Launched on Kickstarter back in 2013 and funded in just 6 hours, it’s been a long time coming but Torment: Tides of Numenera is finally here! A spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed 1999 Planescape: Torment, it brings the cult classic CRPG style back into our lives. But how does it stand up against the modern day RPGs we have come to know? Read on to find out!
Game: Torment: Tides of Numenera Developer: inXile Entertainment Publisher: Techland Publishing Reviewed on: PS4 (Review code provided)
The core message of this story is legacy, and poses one deep question; what does one life matter? This is a conflicting question that will test your morality and haunt you throughout your story. You will ask yourself, what does your life matter? What do your companions’ lives matter? What does any single life matter? The world changes based on your judgements and no playthrough will be the same.
You are thrown right into the deep end, and the game was as confusing for me as my characters own mind was to them. I was instantly thrown back by the graphics. Modern day RPG’s flaunt 3D graphics, 360° views, stunning cinematic cutscenes, in-depth character customisation and vibrant worlds. T:TON uses an isometric projection method to represent 3D in a 2.5D, top-down perspective. It may not be as glamorous as Final Fantasy, and there are no cinematics, but there is an incredible amount depth and detail to take in. The musical score certainly adds to the atmosphere, with dark, eerie and sorrowful tones as you traverse through the many lands and dimensions. Even the most insignificant background details are made known. There is some vocal work at crucial and often random points as your companion converse, but the voice acting is regrettably sparse.
You start off your story falling from the sky, waking in a chamber and struck with memories not entirely your own. Your first choice is to select a male or female role. From the start, you are faced with what seems an endless stream of text, presenting multiple conversation branches that will ultimately define who you are. The choices you make here will set up your character with a Descriptor, Type and later a Focus. You can choose to accept the character build created from these choices, or, you can recreate from scratch. There is a total of 17 descriptors, personalities that have varying skills, bonuses and penalties. There are 3 types (your class) in total. Glaive’s are warriors, utilising weapons and armour to fight on the front lines, heavy hitters able to withstand hits. Nano’s are what you would otherwise call mages, but magic here holds a different meaning. These are not wielders of fire, but masters of ancient technology, the numenera, that can cause devastating effects using esotories (spells) or cyphers from afar. Jack’s are, well a jack of all trades, your essential rogue. They combine the use of weapons, esotories and cyphers to gain the advantage. Each type and descriptor will determine the skills and abilities available to you as you advance.
Characters can be developed through tiers. Almost anything you do will gain XP, from completing quests to rummaging through trash. There are 4 steps to advancement: Stat Pools, Edge, Effort and Abilities/Skills. Once each has been upgraded, a new tier is reached, gaining new skills, abilities and raised stats. Skills and abilities can be individually advanced, from Inability to Specialised, gaining potency with each increase. Certain NPC’s can even raise your stat pools or teach you new abilities through conversation or tests.
Writer for NGB. Has an unwavering passion for gaming and enthralling stories. Avid collector of Collector Edition games, she is constantly on the lookout for new additions to add to her ever growing collection. Indulges in RPG's, Action-Adventures and Puzzle titles. Dragon age and Mass Effect devotee.