Torment: Tides of Numenera trailer sets up the story

I get that Torment: Tides of Numenera [official site] is going for a Planescape: Torment-y talk-o-thinky vibe in a future so far-flung that ancient technology is basically magic, but I didn’t know much about the story. Turns out, as a new trailer explains, oh yes it us riffing on Torment-ish themes of immortality and past selves and fates catching up and… hey, see for yourself below. Or don’t, if you’d rather go in fresh-ish.

The world it’s set in, I say for those who haven’t pored over every scrap, is from Monte Cook’s Numenera tabletop playing-a-role game. It goes down in the far, far future, where grand civilisations have risen and vanished so many times that the world is a garbage heap of ancient, powerful, and confusing technologies. It’s sci-fi but magical.

As the saying goes, “Any technology sufficiently advanced to appear on Tomorrow’s World is indistinguishable from nonsense.”

Tides of Numenera is coming on February 28th. If you’re expecting it to exactly follow the blueprint from its crowdfunding campaign, er, you’ll be a little disappointed. For all the fuss that stirred up, I do think a lot of their deviations sound for the good of the game, even if using stretch goals to whip up interest then dropping them is a bit shady. The point is: this video game looks fun! Three more weeks.


  1. brucethemoose says:

    I bounced off POE and Tyranny, but I can’t wait for this. To me, Numenera seems so much more appealing than those high-fantasy settings, and I like the idea of infrequent, meaningful combat as opposed to mook/loot spam.

    • Landiss says:

      I haven’t played Tyranny, but I also did bounce of PoE and it was a very hard bounce. I really don’t see almost anything appealing in that game.

      I was quite cautious about Torment, but this trailer is fantastic.

      • killias2 says:

        After playing through all of PoE a few months back (and beating Tyranny right after it), it still surprises me how much ill will there is out there towards PoE especially. At the end of the day, diff’rent strokes and all that, but it really is surprising when you go out in the world and find everyone disagrees with your taste, y’know?

        • Landiss says:

          Haha, I know the feeling. I felt the same exact thing. Hype about PoE was huge and everyone seemed to like it, then I tried it and it was very meh.

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          75oharas says:

          I was really excited for PoE yet I bounced off it hard. I don’t hate it or anything, I just think im not the person I was when I adored these games, im hopeing Tides isn’t the same for me.

          I think the problem is many people who where excited about PoE (and Tides) have themselves changed in the intervening years and therefore were disappointed in the game(s) and are blaming the game for it.

          • Someoldguy says:

            I think that has a lot to do with it. I ddin’t think twice about clicking every barrel and hoovering up all the piles of junk loot back in the glory days of the infinity engine games. Nowadays that just feels tedious. I have very fond memories of Final Fantasy VII but I’d never put up with grinding out all the materia xp, collecting 100 of every item and breeding all the chocobo these days.

            PoE worked for me once I’d learned the tricks to make it suit my playstyle more. Being able to hoover all the junk loot into the stash without worrying about weight or inventory slots certainly helped. Fingers crossed more story and less combat proves even better. My main reservation is the Numenera themselves – the individual unique one-shot items. I really don’t want to be collecting a pile of uniquely named tat that I have to sift through laboriously to find the ones that are most useful in a given situation. Hopefully that won’t interfere with the story too much.

          • scatterbrainless says:

            Actually I find I can comfortably go back and enjoy the Baldur’s Gate games, much like the old Fallouts, but still bounced off POE as well. I think, even compared to the old games, it is quite mechanically clunky, but I could have dealt with that. More importantly, and this really surprised me given the developer’s pedigree, the writing was pretty godawful. I just went back to try it again a couple months ago and was immediately put off by how it commits the great, fantasy writing sin of just bombarding you with nonsense mythical jargon from the word go.

  2. fiendling says:

    I’m honestly excited about this one.

    I supported their Kickstarter campaign with a Beta access tier but decided not to participate in the beta to keep the full release completely new/fresh.

    The Numenera universe is a pretty interesting place and should theoretically make for a great game world. Here’s to hoping that the game will realise that potential fully.

    • Eleven says:

      I was intending to do that, but lacked the willpower to not give in and play the beta. I have only been impressed by what they’ve accomplished so far, and I’m just impatient to play the rest of the game!

      • grve says:

        Seconded. Out of all the rootsy CRPGs lately the beta gives me some hope for this being the best of the lot. Really digging the writing so far, I just hope it lasts longer than Tyranny.

      • Hanban says:

        I gave in too! I played for a bit, and then I just pushed the keyboard forward and thought “This is very good.” I liked the combat. I liked the writing. Can’t wait for the full game to be released!

    • Scurra says:

      Ditto – I’ve even been trying to avoid trailers like this. I’m not even especially upset about the “stretch goals” thing – they’ve clearly massively expanded the game from the original pitch, and if aspects of it don’t perfectly match the stated aims, then hey, that’s just the way of things.
      But I guess that’s because I’m a designer myself (although not of video games) so I’ve had experience of the way a final product can only ever be an approximation of what you originally desired…

  3. Chaoslord AJ says:

    I’m slightly disappointed about them not having real-time battle as in PS:T.
    Have high hopes for the story, wish they won’t mirror PS:T too much, they can only loose by deliberately trying to make a mimicking effort about nameless dude who can’t die with dark past.
    Pillars’ story felt forced like making an effort to be about deep stuff then it had most NPCs being backer-fanfic.
    PS:T did interesting exploration of free will, actions & consequences, guilt, past sins, being immortal but that’s hard to just repeat on purpose.

    • Someoldguy says:

      Not clicking all the backer NPCs definitely improved the experience. The post-release patch that made them obvious so you could ignore them was a good one.

    • EMI says:

      You aren’t the immortal in this one, just an emergent consciousness in the immortal’s castoff. So the perspective is completely different from PS:T.

  4. JaguarWong says:

    I want hyphens or I want chickens.
    Either is fine.

  5. Cronstintein says:

    Optimistic about this one, I really hope they deliver.

    I tend to think stretch goals are a bad idea as it confines your design space before you’ve even had a chance to iterate. I’m glad the devs on this one were willing to change course, even if it did get them some flak from their supporters.

  6. chanandler says:

    LOL the quote is “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” and it is the third of Arthur C Clarkes three laws, which I think he quoted around 1973 :)