Planescape Torment: Enhanced Edition announced

Planescape: Torment [official site], the revered 1999 fantasy RPG from Fallout creators Black Isle, is getting overhauled a touch in an Enhanced Edition due next month. It’ll bring support for modern high resolutions and a new interface to match, along with tweaks and fixes. It’s being handled by Beamdog, the folks behind the Enhanced Editions of Icewind Dale and Baldur’s Gate then a new Gate expansion of their own.

Yesterday, following the wee teaser campaign, Cobbo had some grand predictions for the Enhanced Edition. He’s close with some but, as far as we know, it will not actually let Nordom transform into a battlesuit for Morte.

Beamdog say they’ve buddied up with Torment lead designer Chris Avellone “to curate gameplay updates, bug fixes, and enhancements to best capture his original vision for the game.” This includes support for 4k resolutions and a UI rebuilt to work with that, along with a remastered soundtrack, and “modern features such as tab highlighting, area zooming, combat log, quickloot, and more!”

Or, if you want none of that, Beamdog say it’ll have options to turn Enhancements off.

Player-made patches and fixes have done a lot for Planescape: Torment but it can still be a bit wonky and crashy with them. A solid new release of Planescape: Torment sounds grand, especially with the option to disable newbits. I know some players weren’t too keen on some of Beamdog’s additions in past Enhanced Editions.

Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition is due April 11th on Windows, Mac, and Linux. (And pocket telephones too.)

While I’m here, hey, what do y’all make of Torment unofficial spiritual successor Torment: Tides of Numenera now you’ve had time to play it? Our Alec was delighted, declaring it “both a worthy successor to 1999’s beloved Planescape: Torment and a smart, reactive and singular RPG in its own right.”

73 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    nattydee says:

    Fancy! I got 75% of the way through a modded playthrough a few years ago before getting crippled by a fun scene transition crash… and though Tides of Numenera is great, I won’t hesitate to throw down cash for an enhanced playthrough of the original classic

    • Herzog says:

      Seconded. Also had a corrupted save game a few years ago. Looking forward to this release!

    • Det. Bullock says:

      Yup, that’s why by the end of all my old Black Isle RPGs I usually have at least 50-something different saves.
      Fortunately it never happened to me with Torment for some reason (a lot with Baldur’s Gate though, I ended up with almost 100 saves with BG2) but still you cannot be too careful, nothing worse than having to replay the entire game because you always overwrote the same slot.

      • welverin says:

        Fifty saves, a hundred? Light weight.

        • Premium User Badge

          Noodlemonk says:

          Fifty saves of grey!

          • obowersa says:

            Posting here to remind me, I’ve got a little powershell script that monitors a folder for file changes and automatically copies it with a timestamp I’ve used with a couple of these, initially for morrowind. I’ll share it once home in the next few days.

            Let’s you backup the save when you make a new save without having hundreds of them manually created

    • Mandrake42 says:

      Ditto, while technically fan mods can make this playable on modern PC’s, as with the BG remasters, its just nice to not have to dick around with the files to get it running. Besides, now a new generation might get to enjoy one of the most unique RPG’s from the 90’s. As you said, the new Torment might be a great new iteration on similar themes, there is no real replacement for the original game.

    • geisler says:

      Interesting. I’ve been playing the original games with mods (which take about 10 minutes to setup) for the past 15 years and never had any issues with corrupted saves or gaming breaking bugs. I’ve simply never had the need for EEs, including for PS:T.

      As long as the original content and assets aren’t tampered with, i might try this one though. Steam is my main platform and it would be great to finally have this timeless classic in my library there.

  2. zulnam says:

    Pocket telephones? You mean also portable tablet devices?! Excellent; I quite enjoyed BG1 on the Android.

  3. KillahMate says:

    I appreciate them going the extra mile and getting Avellone to curate the mods to be included, that exactly the kind of thing that gets people to buy Enhanced Editions.

    Still waiting on a review before buying this though. Hell yes.

  4. rab357 says:

    Would this be through Steam?

  5. paddymaxson says:

    Well, it’s out on my Birthday, I know what I’m getting.

    Ugh. My family has a tradition of all going out for a meal on someone’s birthday…can’t I just stay home and play videogames on my birthday?

    • Sleepy Will says:

      Hey, if your family have all gone out to celebrate your birthday, that’s an uninturrupted few hours, right?

  6. Quadricwan says:

    Wow, I didn’t think I could be so excited for a game I’ve already beaten 10 times. In 20+ years of being a gamer, Planescape Torment remains my all-time favourite.

  7. Arglebargle says:

    Already bought it twice, why not three times?!

    Tried replaying it last year but was defeated by the interface. So maybe third time is the charm….

  8. malkav11 says:

    Tides of Numenera is like a curated tour of hundreds of amazing ideas. I’m not sure it’s that great mechanically but who cares? Not me, that’s for sure.

    • AyeBraine says:

      Yes, thank you! I fear that my comment beneath will sound like a harsh critique of the game, but I love it too. It’s just that if they made it a little bit more of a game, and diluted the weirdness with normalcy just for contrast, it would be simply incomparable, and order of magnitude more immersive. (Also, your comment is so much more succint than mine and tells the same thing. Sigh.)

  9. AyeBraine says:

    Concerning Torment: Tides of Numenera. I clocked 33 hours in it according to Steam, though I don’t know how far I am from the finale.

    Overall, I have a very strange but very distinct feeling about this game: it feels like it leaned so much on its spiritual predecessor that it didn’t notice the stool tumbling from beneath its own feet. It’s not the easter eggs and shout-outs, and not even the injected backer kudos (though both are almost painfully obvious). It’s that TToN saw its position (as a kind of a “remix” of Planescape) as a carte blanche to ONLY include the bits that people liked and remembered fondly about its sire.

    P:T did what it did for the first time, and took risks introducing unorthodox things – like walls of text, quests and stories resolved entirely within your head or during a dialog, and relentlessly piling weirdness upon weirdness upon the player. For that reason, it forced itself to remain a game, with all the requisite things a game needs – pace, contrast, variety, and as much consistency and rules its wild ride would allow.

    TToN, on the other hand, _looks_ as if it was presided upon by a stereotypical fanboy – frowning at everything conventional and traditional, asking for more and more of the same good stuff. Skip the bread and lettuce, meat is what we love! Giant islands of meat in a sea of ketchup!

    So in TToN, whole towns and worlds consist entirely of quirky characters with incredible histories, with no normal people in sight (even implied, like the vast populace of Sigil). So many objects and phenomena in the world DEFY DESCRIPTION and OVERWHELM THE SENSES that you really long for at least a single normal flophouse where you can sit and have a pint and a normal loaf of bread with a side of carrots. EVERY marketplace is wondrous and improbable, EVERY NPC is an enigmatic blend of ancient technologies and magical magic, EVERY one of your new abilities is a superpower, EVERY fucking loot crate contains one or two inexplicable objects violating the rules of physics and philosophy. This onslaught of originality (sadly, almost completely unsupported by actual gameplay) is so dense that I have to play the game in spurts, my head numb after 5-6 hours each time.

    The hospital vendor from Sagus Cliffs comes to mind: to avoid losing out on his upgrades (don’t know if I really can’t return, but the game said I won’t, and terminated all quests on departure), I bought all of them before departing. And, as a result, my character ended up as a comical abomination with a mechanical eye, some nanoblood, gaudy cybertattoos and a pair of giant Wolverine claws uselessly sticking out of his hands, because he doesn’t do unarmed. And all of this quirkiness just for a few coins (one battle’s worth of loot), with no prerequisites, just for quirkiness’ sake!

    Finally, and worst of all, the main character is written in such a way that all of this is absolutely no mystery to him – just par of the course. The only rules in the game’s world is that YOU already know what’s what (just forgot), every mystery is solved methodically by following your journal within a single location, and every time something really weird happens, it’s nanomach… I mean the Changing God, your sire. Well, nanomachines, too. So, again, in P:T you had to hunt long and hard for the other incarnations’ handiwork, here you can barely spit without hitting one.

    I still had (and keep having) a grand time with the game, it’s exquisite and stimulating, almost every story is written so good that I can’t help but read them out loud like a wannabe voice actor, and, well, it’s been 33 hours. It’s just that everything this game is made of (and why) is so in-your-face, that you just can’t forget about it for a second.

    • malkav11 says:

      To be fair as far as I can tell there’s no such thing as normality anywhere in the Numenera tabletop setting they’ve based the game in. It’s explicitly built as this giant pile of weirdness atop weirdness. I’m just glad that the folks at inXile were up to the test of coming up with that many worthwhile ideas.

      • AyeBraine says:

        Thank you! I didn’t have the chance to play or even read about the original setting. But the point stands – to effectively introduce piles of weird, you have to have a straight man. It could be the protagonist, or his teammates, or the hint of the world at large (again, P:T did this very well setting the stage with normal folk reacting to dangerous, woeful, and wonderful weirdness, giving it real gravitas). Even if the “normal” folk are weird, they must be consistently weird to react to even weirder things, because otherwise nothing is actually weird at all. Also, in the haste of introducing all the ideas, TToN just explains every strange thing at the door, because the next strange thing is waiting in the queue.

        It’s not a question of scaling back the strangeness, it’s the question of framing it in a bold, efficient manner, setting the stage to amaze you and keep shit fresh. At least some surprise or bewilderment from all involved could help – instead, everyone in the game is completely inured to all improbable things, and incredibly NOBODY ever comments on anything as something that’s a least bit unusual.

        Giant eternal transdimensional organism/bandit lair? Two blocks that way. Time gate for lost children? Yeah, I heard something about it, glad to know Beatrice keeps it dusted. An orb that bends reality? OK, twofiddy, next.

    • noom says:

      Fairly close to my own sentiments. I uninstalled after 25 hours or so, after just becoming exhausted with walls of text attached to every little thing every 10 metres or so. Sure, it was broadly well written and interesting, but exploring all these things meant that the central narrative progressed at a snails pace. I read somebody else describe it as being more like a huge compendium of short stories, and I felt that diluted any real sense of scale or adventure.

    • Hoot says:

      2 hours with the game was enough to tell me everything I needed to know about TToN. It was such a disappointment :(

      I wasn’t expecting Pillars of Eternity as they are both different styles of isometric RPG but I expected it to be at least as pretty, and it just wasn’t. That and the first companions I met seemed like cardboard cutouts with juvenile things to say.

      I was going to persist with it but when I found out there was like 8 combat scenes in the entire game I was out. Got a refund.

      • AyeBraine says:

        In all sincerity, I advise you to try and push through. As the WOT on this site said, the worst expodump is over after a few hours. Then it’s more or less free-flow hubs where you solve quests. Mechanically they’re barebones, but the amount of actually interesting (though overwhelming) content is really worth it. Treat it as a bedtime reading and contemplating hour – few chunks at a time, jotting down notes (although the in-game journal is almost too detailed and thorough).

    • Morph says:

      IF you’d asked me what the best thing about PT was I’d have said the interesting, memorable party members. Morte! Annah! Nordom! So bloody good.

      It’s weird that this is one thing Tides didn’t copy. Such uninteresting people accompany you. Very disappointing.

    • ps_garak says:

      My main beef with TToN is that it feels that it mistook volume of text for quality of text. PS:T had buckets and buckets of text, its true, but it was generally pretty interesting and kept me engaged. TToN feels like its overly verbose because it’s a Torment game and by god we have to make any interaction dense as possible.

      It’s a real bummer, because I was rather looking forward to it. Ah well, it’ll be nice to revisit PS:T without having to refinagle everything.

      • AyeBraine says:

        I’d say it’s more uneven rather than lower quality compared to P:T. There are many neat ideas that are just thrown in and outfitted with appropriate dialogue trees, yes. There are also goddamned backer cameos that are nice at best.

        But I very consistently find dialogues that really get me emotionally and intellectually involved. There are many things in these conversations that you simply can’t encounter anywhere else in gaming (and in most of the popular literature). Unexpected descriptions, unusual situations (and this time I mean actually emotionally unusual, not just weird), and just plain good writing (one rhyming villain comes to mind – he goes on and on but boy is he convincing).

  10. Premium User Badge

    RobotMan says:

    Yes, could not be happier about this news. Loved replaying BG and BG2 Enhanced Editions. I’m glad Beamdog is doing this. PST mods are excellent but a proper engine rebuild is sweet.

    I hope more excellent titles from the past receive some face lifts eventually. Looking at you enhanced and tablet/mobile optimised version of Jagged Alliance 2…

  11. PancakeWizard says:

    Before the usual grumps comment on this, from the official Beamdog account in the trailer’s YT comments section:

    “PST:EE is entirely a remaster. No new story content or characters were added.”

  12. dethtoll says:

    But will they make it fun?

  13. Ben Damage says:

    “Play It Your Way: Enable Enhanced Edition features as you desire or turn them off to experience Planescape: Torment in its original glory.” – This surely has to be the rare kicker that pleases everyone?

  14. Jane Doe says:

    Mentioning Chris Avellone is hardly an endorsement anymore. Best keep him far away from any of the new stuff.

    • Jekadu says:

      What a strange thing to say. Mind expanding a bit on that?

      • Jane Doe says:

        Well, Wasteland 2 didn’t hold up throughout the entire game. Most of the good stuff ended somewhere in that nuclear canyon. Half the skills you could take turned out to be rather pointless, the combat was a boring mess and eventually you wanted everyone with Assault Rifles anyway, because they fired almost as far as sniper rifles with much more damage and had plenty of ammo to spare. Not to mention that they consolified the game in the “Director’s Cut”, fullscreen inventory and whatnot.

        Pillars of Eternity was not as bad, but also suffered from mediocre combat, an extremly slow story start and very dull companions. I still can’t understand the fascination with the Grieving Mother. Compared to Tyranny its like playing Icewind Dale (which had no NPC followers, remember?). Still, with the White March expansions they turned the wagon arround.

        Last but not least, Torment Tides of Numenera dropped the ball completly. Starting off in the Geth server room being bombarded by walls of mindless text that had no influence at all (you just created your char from scratch after it anyway) was probably the absolute worst beginning of a CRPG I have ever seen. All but the little girl companions are forgetable and the world is weird for weirdness sake. It tells but does not show. I won’t even mention the trainwreck called “crisis”. Considering that it was supposed to be the second coming of Planescape Torment, TToN will be remembered as the running gag of CRPGs. It rightfully holds itself steady at 66% on Steam (Tyranny 89%, Pillars 87%, Wasteland 2 82%).

        After TToN, Chris Avellone is simply not an endorsement anymore. He’s a warning label to not pre-order or back on Kickstarter.

        • Crimsoneer says:

          You have very strange opinions. Both Pillars and Tides were wonderful games.

          • Danda says:

            I don’t think Avellone had much say in Pillars of Eternity. He’s not even credited as a writer! He probably left Obsidian because he was just a supervisor there, not a true creative lead.

            Maybe we should try to differentiate between projects “with some help from Chris Avellone” and “written by Chris Avellone”? I don’t think his name is tainted in any way so far.

        • Hoot says:

          Pillars was far and away a superior experience to Tyranny in quite literally every aspect. Tyranny was a good game, but can’t hold a candle to Pillars.

          TToN for me was…refund material. Odd, considering that I love PT.

          I do think you’re getting yourself confused about what a writer does and what a game director / creative lead does. Chris Avellone’s role in TToN and Wasteland was as a writer; therefore he wasn’t responsible for a lot of the design decisions that made those games less than good.

          • PancakeWizard says:

            I think we must have similar tastes. I bounced off TToN after 40 minutes and haven’t felt the need to return, and I backed it. It’s like a gorgeous-looking Choose Your Own Adventure novel, rather than an RPG game. Love Pillars, and enjoyed PsT.

            Probably pushing my luck here but I preferred BG1 to BG2 as well. BG2 had great locales and monsters, but BG1 had this awesome sense of wilderness and expanse that just wasn’t there in BG2.

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          @Jane Doe Good for you that the Steam user reviews align with your personal opinions. I’m sure I could find some site that aligns with my personal opinions and argue that game X rightfully deserves its score, as if that one site was any major authority.

        • Werthead says:

          Avellone’s role on both Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera was writing a couple of scenes and characters. He also assisted with design on some aspects of Wasteland 2. Colin McComb was the primary lead on both games. Avellone was still working at Obsidian at the time so could not do much more.

          On Pillars of Eternity Avellone wrote a lot more stuff, but a lot of it was apparently chucked out by Josh Sawyer in favour of other material. I’m pretty certain this is one of the contributing factors that led to Avellone departing Obsidian. Although there are some aspects of Sawyer’s work I enjoy, I have to admit that constantly throwing out work by Avellone (best work: PS:T, Fallout 2, Mask of the Betrayer) in favour of Sawyer (best work: er, Icewind Dale, I guess) does not really make a huge amount of sense.

          The last games that Avellone was creative lead on were Fallout: New Vegas – Old World Blues and Alpha Protocol. He’s now a writer on Divinity: Original Sin II, but joined that project after it started, so again is not creative lead.

          • Danda says:

            Yeah, Werthead, you get it :)

            In the last few years, Obsidian always have seemed to favour Sawyer. And if you read his updates about Pillars of Eternity, he only seems to care about the number of dungeon floors added as stretch goals for the first one, and now about explaining how the multiclass thing works. What about the story? Yeah, this is the same guy from the New Vegas “hardcore” mod. I get the feeling that this is one of those guys that get a lot more enjoyment from filling in his character sheet than from actually role-playing a character in D&D.

          • PancakeWizard says:

            I wonder if it was the Celtic language stuff? I remember Sawyer saying something about that just not working as it made the lore impenetrable as you were basically having to learn a language just to figure stuff out. They kept some of it in, but apparently it was originally going to be everything.

  15. welverin says:

    Finally, hopefully Icewind Dale 2 is on the way as well

    • oWn4g3 says:

      Oh god yes! I think they said something about IWD2 being kinda hard to remaster due to engine specifics but I would really love if they completed their lineup of classic DnD remasters. Link to the IWD2 Interview: link to pcgamer.com

      Edit: In that interview he also said that PST would be very problematic so I’m hopeful that IWD2 will follow.

      • Eawyne says:

        As you say, he mentoinned PT, and we now see it’s been Enhanced too ! I would also love a ID2 enchancement… I got the Complete Edition on GoG, but never managed to make it work properly, despite a lengthy mail-assistance with their staff =(

      • PancakeWizard says:

        In a perfect world, they’d get a run at Fallout 1 and 2 as well. I’d settle for 1.

        • welverin says:

          That would be cool, but hard to see happening seeing as Bethesda owns them now and I don’t see them being the types to play nice.

      • welverin says:

        Well, hopefully this announcement just makes ‘problematic’ just meant take a long time rather not going to happen.

  16. Earl-Grey says:

    Oh man, first Baldur’s Gate, now Planescape.
    If they make Enhanced Editions of Fallout 1 and 2 I will absolutely lose my shit.
    I mean, BG and Planescape are neat, but the Fallouts were MY games back when…HNNNNNNG PRETTY PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE!

    • Regicider 12.4% says:

      I hope Bethesda will handle the Fallout Enhanceds internally to remake all art and retcon the old universe after the style of Fallout 3 and 4. They could use some cohesion.

      • GloatingSwine says:

        I’d rather Bethesda keep their hands off the actually good Fallout games, given how their own entries show how poorly they understand the universe, the core point of Fallout gameplay, or its aesthetic.

      • KillahMate says:

        How about Bethesda retcons Fallout 3 and 4 so they finally have some cohesion with the two best Fallouts?

      • Earl-Grey says:

        GAH! You…you monster!

      • PancakeWizard says:

        This is bait, right?

  17. Halk says:

    Hmm, potentially nice.

    Of course the most interesting question is: Will they add co-op?

  18. Goral says:

    There is no Black Isle logo in the trailer and what’s more important Black Isle, a firm that made Planescape: Torment is not mentioned in the Store page, instead modders are. This is outrageous! >a href=”http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/planescape-torment-enhanced-edition-coming-april-11.114375/page-32#post-5039407″>They’re trying to rewrite the history and don’t give credit where credit is due.

      • Michael Fogg says:

        the codexians managed to already have a 30+ page discussion about this, heh

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      Black Isle doesn’t exist anymore. It’s like me complaining that the colonial American flag isn’t still flown next to the modern one.

      Calm down and stop having a shitfit about Beamdog. Just be happy you can play the game in a few weeks without dicking about with mods for hours.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        Shakespeare doesn’t exist anymore, so why bother mentioning him anytime someone republishes hos works. Black Isle is the “author” of this game, so they should be mentioned, no reason not to do so.

        • PancakeWizard says:

          Does Shakespeare have a logo I don’t know about? Did it precede 10 Things I Hate About You? Then don’t talk nonsense.

          They’ll likely credit Black Isle in the credits. There’s no law that says they have to be up front with the titles.

          • Darth Gangrel says:

            I’m not saying they have to be credited in a specific place, I just objected to the idea that Drib seemed to have of not crediting them anywhere, simply because the company doesn’t exist anymore.

  19. Michael Fogg says:

    I really love P:T, but one thing always felt weird to me: that despite all the weirdness it contained the basic area of the game was a fairly generic fantasy slum with hookers and knife-twirling thugs at every other corner. It’s more of a fault of the setting than the game per se, but the Hive never made sense to me, in a city that is in the middle of the Multiverse and also where literally ‘the consciousness affects the being’.

  20. jeremyalexander says:

    I’m really looking forward to this. I liked both of the Enhanced Editions and Siege of Dragonspear. Getting to play this classic with a few modern conveniences sounds perfect. And I disliked the new Torment immensely. It was little more than an interactive fiction with a bad ending. There literally was no game, no challenge, just a choose your own adventure series of choices that ended up meaning little. Even the writing was mediocre considering the talent involved. I expected intelligent writing and found a mountain of meaningless exposition. Hopefully the announced fixes will make things better, but it will be tough to polish that t*(d.

  21. kud13 says:

    I really need to stop obsessively playing Age of Empires 2 HD and get back to Numenera.

    I played PS:T to completion for the first time 4 or 5 years back, the GOG version, and it ran pretty flawlessly. So I’m ambivalent about the remaster.

    But it’s a good game, so I suppose if this can bring it to new audience, that’s a good thing.

  22. Premium User Badge

    subdog says:

    The most exciting thing about this is the idea of playing PS:T on my tablet.

  23. Viral Frog says:

    I find this a bit funny. Just yesterday I was reading the RPS review of Tides of Numenera for series newcomers and was wishing there was an enhanced edition of PS:T so I could give that a play first. Needless to say, I’ll be picking this up after release.