Would You Like To Experience Three Minutes Of Torment?

I myself experienced three minutes of torment just moments ago. It’s always a nightmare when my girlfriend heads into the bathroom before I can get in there for my first wee of the morning.

I felt much better when I experienced a different sort of Torment – a proper in-game look at the next RPG from Wasteland 2 creators inXile. It’s fascinating to see how Tides of Numenera is trying to evoke its spiritual predecessor Planescape: Torment without, in fact, being a Planescape game.

Do bear in mind that this stuff is apparently “pre-alpha”, so may or may not be representative of what we get on our PCs sometime next year.

The oppressive music, the twisted yet ornate architecture, a touch of bio-horror, the UI around the dialogue boxes, and the focus on lots and lots of words. So much so that a thoughtful YouTube man has written “if i wanted to read id go open a book lol´╗┐” underneath the trailer.

Perhaps he should do that. The rest of us may instead take comfort from seeing that Numenera does seem to contain many of the key touchstones of Planescape: Torment, including a generous excess of text-based decision-making.

So much ultimately depends on whether the tale and the characters can fascinate, and move, and unnerve, of course, but I’m mightily glad to see that this isn’t just a reskinned Wasteland 2. I’m looking forwards to playing this. Hell, I’m looking forwards to reading this.

76 Comments

  1. Cyrano says:

    Perhaps I’m out of fashion but this looks like exactly what I wanted out of the game. The environments look beautiful (in a sort of horrible, organic way), and I like the way they seem more reactive than the Infinity Engine equivalent.

    And the words! The reading! I can’t wait.

    • Juke says:

      It actually kind of surprised me how much it looked like the game inside my head. The one I was excited to play. And just alpha content at this point, that’s very reassuring! I mean, even the animations are so nice as to make me notice. The way the main character kind of throws their weight backwards when coming to a stop from a run… it’s just nicely done.

  2. joelofdeath says:

    Brand new website here if people want to jump in: https://torment.inxile-entertainment.com

  3. Meat Circus says:

    What is one Youtube comment worth?

    What can change the nature of a Youtube comment?

  4. tobecooper says:

    The environments, the animations and the voices remind me of Sanitarium too.
    I love it.

  5. Longestsprout says:

    During the last update (32) they put in a small limited stretch goal for an area they were forced to cut. So if anyone is still interested in supporting the project, then I’d check that out. For me personally, this managed to hype me enough to up my pledge some. Good job InXile :P

    • Emeraude says:

      Looks promising, but after what happened with Wasteland 2 (which for some reason I can’t seem to discuss because of the spam filter) I know I won’t up mine.

      • JFS says:

        What do you mean happened to Wasteland?

      • Saul says:

        I won’t up yours either. But I’m mighty tempted.

      • Niko says:

        Yeah, what happened to Wasteland?

      • Asurmen says:

        I’m vaguely recalling from memory, but I think he raged when it turns out that the games runs on Steam despite saying it’s DRM free, even the physical copy.

        • JFS says:

          I see. There is a GOG version, as well, and people will be able to choose between keys, even retroactively. Rage on, though.

        • welverin says:

          That annoyed me as well, but it’s possible to play Wasteland 2 independent of Steam. To be clear, that’s when you download it from Steam.

  6. AngoraFish says:

    Dude, if you’re living with your girlfriend you’re allowed to use the toilet while she’s in the shower… except for Number 2s, never Number 2s.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      That is a choice & consequences game, you’re actually free to choose whether to do 1s, 2s or avoid that quest entirely. All three options will have different outcomes and thanks to the magic of procedural generation, those consequences will be different for every player. But beware, this is a persistent game and those consequences are permanent unless you scrap your save game and start over from the beginning with all new sets of NPCs

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        You can even unlock options to:
        -bust in and strike a super hero pose
        -push the door open while sneaking away entirely unseen
        -open the door and become horribly embarrassed and apologetic in slow motion
        -pick the door locked
        -slip a vinyl record cover loaded with shaving cream partway under the door, then jump on it
        -repel down the side of the building and bust in through the window
        -run a really strong magnet up the door hinge to extract the bolts, then let the door fall down (or kick it)
        -leave a pile of ~3000 bananas in the doorway and use the neighbors’
        -hire a band to play some Herb Alpert outside the door
        -open the door, climb onto the counter/sink and tell her the floor is lava

  7. TomxJ says:

    Anyone find the voice acting detracts from the word reading?

    This kinda makes me want to pick up Monte Cooks sourcebooks. Are they anygood (from a pure background point of view, I don’t game anymore)?

    • Emeraude says:

      Always turn the voices off myself if it’s an option. Very distracting when you’re done reading the full paragraph and the delivery is still in the middle of the first sentence.

      • P.Funk says:

        Thats the kind of foolish thinking that leads one to such follies as never hearing a classic Minsc delivery.

        • Emeraude says:

          On the other hand, it protects from the trauma of the Imoen lines, so I take it as a pure benefit.

          • Wulfram says:

            You’re all buffleheaded

          • SanguineAngel says:

            But imagine a world without having heard David Warner’s Jon Irenicus. Inconceivable, of course.

          • Myrdinn says:

            Imagine never hearing “You must gather your party before venturing forth.” !

          • Niko says:

            You have been waylaid by enemies and must defend yourself!

          • WiggumEsquilax says:

            Do ya wanna tell me a story bout’ trollops and plug tails? Please?

        • Premium User Badge

          Minsc_N_Boo says:

          Swords….Not Words!

        • Nibblet says:

          Go for the eyes boo, GO FOR THE EYES! rrrRRRRRRAAAAAAAAGGHHH!!

          (Sorry, i am as tired of that quote as everyone else, but the rules clearly state that no BG quote thread can be complete without it.)

    • Orija says:

      For me it’s the accents, I just can’t place them in the context of the setting.

    • Shieldmaiden says:

      From what I’ve read, it’s a fascinating setting, however I did purposefully steer clear of reading too much of the detailed background because I was playing the game, rather than running it. Even if you don’t intend to play it, if you have any interest in game design, it’s worth reading, because there are some really interesting elements there.

    • strangeloup says:

      I only have the core Numenera book — at least physically, I have a few short bits and pieces from DriveThru — but it’s pretty great. Not sure when/if I’ll ever get the chance to play a tabletop game, but it’s not like that’s stopped me from picking up interesting RP books before.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    Updated my journal. “Pretty!”

    • onodera says:

      The Last Castoff should really have a journal and say that when it is updated.

  9. dethtoll says:

    Fears confirmed.

    Skipping.

    • Asurmen says:

      What fears would these be?

      • JFS says:

        Fears of… torment…

      • dethtoll says:

        That it would just be more PST, learning precisely nothing from what didn’t work in that game.

        I mean, I guess it’s to be expected, but it’s still disappointing.

        • Volcanu says:

          But we barely saw enough to judge whether it will be similar to PST or not, surely? Unless you’re referring to the way dialogue and dialogue options are handled? Or the aesthetic?

          What are you referring to that didnt work in PST? I’m certainly not saying that PST was perfect – I suppose for me the biggest failing in PST was that the encounters weren’t very engaging if you took a violent path (But it more than made up for that by giving you satisfying and viable ways to avoid violence altogether….at least for the most part).

        • SanguineAngel says:

          Hrm, are you able to identify those? out of curiosity really – I think the only two things I did not like about PST were the combat and the first area.

        • Subject 706 says:

          “That it would just be more PST”

          I’m pretty sure that most of the backers wanted exactly that, but with better combat. I know I did. Curios to know how you could draw those conclusions from those short clips though.

          Anyhow, looks great for pre-alpha! IMHO it really captures the weirdness that I want in a PST spiritual sequel.

        • Bladderfish says:

          Generally, it’s agreed that there were two things wrong with PST: combat and the rushed final areas.

          They’ve already partially addressed the combat issue by moving to turn-based and saying that there will be far less combat (which perfectly suits this sort of a game, as in PST it only detracted from the heart of the game – the dialogue, story and characters).

          As for certain areas being rushed, well, we’ll have to wait and see.

          • dethtoll says:

            Also the setting is ridiculous and the dialogue from what I’ve seen is kinda bad. All things I had problems with in PST.

          • Volcanu says:

            So if you didnt like the setting, the dialogue OR the game mechanics in PST, why on earth were you expecting/hoping that a spiritual successor wouldn’t share any similarities in those respects? And why did this game even interest you in the first place?

          • SanguineAngel says:

            I have tried to read dethtoll’s comment but my brain keeps resetting every time.

          • dethtoll says:

            Because it’s been nearly 20 years, you’d think developers would learn.

            Guess not.

    • P.Funk says:

      Fears the game would be exactly what was promised by the pitch?

      Darn.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    It’s just three minutes of (pre-alpha) Torment, but those are three good minutes! I felt kind of bad for the NPC, which is a good sign.

  11. Wulfram says:

    I think this sort of aesthetic is a lot of why I always end up preferring Bioware games to Black Isle and successors. I like my sunshine and grass and stuff like that.

  12. JFS says:

    Oh, another RPG renaissance? The last time this was mentioned was in the trailer to Neverwinter Nights. Seems like a whole lifetime ago. It’s interesting that this renaissance is more like a revival of that exact time, rather then the innovation that comes with a renaissance.

    The game still looks gorgeous, though. But also very depressing.

    • P.Funk says:

      Well to be fair for a renaissance to work properly we need to first rediscover that which we’ve lost, let it ebb through our culture, then let it lead us to the innovation. Its not like the renaissance everyone thinks of wasn’t part a rediscovery through imitation before taking off into evolution. A great bulk of renaissance art is in fact rather deliberately derivative of Greco-Roman art. The best ones, representative of the greatest innovation, are the ones we always remember.

      But really comparing Torment to David is kinda lame. I don’t think gaming is at the point where we can even play at that comparison, so… eh, silly renaissance statements should just end.

  13. Granath says:

    OH HELL YES.

    That’s pure gaming wood.

  14. kael13 says:

    A billion years in the future, huh? That sounds a lot like Gene Wolf’s Book of the New Sun.

    Also I quite like the character animations. Nice and flowy! Leaping up stairs is a good touch. Realistic and fast!

    • karthink says:

      The Book Of The New Sun was explicitly cited as inspiration for Numenera.

      I only heard of the book in discussions around Torment’s kickstarter campaign. So I read them. (It’s bloody amazing.)

      • Solgarmr says:

        I started on Book of the new sun recently but didn’t find it to enticing and slow to kick off so I put it down, then again I tend to be quite impatient when it comes to my literature. So you would say it’s worth a second try?

        • Orija says:

          “A second try!”, dude, the book is meant to be read twice! Seriously, you won’t get anything unless you go through it twice.

        • onodera says:

          Yes, it is kinda slow, but the book’s not about the action. In my opinion, the third book is the best, reminds me of McCarthy for some reason.

        • karthink says:

          It’s one of those slow-burn reads. Like a stick of incense you let suffuse into your mind.

          But it’s also an “active” read. It helps to remember that Severian lies. Half my time with the books was trying to fit things together in ways that made sense, a surprisingly fun activity.

  15. Shieldmaiden says:

    My only concern is that, in trying to be all Tormenty, they’ve strayed pretty far from the aesthetic of the Numenera setting. Obviously we’ve only seen tiny fragments of the game there, but Numenera is just as much about awe-inspiring, beautiful weirdness as it is grimdark and creepy weirdness. I just hope the whole game reflects that.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      Oh yes. There was a concept image of a aquatic city inside a watery sphere in the middle of a desert. The Bloom is the only creepy or grim area they’ve shown so far.

      • Juke says:

        Seconded; from their early concepts The Bloom was always the weirdest “Planescapiest” area they planned. But they’ve discussed a variety of other locations as well. The Sagus Cliffs, a city built out from the rocks into the air over the ocean, sounded like a more naturalistic, but still interesting, take.

  16. Gog Magog says:

    Sometimes it’s difficult to tell Tides of Eternity and Pillars of Numenara apart not because they actually look alike but because the only significant descriptor I’ve so far heard of either is “Planescape;-,#’ Torment” (they shoulda stuck with “Last Rites” I say, way more catchy).

    • Volcanu says:

      It’s not that hard really. POE is more going for the ‘Baldur’s Gate’ successor angle and TON is going for the ‘Planescape’ successor angle. I haven’t seen all that much emphasis being placed on PST in the stuff surrounding POE to be fair.

    • Paul B says:

      I do remember something about Obsidian letting InXile use the Eternity engine to power Torment, so maybe that’s another reason they look similar. In terms of tone and story, I expect the two games will be very different.

  17. Enkinan says:

    Nice!

    Well, except for that cheese ending caption. InExile cant help themselves though, WL2 has had a couple of pretty cheesy bits in it ads as well. I could care less though, don’t waste time and money on clever ads, just make a damn good game.

  18. Premium User Badge

    teije says:

    This looks pretty awesome. Love the atmosphere and tone. Exactly what I was hoping for when I backed. Inspired by PsT but not tied to it. Looking forward to playing Wasteland 2 and Pillars, but this is the one RPG I’m really waiting for.

  19. Chorltonwheelie says:

    Piss in the sink Man. She won’t know.

  20. Flea says:

    This makes me want to buy it right now. Here I am, playing Divinity: OS, waiting patiently for Wasteland 2 and Pillars of Eternity, enjoying the renessaince of classic RPGs and now this… can life of a gamer get any better?

  21. AyeBraine says:

    Something about these delicate dialogue options to carefully backtrack through the conversation, in order to better memorize the quest hint (which is also a beautiful short story about the character and the world) makes me feel so good. This is a Torment game all right.

  22. Premium User Badge

    heretic says:

    looks amazing!