Posts Tagged ‘Planescape: Torment’

Podcast: The best magic and spells

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What kind of twisted arcane knowledge is this? Oh, it’s only the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. That’s about as magical as a wet lump of tissue. But the words are nice to listen to. This week, we’re talking magic in games. What are our favourite spells? Should magic be chaotic and unpredictable? Or should it be arranged in an orderly tome? Come listen to our enchanting voices as we discuss all such sorcery. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Summer Sale recommendations: 2018 edition!

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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 RPS to hand-pick the best ones for your consideration (rhetorical question; do not answer)?

Check out the full list below for a mix of games that should suit all pockets and tastes.

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

Divinity: Original Sin 2

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 2012, RPGs made a comeback, largely thanks to the rise of crowdfunding and an endless well of nostalgia. Since then we’ve been treated to heaps of good ones – Divinity: Original Sin, Pillars of Eternity, Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera – and there are plenty more in the works. But there’s no guarantee that CRPGs are back for good. Some, such as Torment, haven’t sold well. The future of crowdfunding remains uncertain. And asking fans to commit 50 hours to a single story is more difficult than ever, given the volume of great games that release every month. So how can developers ensure that the genre stays relevant?

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Podcast: Remembering all the rats we’ve killed

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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 heart for the humble rat.

And your intestine. And lung. Basically, shove over, organs. Make room for the rats.

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Best PC games of all time

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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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