore Sigil and recover your memory somehow. You start with two characters (the main character and the talking skull) and, later on, you can expand your party to five or six characters. Your character is immortal and is only referred to as the nameless one. (Click on a picture to enlarge it)

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In my game, I put all of the starting ability points into Wisdom and Intelligence and I switched to the Wizard class as soon as possible. But playing as a pure Warrior might be more fun. You'll still want to start with 18 Wisdom and a high intelligence, just for the dialogue options. Your character starts as a warrior and later on he can become a wizard or a rogue.

Note that to play on Vista, it's recommended to install a programme called DrawFix. Just copy the file setup-pst-drawfix.exe to the folder where you've installed the game and launch the file. When you've finished playing Torment, check that your video display is set on 32-bit colour and not 16 bits. It looks like Torment switches the display to 16 bits and this can mess up other programmes.

Good points

- The story line is engrossing from start to finish.

- In the first half, the player is given a lot of freedom and many quests are available.

- In the second half, there's a good feeling of exploration because we finally get to visit places other than the metropolis of Sigil (using portals).

- The difficulty is not too high - provided you keep and buy all of the unusual items that you find (like a handkerchief or a crowbar).

- Unlike games like Icewind Dale or Divine Divinity, combat does not ever get boring. That's because there isn't much combat (except in Baator).

- The game does not take too long to complete if you focus on the main quest (that's a positive thing in my opinion).

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Bad points

- You find powerful area spells, but you do not need to cast them, because there are very few large and challenging battles. The only spells I found useful were Cone of Cold, Dark Sphere, Armour, and all the healing spells of Grace.

- You find powerful weapons but you cannot wield them (unless you play as a Warrior). None of your companions can wield them either. After finishing the game with a wizard PC, I now think the game may be a lot more fun as a warrior. Because then you can give the scrolls you find to Dakkon (who is multiclass wizard/fighter) and you finally get to use all the magic weapons that you find. Plus, as a warrior, you won't have to worry constantly about your spells running out. In Planescape, resting is often a difficult or annoying process. Also, if you play as a warrior, then you don't have to do the petty FedEx quests that the Wizard teacher (a witch) gives you.

- In the second half of the game, you find tonnes of precious necklaces and rings, but you don't even need to pick them up. There's no-one to sell to, and there's nothing precious that you might want to buy anyway. Similarly, all through the game you find tonnes of charms in various forms that give you a minor advantage or protection against an energy type, but you never, ever, need these things.

- The alignment system for the main character is strange. I did good deeds at every step of the way and yet I finished as Chaotic Neutral. Not that it mattered at all.
Apparently, you gain alignment points for every little thing you say, not so much for the result of your actions. On the same subject of alignment, the game tries hard to portray evil creatures (like the night hag Ravel) as being, in fact, good; and good creatures (like the angel Trias) as being, in fact, evil.

- The journal does not do a good job. There are two lists. A list of your current quests, and a list of everything that you have done. The list of all that you have done contains important information, but it gets so big that searching through it becomes very difficult. At the same time, the list of current quests stays small but it lacks all of the important information.

- Some extra clues would have been a good thing. For example all quest items (items that are involved in the resolution of a quest, any quest) could be marked as such. For one quest, the infinite water bottle, you have to look for a really small item on the screen. In two instances (Baator exit portal and Fortress of Regrets entrance portal), you have to look for a portal and you only know the rough area where the portal should be. I thought that was annoying. In both instances, the area you have to look in is really big. In addition, in the second instance, you need a very particular 'key' and the game won't give you clues about it (beyond the word 'regret').

- The French version has some bugs or oversights. In the later parts of the game, some paragraphs are left in English without translation. The Angel who must be freed after we recover his sword, can actually be freed even if we don't have the sword.

- No-one seems to know why the PC was made immortal in the first place, or in what circumstances he came to meet the NPC who made the PC immortal. The main quest is somewhat uninspiring too. I mean the whole game is about recovering your memory and preventing future memory loss. It's not about great things like thwarting an evil super-villain or rescuing a kingdom in peril. At the end of the game, you're supposed to help the spirit of a former romantic interest, Deionarra. But the game doesn't say what happens to her.

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'Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it! But heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!!' - Luffy in One Piece
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Planescape Torment

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Re: Planescape Torment

Postby Borsook » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:05 am

BlueSalamander wrote:I tried this game around a decade ago but I couldn't really get into it. I've tried again recently and I finished it. In my opinion, it's very wordy, but most of the text can be ignored without problems. Out of all the text, dialogue choices are the only important part, and these are quite short.

Hmmm why would you want to do it? The text, the story and dialogues are the reason to play this game. It is what differentiate it and makes it worth one's time. If you are to skip dialogue it's better to play e.g. Icewind Dale. :)
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Re: Planescape Torment

Postby BlueSalamander » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:22 am

why would you want to do it?
Have you ever read a good book that spent too much time describing stuff before telling the action? That's when people skip paragraphs and it's the same with Torment.
'Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it! But heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!!' - Luffy in One Piece
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Re: Planescape Torment

Postby deathknight1728 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:40 am

At least Torment and BG were completable by MOST people. Icewind Dale is an urchin of a game that only can be beaten by a small fraction of gamers. The game is so horrendously hard that its like working a 24 hour day 3 days in a row, only you reload more.

The creators should get a terminal disease for that game. But since they made fallout series, I'll give them a break.
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