Set in Monte Cook’s tabletop role-playing world, Numenera, Torment: Tides of Numenera is the long-awaited spiritual and thematic successor to Planescape: Torment. Adopting an attractive isometric perspective, Torment is a single player story-driven role-playing game with philosophical foundations. inXile Entertainment have approached an incredibly successful Kickstarter project with the intention of creating a rich, personal narrative and from I have seen so far, fans are in for a treat.
For those that are unfamiliar with Planescape: Torment, don’t panic! Stepping into any game with a story this deep and established is bound to feel ten times more confusing than a muggle stumbling into the wizarding world, but please, stay with me because it actually looks really interesting.
First Impressions Video Preview
Torment: Tides of Numenera
What does one life matter?
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Players will assume the role of the Last Castoff, a consciousness of an aeons-old being known as ‘The Changing God’ that has basically been placed in a human-form shell. I started my preview play-through roughly 60% of the way through the game so my first impressions began in the bowels of a huge creature called ‘The Bloom’. The Bloom effectively operates as a city and has a number of tendrils that link it to other dimensions, which players will have the opportunity to explore. As mentioned earlier, Torment’s main focus is on its story, so those looking for crazy and exciting battles may want to turn away now. However, inXile are demonstrating a new take on combat by introducing their Crisis system. A Crisis, whether it’s physical combat or some other form of danger, will require you to make tactical choices. In turn, these will greatly affect your story. Thankfully, failure doesn’t end in death (for the most part) and players will not have to reload their save after being defeated in a Crisis. According to inXile, failure may end up changing your story for the better! There are also a few quests that are gender-specific; highlighting two aspects that will be sure to cement the game’s level of replayability and ensure that players get their money’s worth.
Despite the fact that Torment is a single player CRPG, players will navigate The Bloom and beyond with a selection of companions; some of which harbour friendly motives and others with more sinister ones. So, you’re never truly ‘alone’ while on your quest to stop The Sorrow. When testing out the preview build, this made me feel as though I was always having to weigh up several decisions as I was travelling with a sizeable party, who I felt responsible for. Couple this with the sheer amount of information that you’ll have to read as the story unfolds and you’ll strike a nice balance between the relaxing feeling of gradual story progression and occasional moments of tension with NPCs.
Although I didn’t get the chance to play as much of Torment as I would have liked to, I can already tell that this game is probably as close to ‘perfect’ for its fans as humanly possible. How could it not be? With inXile pushing the game through Kickstarter and Early Access, fans have had a lot of input which has shaped their investment into a title that’s sure to bring them hours of enjoyment. As someone that hasn’t played Planescape, I’m looking forward to playing Torment when it releases. Slipping into a completely different world that is as deep as inXile are promising feels a bit intimidating but at the same time, I’m really interested to see how this strange story unfolds.
Most Anticipated Feature: Getting the chance to play the game from the beginning, rather than starting 60% of the way through. The story is so intricate that I felt a bit lost starting without a lot of background information or a tutorial for the turn-based combat.
System Requirements & Performance
Minimum System Requirements:
OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 (64 bit)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD equivalent
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 or Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB VRAM)
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Storage: 20 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card
Recommended System Requirements:
OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (64 bit)
Processor: Intel i5 series or AMD equivalent
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or Radeon HD 5770 (1 GB VRAM)
DirectX: Version 10
Storage: 30 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card
I only had a chance to play the game on an Xbox One at the preview where I experienced frequent drops in framerate. However, I saw the PC version of the game and it appears to run at a solid 60FPS. After speaking to inXile, I can confirm that there’s no sacrifice in quality between the PC and console ports, although the game was originally developed for PC and even has integrated controller support. For a smoother experience, along with the other reasons listed, I would recommend the PC version.
Torment: Tides of Numenera is currently in Early Access and has a final release date scheduled for February 28th 2017. The game will be available on PC (including Windows, macOS and Linux), Xbox One and PlayStation 4. If you’re interested in checking out the Torment Kickstarter page, you can find it here. The game will be distributed DRM-free and is available for pre-order on Steam. Other DRM-free download options will also be made available closer to release.