Posts Tagged ‘Planescape: Torment’

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 as any individual scene. Darth Vader, the Terminator, Norman Bates, Dracula… villains get people excited. A great villain lives forever, death be damned. Read the rest of this entry »

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 that whole idea of a fifty hour epic and beat it down so quickly, the hero’s hometown doesn’t even have time to finish smouldering.

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Planescape: Torment’s Enhanced Edition released

What can change the nature of a game? It’ll take more than high-res support and a scalable UI to change Planescape: Torment, but why would you want to muck with its guts? Black Isle’s RPG is still a fine thing, and the Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition [official site] simply makes running it on modern systems less of a faff. A worthy re-release! Our Alec told us all Wot He Thought of the Enhanced Edition back in March but it actually only launched last night. Break out your gel pens and start updating your journal. Read the rest of this entry »

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 run a full review because we all played PST a thousand years ago and know full well it’s a solid-gold classic of narrative’n’choice-led games, but I do want to look at what’s changed in Beamdog’s ‘Enhanced Edition‘ and whether it’s a meaningful improvement. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, though the net result is the most playable and best-looking version of PST to date. Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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 that are either Planescape Torment: Enhanced Edition as Beamdog’s latest updated release, or someone is really looking forward to going down to Gregg’s for a pastie sometime on Tuesday. It’s not confirmed. It could be something else. Maybe there’s a ‘Planescape Kids’ TV series coming out. Nobody’s told me.

Though it would explain this changelog I found lying around the other week… Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think – Torment: Tides of Numenera

Torment: Tides of Numenera [official site] is a weird-fantasy roleplaying game and spiritual sequel to 1999’s revered Planescape: Torment. After being successfully Kickstarted a couple of years ago, it is released to the world today.

1. I’m new to all this. Tell me whether this is where I want to be.
2. I’ve been here before. Tell me what’s changed. Tell me whether I can trust this.
3. [Anamnesis] Let the memories come.
4. [Smashing] My time is short. Brute-force my way straight to a conclusion.

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 for me personally to keep pace with’, not that this is inherently a poor state of things. I think about how I came to play Planescape: Torment, and how differently that might happen today.
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Torment: Tides of Numenera release date announced

When you receive a ‘Great Horses of the Isle of Wight 2017’ calendar from your uncle this holiday season, tear it open, flip to February, break out your spiffy new glitter gel pens, and write “NEW TORMENT!!!” on February 28th. That’s the newly-announced release date for Torment: Tides of Numenera [official site], inXile’s “spiritual successor” to the venerable Planescape: Torment. That means a weird fantasy-ish setting with mish-mash of worlds and a focus on words over weapons, all of which makes it one of Cobbo’s most-anticipated RPGs of 2017. Read the rest of this entry »

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 the original Wasteland and Fallout, along with many other games, as well as three enormously successful crowdfunding campaigns in recent times.

He told me that the crowdfunding of Wasteland 2 had felt like “a referendum on [his] history” and that he’d like to explore original ideas once he has rebuilt trust with new versions of Wasteland, Torment and The Bard’s Tale. Mostly, though, we talked about why making RPGs has retained its appeal over all these years, and how the business has changed since the early days of Interplay.

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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 thing, but there’s a key difference between that and stepping into the shoes of someone more specific. Geralt in The Witcher 3 for instance is – spoiler alert – a Witcher. Every encounter revolves around that, every system involves it, every decision has, whether it’s by your choice or Geralt bringing it up, a mercenary element that reinforces that asking for money in exchange for your services is expected and not, as is often the case, the first step towards douchery and getting the Evil ending.

I’ve also been playing a lot of Hearthstone. The two things are linked.

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A Tides Of Numenera Beta Date For Backers & Steamfolk

We already knew that a beta for Torment: Tides of Gary Numan [official site], spiritual* sequel to Planescape: Torment was due this month, but now we have a date. Or, to be precise, dates. Another thing we already knew is that original Kickstarter backers of the inXile RPG would get their clammy crowdfunding paws on the beta, but now we know that it’ll update its journal to include Steam Early Access a wee bit later in January.
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Torment Numenera Beta Inbound; Devs Open New Studio

News that inXile’s spiritual Planescape sequel Torment: Tides of New Model Army [official site] won’t, in fact, release its first beta during 2015 comes as little surprise, given there are only four and half minutes left of this year. Even so, it’s good to have confirmation that a sizeable chunk of the soul-searching RPG will be with us “early next year”, with the delay in order that we get “a more polished and complete Beta Test” that should offer around 10 hours of adventuring and existential crisis.
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Watch This Torment: Tides Of Numenera Crisis Footage

The Numenera pen-and-paper roleplaying system does a lot of interesting things to simplify stats, combat, and to offer players more choice in action and outcome. I am extremely interested to see how those systems translate to Torment: Tides of Numenera [official site], which is using the setting and system as a basis for a spiritual successor to the beloved Planescape: Torment. The first chance to see some of how it’s working is in a video below, as Jeremy Kopman – who has the excellent job title of ‘Lead Crisis Designer’ – talks through the game’s encounter system.

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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 who wouldn’t let me into The Town Where The Actual Bloody Game Starts.

This week though, I’m interested in the other side of that – the worlds that become more than just a place to grind for loot and XP. The places that feel real. Beloved worlds, which don’t necessarily correlate with beloved games. I really enjoyed Skyrim for instance, but Skyrim as a world largely leaves me cold for reasons that have nothing to do with the Frostfall mod. That’s not the same as saying it’s bad, or any real quality judgement at all, simply that for me it never became a second home, more than a playground. Fallout New Vegas meanwhile, despite its problems, ticked all of the boxes. It was a world I could believe in, get immersed by, and not want to leave, which given the current political climate around the world is quite probably for the best.

Here are some of the most special worlds for me. How about you? Note, we’re talking entire worlds, as in the settings for whole games, not specific places like, say, Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy VII or FFXIV. Those are cool too, but… another week!

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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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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 off at this point, but inXile seems to be on the right track. Yesterday we talked combat and why quality is more important than size, and today we continue on by chatting about why Planescape Torment *wasn’t* perfect, what that means for Numenera, the recent delay, and why we won’t just be able to attack any old random NPC. All that and more below. 

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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 a year ago, though, and it has made progress. Big progress. I spoke with project lead Kevin Saunders, creative lead Colin McComb, design lead Adam Heine, and new lead area designer George Ziets about how the game has evolved. In part one, we discuss combat, how backers have influenced the game, using Pillars of Eternity tech, why Torment will be more about quality than size, skill systems, and story changes. It’s all below.

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Torment: Tides Of Numenera Recedes Till Late 2015

Concept art. Very concepty.

Torment: Tides of Numenera aims to be a spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, but it seems producing vastly complex, non-linear RPGs is a difficult task. Following the success of Wasteland 2, inXile’s other Kickstarted game, Tides of Numenera has swapped its previous ‘early 2015’ release date for a revised ‘late 2015’. In a lengthy post at the Torment blog, the team have offered update on the game’s current development.

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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 on a non-fantasy RPG to the chances that Larian goes back to Kickstarter. On top of all that, Vincke told me why having gender parity (one male, one female) on his writing team turned out to be the “best decision ever.”

Vincke’s admirably frank answers to roughly a million questions are below. 

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