Planescape: Torment Heading To Steam?

By Craig Pearson on December 5th, 2012 at 7:00 pm.

Steam?
That is according to the site that scrapes details of upcoming titles from the Steam Content Description Record Database. Open Steamworks allows you to view updates to the Steam appids, gathering the information of games yet to appear, and it’s just uncovered classic RPG Planescape: Torment within Steam’s digital maw.

When told the news, Jake from Adventure Time made this face. Hehe. That excitable puppy.

It’s been a long, strange journey back for Planescape: Torment. Ignored by the press on release, but venerated by everyone that played it. It appeared to die with Interplay and Black Isle, only available to those who snagged it first time around, or who anchor within the murky waters of the bay of pirates. Those that did would have been able to see this lovely intro.

But like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there has been multiple resurrections. There was the boxed release a few years ago that seemed to appear as if by magic on Amazon. That was from a Swedish game shipment company, of all places. And this isn’t the first time it’s arrived on digital distribution platforms: GOG had it all of two years ago. But even back then when John attempted to trace who owns it (for PC Gamer, fact fans), he struggled to come to a definite conclusion. GOG lists Hasbro, who owns Planescape daddies Wizards of the Coast. Heck, it was only this week that Inxile popped up snagging the Torment IP. I’m intrigued by who Valve will list as publishers, because if they’re flinging it in front of their 500 gagillion users it’ll finally be a definitive answer. I suspect it’s Hasbro, but I’m really hoping for another dramatic twist in the tale. In my head, Gabe dared Notch to upload it to Greenlight.

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82 Comments »

  1. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    Yeah, Baldur’s Gate was added to CDR over a year ago, and then Oster got his greasy palms on it. You can never be sure with bad old games!

    • Wombats says:

      Baldur’s Gate Extended Edition is impressive until you realise 95% can be achieved with mods.

      I am playing both BGEE and Planescape with these mods:
      http://www.gog.com/news/mod_spotlight_planescape_torment_mods_guide

      The quality is on par. Do yourself a favour and go grab Planescape from GOG, its story is glorious.

      • KillahMate says:

        Nice one Wombats, was about to post the exact same thing! So, just to add to this, here’s the guide for folks without the GoG version:
        http://thunderpeel2001.blogspot.com/2009/01/planescape-torment-fully-modded.html

        This will help you easily and cleanly drag Torment into the Win7 era, including arbitrary resolutions, widescreen, UI mods, ZERO bugs, dialogue corrections, optional restored quest content (not fanfics, but original quests lost due to bugs and budget cuts), optional playability tweaks… This is highly recommended, Planescape was a lot more buggy than people remember. Plus the artwork looks amazing in 720p. There is no reason you should ever play the game without this!

        • Anders Wrist says:

          “Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist. “

          • Noburu says:

            Try adding an l to the end of the link to make it .html

          • marilynwilmoth15 says:

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        • Prime says:

          What about the Win 8 era? Is there an App for it? :)

          • Aklyon says:

            People actually use Win8 for something besides artsy tablet shenanigans?

      • bill says:

        The most appealing thing for the BG:EE is the redesigned inventory and character screens. The ones in the original were insanely obscure, unintuitive and useless. I’d buy it just for having a decent UI (which i don’t know of any mods that fix, but they may exist)… if i wasn’t already 80% through it and buying it again wouldn’t make me have to start from scratch.

        If there was a BG2:EE i’d buy that though.

      • Robmonster says:

        Is there a similar guide to modding the GOG version of BG2?

  2. Faldrath says:

    Excellent news! Always good when the best game of all time* gets wider distribution. I wonder if it’ll be the raw version, or already patched with widescreen mod, etc.

    *it’s a fact. Deal with it.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Hey, you don’t get to unilaterally declare facts like that!

      Even if you’re right, damn your eyes.

    • antoniodamala says:

      Why did they made a remake of BG1&2 before Planescape? This still doesn’t make sense to me. I thought we already reached a consense that planescape is the best RPG of all time ever till the end of time amen.

      • RProxyOnly says:

        BG HAS NOT been remade… it’s been ‘jiggled’ around a little, the UI is now a cluttered mess, cg cut scenes have been removed in favour of crappy flash animations and some bugs have been fixed, whilst inserting more.

        The game was SUPPOSED to be ‘HD-ified’ but this was not done as they didn’t have the art sources, but this wasn’t released to prospective purchasers til the advertising had been done and people were well aware of the ‘new’ version… people were definitely misled as to what they initially thought they were getting, resulting in the biggest feature that Beamdog added, the ability to mouse wheel zoom in and out of the screen IS ABSOLUTELY USELESS as the original artwork looks terrible when zoomed into… Beamdog didn’t even add pixel density to the character models which also look terrible when zoomed in.

        Beamdogs release has been utterly pointless, and of far lesser quality than it was in it’s original state.

        • Prime-Mover says:

          First of all, they have been Why would you zoom in then? This feature is clearly added for smaller screens such as tablets.

          Second, In which sense is the UI a bigger mess than before? Fair enough if you dislike the colors (I personally like them), but I don’t really see the drawback, or difference really, from the old version.

          Third, even if you dislike the new “hand-drawn” animations, I do not for a second believe that anyone would prefer the old blocky mess, which was even substandard back in 1998.

          Fourth, “people were definitely misled as to what they initially thought they were getting”. Can you point to one customer who bought the game, believing it was indeed remodelled and or retextured? AFAIK Trent was pretty straight forward with the lost source material from the start.

          Lastly, I agree that from a PC point of view, the release is pointless, especially since it lacks the mod-compatibility and STABILITY of the old version. But on my view, not for the reasons you mention.

    • iGark says:

      CRIMSON KING

  3. Memphis-Ahn says:

    Shame it probably won’t be an Enhanced Edition and we’ll have to deal with all the bugs and glitches. On the other hand, there probably won’t be a $10 premium.

    • luukdeman111 says:

      lol… with baldur’s gate the enhanced edition has more bugs than the original

      • zeroskill says:

        You are a liar.

        • J_C says:

          No, he just played the game. You know, that enhanced edition which didn’t work with intel, amd and other chipsets in the first years.

          • JFS says:

            Unfortunately, luukdeman is closer to the truth than to lies. And I’m really a (paying) fan of the Enhanced Edition idea.

        • RProxyOnly says:

          I’ve bought the EE also and I can also say that their release is a MESS.

          Terrible ‘new’ cut scenes, broken spawns, ThacO doesn’t calculate properly. Yes, there are more bugs in the EE than there are in the original version and I’ve played enough of both to know exactly where the game is broken and how badly.

          Call me a liar.. go on.

          …And the Werewolf bug that has been in since the beginning hasn’t even been touched.

          I’d never buy another thing from Beamdog.

          @Supahewok below,

          Yes, broken.. in Beamdogs ‘desire?’ to explain the interface properly they have created 3 different THAC0 numbers, only 1 of which is correct at any given time, 1 correct, 1 wrong and 1 that’s supposed to be added/subtracted from the one of the others.. and no it’s still not correct if you add/subtract from either of the other numbers.. God knows what they did to it.

          But all of this pales in comparison to the ‘new bits’. 2 new npc’s and AN ARENA MODE FOR A STORY DRIVEN GAME. Absurd!

          • Supahewok says:

            THAC0… BROKEN?!? What the hell, that’s the most important part! How could they even think of shipping if they couldn’t even get THAC0 right?

        • revan says:

          No, he is not. While BG: EE runs smoother than the vanilla – assuming it doesn’t crash on your machine – it is saddled with a plethora of bugs only to be found in the enhanced edition. Even new content – characters and their quests – is buggy. This game needed at least a few more months of beta testing before release.

          As for PS:T on Steam: why take a game strapped with DRM when you can get one without it on GOG.com, and with some extra content too?

          • Hunam says:

            Aside from the crashing. (Also, the patcher crashes for me for double fun) I just find the new character sprites all sorts of bizarre. I mean, I think they grabbed the ones from BG2/IWD2 which are… well, about 25% bigger than the BG1 sprites. So anyone who uses a player paperdoll is huge and less important people are the size on a gnome.

        • Prime-Mover says:

          I am playing it ATM, and it crashes for like, no reason. Had a heavily modded playthrough of the old version ½ year ago, and did not experience anything remotely comparable to the instability of BGEE.

        • Eddy9000 says:

          and you Sir, are a fool. A fool who hasn’t played BGEE, and more so a fool who has entirely missed the total BGEE launch debacle and the flood of bug complaints. I demand an apology.

          • zeroskill says:

            You are not getting any because magically my version runs absolutely fine.

          • jrodman says:

            That doesn’t really support your position (there aren’t bugs) nor the reasonableness of accusing people of being liars. At all.

  4. beetle says:

    “…venerated by everyone that played it.”
    I found the narrative of planescape very engaging, but actually navigating environments was somewhat frustrating. For some reason I had a hard time understand what I was looking at on the screen, I couldn’t tell if something was supposed to be a wall or a pit or a decorative inlay on the floor. Am I the only one to have had this problem?

    • povu says:

      What resolution were you playing at? The original resolutions are pretty small and you don’t really get to see much of the environment at all (might be why there’s not much ranged combat?). With the widescreen mod the game looks a lot better though since you get a much more zoomed out view of the architecture and such.

    • Dowson says:

      I had a lot of problems finding doors and entrances.

      Some in the floor were just completely missable, and some doors being at the bottom of the screen were just impossible to find.

      • Unaco says:

        Does the TAB key not help with that? In some other Infinity Engine games it highlights containers, doors, loot etc. Been so long since I played PS:T, so don’t know if it’s implemented in it though.

        • Dowson says:

          Just checked, Tab doesn’t seem to do anything so I guess its not it. Guess that was a Bioware innovation.

          • revan says:

            Try Y. I know there is definitely a key which highlights objects and doors.

      • revan says:

        Tab is your friend in all Infinity Engine games. As is Q. Especially when using mods like Sword Coast Stratagems.

    • Keymonk says:

      I had the same problem.

    • soco says:

      For those having problems with interface or just not able to see things clearly, if the game is getting in the way of a great story you could always just read the story:

      http://www.wischik.com/lu/senses/pst-book.html

  5. luukdeman111 says:

    Fuck yeah! I’ve been wanting to play this game for such a long time…. it’s hard to get for people without credit cards….

    • Eddy9000 says:

      When did Steam start taking cash?

      • TNG says:

        They do sell Steam Wallet cards at Gamestop in the US and at GAME in the UK, if I’m not mistaken.

  6. Red_Avatar says:

    How is this even a story? GOG has been selling it for quite some time now, minus icky Steam DRM and at a fixed price for everyone. I know Craig is a bit of a Valve/Steam fanboy but still … why?

    • povu says:

      The Steam overlay probably won’t even function properly with it.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        It doesn’t on the gog.com version in my experience. But perhaps Valve will fix that.

    • luukdeman111 says:

      Because people without creditcards, that’s why

      • belgand says:

        You can buy games from GOG through PayPal which doesn’t require a credit card, only a bank account.

      • bernlin2000 says:

        Which should be dwindling pretty dramatically: the vast majority of banks provide bank cards (debit cards) at no extra charge. As long as you have a free checking account, you have a credit card, since bank cards can usually be used as debit or credit. It’s kind of a bullshit excuse at this point: if you have money you should have a checking account.

    • lordfrikk says:

      It might surprise you, but some people like Steam. So much in fact that they prefer to have everything on there instead of having it all over the place.

      • Valvarexart says:

        It might surprise you, but some people actually like Nazism. So much in fact that they prefer to have everyone dead instead of non-aryan.

        Okay, Godwin’s law aside, do you get my point? There are “some people” for everything, regardless of how sensible it is.

        • RProxyOnly says:

          ..And some people who will support anything, regardless of how stupid or damaging.

        • Skofnung says:

          What an unbelievably stupid comment.

        • wu wei says:

          Preferring a degree of convenience in digital delivery is morally comparable to a pogrom?

          You’re an ass.

    • woodsey says:

      Games bought through Steam don’t require Steam to run, unless they’re actual Steamworks titles – which this won’t be.

      • Red_Avatar says:

        Erm yes they do … every Steam game has its exe encapulsated in a Steam exe which checks with online servers before letting you run it. Even the ancient Doom games had their Dosbox encapsulated this way.

        It’s the same method used for hackers to create fake setup.exe files which first install key loggers and then run the real setup.exe afterwards.

        And to come back to my original point: besides being cheaper on GOG and being DRM free, you also get loads of extras. Steam has always treated older games very very very poorly, offering no support whatsoever – which can’t be said of GOG. Again, why make this a news article? Old games + Steam = bad bad bad bad bad.

        • Unaco says:

          Yes, perhaps… but not every game bought/downloaded through Steam is a Steam game, in that way.

        • woodsey says:

          If it’s not Steamworks then you can launch it outside of Steam. Not exactly what I’d describe as “DRM”.

          • Rhiyo says:

            That’s only for a minority of non-steamworks games. Most still do have to have steam to run.

          • jrodman says:

            Agreed: most do require steam to be running.
            Disagreed with earlier poster, many do not require steam to be running.

    • drewski says:

      Because Steam is vastly, vastly more popular than GoG.

      Not that I care, I have the CD version.

      Yeah.

      • bernlin2000 says:

        GOG is DRM free…nuff said. Their philosophy is correct: games shouldn’t be shackled to a central piece of software. Of course, I say that owning several dozen Steam games, but that’s because it’s the best DRM around (the shiniest piece of shit, that is), and video game corporations really seem to think that helps keep their games from getting pirated.

  7. bikkebakke says:

    I’m still going to recommend people to buy it via gog, more fun to actually own the game (.iso) and all art assets/music.

    //edit:
    But it’s nice to see that it’s not forgotten or anything and gets released so more people (younger I guess) may notice this old goodie.

  8. InternetBatman says:

    After Jake made that face he sang this song:

  9. Syra says:

    Unless It’s updated and optimised, murkier shallows are more enticing.

    • RProxyOnly says:

      Then just mod it… the, easy to install, mods available make Torment as good a version as could be.

  10. Shiri says:

    What I really need is for someone to release this without a bunch of kludges I have to do to get it to run in windowed mode, like a game from this millennium. :(

  11. Nameless1 says:

    GOG > Steam

  12. someone else says:

    ” Ignored by the press on release, but venerated by everyone that played it.”

    I remember the exact opposite: accolades from reviewers, whereas most people either didn’t give it the time or day or quit out of boredom before leaving the mortuary. It’s in the same boat as Grim Fandango, Beyond Good and Evil, Psychonauts and the like.

    • Rise / Run says:

      Yeah, I recall its receiving quite good reviews. But it didn’t get much of an advertising push.

      Random aside — based on retrospective rave reviews, I bought Beyond Good and Evil and didn’t make it very far for two reasons: (1) unskippable cutscenes that were kind of horrible and pepper almost everything that I ended up having to watch multiple (2) unengaging story and lackluster gameplay, at least as far as I made it in, which admittedly was not very far. But the fact that I felt like I was wasting hours of my life watching stupid cutscenes repeatedly when e.g. the game crashed and I had to restart (a minor problem, if I could have skipped cutscenes and/or saved past the cutscenes) I couldn’t cope.

    • bernlin2000 says:

      Somewhat of a problem with many Black Isle RPGs at the time: I’ve always found it interesting how exhaled BG:II is, yet the opening zone is quite boring and they did a very poor job of getting the user excited about what’s to come. Planescape isn’t quite as bad (because of the great intro video: this is someone you want to learn more about), but I did get a bit lost in the Mortuary, never to the point of wanting to quit but certainly wondering where the “hints” were. This is clearly not a game that holds your hand like so many do today.

  13. dethtoll says:

    Oh fucking no. I have asshole friends who know I hate this game and will probably gift me the game as a prank.

    Fortunately I don’t have to accept it, though.

    • bernlin2000 says:

      You HATE this game? Do you just dislike RPG games in general, or is it the style/presentation of the game? Sure, the UI is a bit old and clunky compared to newer games, but you have to admit the dialog is pretty damn fantastic. Some of the best I’ve seen in an RPG: incredibly descriptive. I’m very curious about your response because the game is consider one of the best RPGs of all time…you’re very much going against the grain :-P

  14. Hunam says:

    I still remember the PCZone review of the time. It basically said it was a stop gap between BG1 and 2 and you might as well give it a try if you want some D&D fun between the two.

    Then again they also said Half-Life 1 was a good shooter but it wont change the world or anything.

  15. Bloodoflamb says:

    I’ve wondered: how are the Forgotten Realms and the Planescape D&D campaigns related to one another? Is there overlap between the characters? I haven’t played Torment, and only played several hours of Baldur’s Gate 2, but I like to read about fictional universes. Unfortunately, I haven’t really found any details relating to this particular question.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Planescape contains all of the traditional D&D worlds and is an attempt to unify them in one universe/ broader cosmology. Forgotten Realms is one of these worlds. The cosmology changes dramatically from edition to edition though.

      Sigil has portals to the many D&D worlds, and people from the Forgotten Realms will stumble into it, but its role changes from edition to edition.

  16. Caiman says:

    I have the original box for this game. I only ever played it for a few hours, the downbeat mood about death and zombies just wasn’t working for me at the time. I should probably revisit it.

  17. shoptroll says:

    Craig, if you check the “Subs” tab on the CDR viewer, it links to this: http://cdr.thebronasium.com/sub/13848

    So it looks like Hasbro has a new D&D compilation coming out.

  18. ZX k1cka55 48K says:

    IMHO without the Qwinn’s Tweak Pack, the Planescape: Torment wont be complete.
    Its like playing Fallout 2 without Killap’s Restoration Project patch…

    Also:

    What is the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space, the beginning of every end, and the end of every place?

    • Urthman says:

      What is it, you ask? You won’t find it by looking in this follow-up.

  19. ZX k1cka55 48K says:

    hehe, nice one.

  20. bernlin2000 says:

    I’m enjoying the GOG version for the first time and it really is a remarkable game. I think this is a pretty exciting time for gaming, really, but especially old games: places like GOG and Steam give people the chance to play old games that they missed for whatever reason (either not being born, the game had lousy advertising (Planescape), or there just wasn’t enough time or interest @ the time). Some of them don’t age so well and it’s a struggle just to deal with older UI’s and “less streamlined” game designs (sure sometimes the difficulty is fun, other times it’s hair-”pullingly” maddening. Planescape though feels not too far off from the likes of games like Deus Ex and Dragon Age, except perhaps (using that word especially for the former game) better.

  21. RProxyOnly says:

    This kind of thing pisses me off no end.

    The constant re-releases.. do they bother fixing the bugs, do they go back to the game at all.. No they bloody well don’t.

    They don’t mind holding their greedy little mits out, but they won’t actually do anything for it.

    PS:T deserves and needs, some work done on it.