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Planescape: Torment

5 months ago

Feature: The silent cartographers

What videogame maps can tell us about their worlds

We don’t expect much of a typical video game map. As long as it guides us to our destination (and perhaps looks pretty while doing so) most of us won’t waste a second thought on it. And yet, maps can be much more than tools that make our way from A to B a little more convenient. Some games reject the notion of maps as…

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1 year ago

Feature: Recky with the good hair

Steam Summer Sale recommendations: 2018 edition!

The old quote is wrong: neither death nor taxes are, it seems to me, as terrifyingly certain as the Steam Summer Sale. Yes, once more we can add to the heap that is our backlog by buying games for, what, five quid, on average? But there are so many to choose from that it's easy to get flustered, so who better than the staff of…

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Feature: Fans of lots of text, rejoice!

Clear 100 hours in your calendar, ‘cos CRPGs are here to stay

In the mid-to-late 2000s, publishers abandoned the CRPG genre – an acronym describing the very specific genre of video games adapted from tabletop RPGs to be played on computers – which a decade earlier had been a cornerstone of PC gaming. They were more interested in accessible, console-friendly series like Mass Effect and The Elder Scrolls, and PC-centric RPGs all but died out. Then, around…

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Feature: Listen to the ratcast

Podcast: Remembering all the rats we’ve killed

Leave no rodent behind – that’s the motto of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. With the release of Warhammer: Vermintide 2, we decided to celebrate the lovable dirtbag of videogames. The lowly, filthy, wonderful rat. Whether you are murdering five of them in cold blood for an RPG hotel owner, or pledging your sword to a disgusting subterranean monarch, there’s room in your…

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2 years ago

Feature: The Loose Canon

Best PC games of all time

There are more wonderful games being released on PC each month than ever before. In such a time of plenty, it's important that you spend your time as wisely as possible. Thankfully, we're here to help. What follows are our picks for the best PC games ever made.

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Feature: SHODAN at the Better Than OK Corral

The RPG Scrollbars: The Many Faces Of Villainy

Not only does a great hero need a great villain, villains are usually just so much more fun. Whether it's the tortured lost soul who can only find peace by destroying the universe or the cheery psychopath looking to see the world burn, it's no wonder that many of the greatest films of all time have been defined at least as much by the baddie…

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Feature: Faster than a bard shot out of a cannon

The RPG Scrollbars: Quests Done Quick II

It's Summer Games Done Quick time again! You know what that means. The final seal has been broken, the rivers are turning to blood, and High Dread Azagorath is free to destroy the land. But while people wait, they're doing speed-runs. And in celebration of that, I thought I'd take a dig through the archives for a few particularly impressive and interesting ones that take…

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Feature: New life's resolutions

Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition – an elegant remastering, with a few exceptions

Surprise classic RPG remastering attack! Mere weeks after revered 1999 philoso-roleplayer Planescape: Torment [official site] enjoyed a belated spiritual sequel in the over-lored but otherwise strong Torment Tides Of Numenera, it gets itself a modernised re-release too. It's due out April 11, but I've got the thing updating my hard drive's journal and changing the nature of my VDU right now. We're not going to…

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Feature: The long awaited follow-up to Forgotten Realms: Baldur's Gate

The RPG Scrollbars: Predicting Planescape

If you go down to planescape.com today, you're sure of a big surprise. Unless you're expecting a countdown, in which case, it's that. What could it mean? Well, if you open the page source, you'll see a secret message hidden in there - 0x50 0x53 0x54 0x45 0x45. Convert that from ASCII numbers to letters and you get PSTEE. The two most likely translations of…

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Feature: A retrospective of torment

Raised By Screens, chapter 17 – Planescape: Torment

Raised by screens is an intermittent autobiography, structured around the PC games I played in my youth. Most instalments are currently only available to RPS subscribers, but I shall compile them somewhere once the series reaches its eventual end. Some spoilers for Planescape: Torment's ending follow. Too many games now, too many websites, too much happening each and every day. I mean only 'too much…

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3 years ago

Feature: "It was like a referendum on my history"

Interview: Brian Fargo On Torment, Crowdfunding, The Future Of InXile And The Emotional Appeal Of RPGs

At Gamescom, after a whirlwind tour of just a few of Torment: Tides of Numenera's [official site] many worlds, I sat down with inXile CEO Brian Fargo to talk about the past, present and future of his company, and of RPGs. As well as discussing Torment, I wanted to talk about Fargo's career as a whole, which spans 34 years, and covers the creation of…

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Feature: Legends of character creation

The RPG Scrollbars: Roles We Take, Roles We Choose

Not for the first time, I've spent quite a while recently pondering the nature of roles - more specifically, mechanical role versus narrative role. When we think of RPGs, what we're usually thinking of is the latter. You play the role of the Hero, but in a universe that's typically designed to let you define that however you like. I'm not saying that's a bad…

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4 years ago

Feature: Homes away from home

The RPG Scrollbars: Sacred Worlds

Most RPGs ask you to save the world, but not all of them offer a world worth saving. Honestly, there's been quite a few where given the choice I'd have joined the evil overlord just to beat up all the potion vendors who wouldn't even give me a discount before the final battle, and for the mere chance of stabbing the guard in Act 1…

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Feature: Level Cap

The 50 Best RPG On PC

An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC RPGs ever released. Covering the entire history of computer role-playing games is a daunting task and attempting to place the best games in such a broad genre in any kind of order is even more daunting. Thankfully, we are equal to all tasks and below, you will find the best fifty PC RPGs of all time.

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5 years ago

Feature: On Delays, World Creation, and Planescape's Imperfections

The Ultimate Torment Interview Of Ultimate Torment, Pt 2

I very much want Torment: Tides of Numenera to be excellent, because the world needs more Torment. Not in the literal sense, of course; the world is a miserable place. But Planescape Torment was a wonderfully different sort of RPG set in a wonderfully different sort of world, and another descent into the gnarliest bowels of fuckweird would be quite grand. Numenera's still a ways…

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Feature: On Changes, Combat, And Quality Over Length

The Ultimate Torment Interview Of Ultimate Torment, Pt 1

Madly anticipated Planescape Torment spiritual successor Torment: Tides of Numenera has been delayed. We won't be able to probe its strange, sloughing depths until late 2015, which is a shame except that if inXile released when they were originally planning to we'd probably get a stack of concept art and a mountain of design documents instead of a game. Torment's Kickstarter wrapped up more than…

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Feature: The Divinitive Interview

Larian On Near-Closure, Divinity’s Future, Gender Parity

Divinity: Original Sin is looking positively divine. Honestly, in the sheer heat of the moment, I might be more excited about it than Pillars of Eternity or Wasteland 2. I already spoke at length with Larian head Swen Vincke during a massive video play session, but that wasn't enough. Afterward, we chatted about everything from the studio's rocky, too-close-to-closure-for-comfort history to the possibility of using Divinity's engine…

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6 years ago

Feature: Project Eternity No More

Mega-Impressions: Obsidian’s Pillars Of Eternity

It's official! Project Eternity finally has a real big boy name: Pillars of Eternity. On its own, that's hardly the most exciting news in the world, but it also means that Obsidian is finally ready to take the wraps off more than, like, three screenshots and precious little else. I had the good fortune of traveling to Obsidian to witness plenty of gameplay and conduct…

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Feature: Not At All Plain

One Of Dragon Age’s Big Influences? Planescape Torment

Like our fair, occasionally fire-breathing John, I also recently saw Dragon Age: Inquisition in action, and - against all odds - I came away very impressed. Dragon Age: Origins was a very important game to me for a number of reasons, and the crazy thing is that BioWare actually seems to *get* why its return to fantasy's pointy eared realms made people like me chant(ry)…

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