Torment: Tides of Numenera trailer is ready to rumble

Torment: Tides of Numenera [official site] and the game which inspired it might prize frank exchanges of views above fisticuffs but sometimes one holds views such as “I believe splitting your lip would make me feel better” and, well, that can escalate. With the release of Torment now only five weeks away, a new trailer is out to demonstrate what happens when such views are expressed. While the trailer’s surprisingly surface-level, starting out explaining what stats and experience even are in RPGs, it does show some pretty places and spell effects so I’m content.

Clearly the trailer’s not aimed at you, Charlie Roleplaying with your +2 Keyboard, so don’t mind its over-explanation. Everyone is ignorant of those basics are some point in their life, aren’t they? (I’d guess the trailer’s the idea of Torment’s console publisher Techland rather than inXile.) And those are some nice places and spell effects, aren’t they? You can always turn to YouTube for raw combat from folks playing the early access version.

Do also check out that recent interactive trailer for more on the different chat-o-lie-a-fight approaches of Torment.

After a year in early access Torment: Tides of Numenera is due to launch on February 28th for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Cobbo had a play of the beta last year but we’ve mostly steered clear off peering too close, instead waiting for it to be actually finished. Soon!


  1. st33dd says:

    Thing is…

    I own the Numenera RPG book and what put me off running it is that everything is very combat skewed. If I had a player that wanted to just roleplay, I’d end up giving them some very restrictive choices to keep them happy. That and the Mage (Nano) is seen as overpowered by many as they’re not tapping their health to drive their powers.

    I like that they’ve come up with “Tides” which are totally absent from the RPG and provide some narrative mechanics – something the tabletop RPG it’s based on doesn’t care for.

    It’s a really weird choice of system. The setting is fantastic and makes for a great read. But is it an RPG with super strong narrative mechanics? No, very much no. They stole Compels from Fate to charge the GM for railroading players (GM Incursions), which is nice, but there’s not anything like what Burning Wheel gives you.

    Play for the setting, but don’t hold your breath for the mechanics.

    • Vaalac says:

      I can’t understand how you came to the conclusion that Numenera is about combat.

      It’s actually a game which reward discovery above killing, which treat combat like any other action in the game, and which openly doesn’t care about balance, preferring to offer fun alternatives for the players.

      Also, the health pool isn’t just Might, it’s the combination of Might, Speed and Intellect, so the Nano do tap into his health to use its powers.

      The intrusion system is a nice way to replace critical success/failure by a more narrative option involving both player and GM.

      I’ve really surprised to read your comment, I’ve always found that Numenera not only had one of the most flexible, easy to learn mechanics, but also a really great narrative-driven system.

      • st33dd says:

        But nothing in there is actually “narrative” mechanics. The bonuses and points aren’t about your character’s story. They’re about pew pew.

        Monte Cook says the game is about exploration – but none of the mechanics actually engage with exploration (because he said himself that you can’t create exploration mechanics despite the RPG Sphinx actually doing this). You say the game is narrative, but I can only assume that means you talk over the game – you don’t trade resources for that narrative. Only combat seems to do this.

        I’m comparing Numenera to games like Mouse Guard, where practically all the mechanics are about the story, and how that affects your character developing as a person. Not about how you can spend points to lift a crate or shoot lazers out of your tits. And I find it lacking.

        I’m not saying you can’t have fun with it. But it’s mechanics don’t match its motives. Not any where near as much as other RPG systems.

        • Vaalac says:

          Oh, well, I think I might just be a bit ignorant.

          I came to Numenera from DnD, and in comparison… well, you must know DnD.

          I’ve always thought that a RPG’s rules should only tell you how to “do” stuff, and let story and exploration be handle by the players and GM via Roleplay.

          But I’ve never played either Sphynx or Mouse Guard or any RPG with that kind of mechanic (except maybe for the StarWars RPG “Edge of the Empire” with its obligation system which I don’t like very much), so I may simply lack the material to understand your critic.

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            subdog says:

            If D&D is your only reference, I highly recommend you check out some more narrative focused RPG’s. Burning Wheel/Mouse Guard, Apocalypse World/Dungeon World, FATE, Fiasco and so on.

            Even if you end up going back to D&D, a few sessions of those games can really open your eyes about what an RPG can be, and the kind of stories you can tell with them.

          • Vaalac says:

            Well, it’s not exactly my only reference, but I’ve only played so far : Dnd, Edge of The Empire, Numenera and a custom setting using GURPS.

            I’ll gladly take a look though, and try them if I can motivate my group to.

    • Not Marvelous says:

      Can I hug you?

      • Vaalac says:

        I’m always up for a hug !

        Even thought I’m not sure I deserved it. I feel a bit ashame when I see the number of awful mistakes I made when writing my previous comment.

        But hey, for my defense, I was in a hurry, and utterly shocked by st33d view of Numenera !

        So anyway, sorry for my english ;).

        PS : I hope you were actually talking to me, it would be very awkward if you weren’t, I never know on this website :p.

  2. Kem0sabe says:

    They seem to have dumbed down the combat from the earlier versions, we now have dedicated health bars, and a small cheat guide to every encounter, telling you the different ways you can solve it.

    The console release, despite devs claims to otherwise, really did a number in dumbing down or messing up certain gameplay elements, including the ridiculous control scheme and the UI.

  3. Lamb Chop says:

    Was that a trailer or a tutorial?

    • Heimdall2061 says:

      I’m actually quite fond of trailers like that one. Most RPG trailers consist of either prerendered cinematics which may or may not actually tell you about the game, or a bunch of images of combat and dialog boxes strung together with some text bumps and EPIC MUSICX.

      This trailer is what I like seeing from RPGs: it tells me stuff about the game, and shows bits of real gameplay. For example, I did not know about the Labyrinth system before, and now, I am a tiny bit more extremely excited than I was for this game.

    • Captain Yesterday says:

      It was kind of weird that they felt the need to explain basic rpg mechanics in a trailer for a game that’s being pitched pitched primarily to people who have been playing rpgs for 20+ years.

      • Heimdall2061 says:

        Well, sure, but they did make a point of showing the unique or at least unusual aspects of the gameplay, like in-combat dialogue and the death system. I appreciated it, anyway.

  4. CurseYouAll says:

    Every time I see a trailer of this game, I can’t help but think how unpolished it looks. There is also something wrong with the graphics and the overall art style, it just looks bland.

    • Jekadu says:

      It looks gorgeous in-game.

    • caff says:

      I think the blandness stems from a lack of lighting, particularly in the video linked here. I noted little shadows or gradation of lighting within the environments – they looked a little like stock assets with a plain non-volumetric light.

      Maybe I shouldn’t be so cynical. I backed this, so I’m not entirely sure what to expect.

  5. cheesysmell says:

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned the death system. Now, I haven’t played any recent RPGs other than Wasteland 2, so bear with me if it’s been done before, but it seems like this mechanic could be a nice alternative to the old load-from-latest-save system and a disincentive to save-scumming, as long as it’s done well and doesn’t get tedious.

    Anyone who’s played in EA and has opinions on this?

    • Werthead says:

      Tides of Numenera is a spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment (1999), where your character is immortal and you can use that to solve (or get around) various puzzles, as well as avoiding save-scumming. I’m not surprised they’ve got their own nod to it.

    • Arglebargle says:

      It’s perhaps a connection to the original game, where death just set you back in ‘The Morgue’. I still did some save scumming, because it was sure a long way to walk back. Looks like they updated this well.

      • cheesysmell says:

        Oh, thanks for the clarification (also to Werthead). I think I never got out of the starting area in the original, but I may have been a bit too young to appreciate it.

        Let’s hope the implementation here keeps it interesting and doesn’t push you punishingly far back.

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      particlese says:

      I was also pretty interested to hear about it here, as I’ve not been keeping up with their long backer updates very well. During the campaign, the evolving Labyrinth painting was the thing keeping me coming back to check on it. Nice piece of art, and I can’t wait to see what weirdness the in-game version holds!

  6. Alien says:

    Why do the graphics look so “clean” and cheap…