Torment: Tides of Numenera capsule review

You chose to end this quickly.

Torment: Tides of Numenera is a roleplaying game far more interested in thoughtful choices than wizarding and warrioring. Though combat is often an option, it’s the least interesting element of a game that rewards patience and thoughtfulness.

Although it boasts beautiful environments, Torment is very much a game about reading – a choose-your-own-adventure on a grand scale and with far-reaching, meticulously-interwoven consequences that often only show themselves hours later.

Sometimes, it’s too interested in world-building over emotional clout, and you may find yourself scanning rapidly through seemingly endless paragraphs of well-written word salad to find the central purpose, dilemma or insight of its many conversations. For this reason, its pacing can be awkward, while critical plot events are sometimes presented oddly abruptly and a few major characters don’t make quite the intended impression.

Nevertheless, enough of its ideas and characters coalesce into unusual brilliance to survive this sometimes flabby quality. This is both a worthy successor to 1999’s beloved Planescape: Torment and a smart, reactive and singular RPG in its own right.

Torment: Tides of Numenera is released today for Windows, Mac and Linux, via Steam, GOG or direct from the devs.