They say that history often repeats itself. People feud endlessly over similar issues, trends ebb and flow, and you already are your parents (THERE IS NO ESCAPING IT SEARCH YOUR FEELINGS YOU KNOW IT TO BE TRUE). But it's not all bad. Sometimes, for instance, classic game genres are reborn in glorious blazes of phoenix-like beauty, and you're like take that dad you had to play Dungeons and Dragons with pens and paper I'm totally different please let me be different. And so, as it was in the days when games like Baldur's Gate and Planescape Torment swapped genetic material, so too shall it be soonish with Pillars of Eternity and Torment: Tides of Numenera. Torment will borrow Eternity's gorgeous engine tech, allowing for hyper-detailed backgrounds that ooze and skitter with intoxicating weirdness.
Developer inXile made the announcement in a new development progress update:
"Lately we’ve had increased emphasis on developing Torment’s aesthetics and environments. To that end, we have some news related to our environment art: late last March, we announced that we’d be collaborating with Obsidian Entertainment on technology. This primarily meant their conversation editing tools. I’m happy to say that we’ve taken things a step further and recently reached an agreement to license Obsidian’s technology for Pillars of Eternity to use in Torment."
"What are the practical implications of our licensing PE technology? It provides us with a stronger starting point for certain game systems and pipelines, including the creation of the 2D pre-rendered environments (we’re working on having something to show you in the coming weeks). This means we will have more resources to invest on other aspects of the game, allowing us to achieve a higher quality overall."
Exciting! Pillars of Eternity is looking like a relic of the past coated in modern flesh - less what games like Baldur's Gate and Planescape Torment actually looked like and more how we remember them while wearing our most rose-tinted glasses. It is, in other words, very attractive. Here's hoping inXile can mold the engine into something similarly fitting for Torment's not-so-tidy shores.
For the moment, inXile is still largely dedicating its resources to polishing off Wasteland 2, but Torment's development will kick into high gear the second its post-apocalyptic stablemate crosses the finish line. I doubt it'll make its originally proposed December 2014 release date, but if you ask me inXile can take all the time they want. Planescape was a magical experience, and you don't replicate that by rushing.