Complex, full story line and characters.

User Rating: 9.1 | Planescape: Torment PC
Torment takes a dark ride through the unusual worlds of the Planescape multi-verse. With the familiar feel of Dungeons and Dragons this game escapes the cliches of playing the effete elves and dour dwarves to really give you a something new to explore. It also has a story line with considerable depth. And since this is a Role-playing game the story is what is important.

Torment uses the same technology that made Interplay's earlier innovation Balder's Gate such a big hit with it's stunningly rendered backgrounds and clearly defined elements. You get to play up to six characters at the same time, exploring this truly unique setting while delving into the characters pasts and personalities. You begin as The Nameless one, an enigmatic semi-immortal with a bad case of amnesia. Waking up in a city Mortuary after dying once again, you join up with Morte, a talking skull with an encyclopedic memory who you can't really trust. And it just gets weirder from there. You can fight or talk your way through much of the game giving a more non-linear feel to the game. Another improvement to the world of computer role-playing is that your dialogue options really do increase if the Nameless one has a high intelligence score and this has a tangible impact on the course of the game. Basically this means a better replay value even after you trek through the entire 4 discs worth of Planescape. One thing that may frustrate some is the tendency to close off some of your options and side quests by saying the wrong thing to the wrong person- but that's all part of the fun.

This game does have a pretty steep learning curve, and is quite long so it is directed at the serious role-player. There is not a lot of instruction in the tiny black and white manual that comes with the game, and some of the elements of the game are not exactly intuitive. For example you can pick up tattoos with special abilities for various characters just as you can pick up magic rings or use a severed arm as a club- but using the special abilities from a tattoo is pretty much a mystery until you figure it out for yourself. Another problem with the game is that you can get pretty frustrated when you are faced with a puzzle you can't figure out. The game is non-linear so you should be able to wander into another area, but there are some places where a puzzle or a test does bottlenecks the progression of the game.

This game has made many improvements from Balder's Gate, but not everyone will love them all. First of all Torment is shorter, but it's characters are not as limited by experience points or level. This means your fighters will be stronger, your thieves become sneakier and you mages will cast more powerful spells- up to level 9! You still end up running delivery quests, but they are more complex and contribute more to the overall story line. And while the characterization and story lines are amazing in Torment, Interplay had to get rid of multi-player options in order to make all the game features work so seamlessly. Since Dungeons and Dragons has historically been a group activity this may torture some hard core group gamers, especially those of you who love playing Balder's Gate and Diablo over the net.
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