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.
There's already been an alpha systems test, which was focused more on the main mechanics than the broader world, so the beta will be our first chance to really understand the nature of a game which rounded up over $4 million via Kickstarter back in 2013.
Inxile have also talked a little about some of the areas and challenges beta players will be presented with, as well as how Torment's 55 backer-designed NPCs are going to work.
Pictured above, by the way, is the headquarters of a faction calling themselves The Order Of Truth, who we'll encounter in the Sagus Cliffs area of the game. Nice to see that Torment seems to evoke the painted environments look of Planescape despite being broadly based on Wasteland 2 tech. The extent of the sci-fi/fantasy mish-mash in this brand new setting is on show too. It almost looks like an inverted Shadowrun. A full-size version of that screenie is available here to pore over.
Hopefully the beta is weeks rather than months away, though as far as I can tell it will be backers-only, at least to start with. Hopefully it'll filter down to us proles and COI-fearful hacks before too long. The full game is still slated for a 2016 release date, by the way.
Also in inXile news, they've just opened a second studio - their first-ever expansion - in New Orleans, which initially means they can do internal QA rather than outsource, but ultimately means they'll be capable of making one more game at any one time. More on that here.