Once a skeptic, now a believer
1) I don't assign 9.5s often
2) I hate reading (generally)
3. I avoid almost all games that look dated
4) I usually enjoy having a superficial-pretty main character for role-playing
Considering all this, I'd be the -last- person to enjoy Planescape Torment...right? Wrong.
The game is amazing, I simply -cannot- believe I enjoyed it as much as I did. The more games you play, the harder it is to get that authentic high. And wow, this game was made in 1999? Really?!
I was incredibly skeptical while starting this game. As I mentioned already, I hate reading, and this game has a lot of it. Also, the combat is largely secondary (you can use intelligence/dialogue to get out of almost all fighting). The game, also, is dated. It had all the qualities of a game I would naturally avoid; that is, -except- its critical acclaim. People love Planescape. "Why?..." I wondered. It couldn't possibly be that great; maybe for its time, but not now...
I was wrong. PT delivers a story like never before (and ironically...never again). I can say that, so far anyway, Planescape has some of the best writing I've seen -hands down- in any game. The atmosphere is authentic, the music is great, and the characters. Oh the characters, and their personalities/banter....
I can understand why these talented developers were able to pull this off. First off, since the game revolves heavily around dialogue, the writers had time to focus. Second, since the voice-acting is minimal, they were really able to harness true talent. And wow, it worked out great.
The best aspect -by far- is the story. The story is nothing short of astonishing. By the end of the game, I found myself asking many inherent questions (games rarely do this to me). I cared so much about the main character...had so much sympathy for the NPCs. The emotion was so authentic, and somewhat 'tormenting'. But in the end, I knew what had happened. The game had -moved- me.
In short, this game isn't for everyone. As I mentioned before, there's a lot of reading. This game is not for the impatient, you need to really be ready for some commitment/involvement. But in that way, Planescape Torment is like the best kind of relationship. Starts out slow, and eventually forms a nearly unbreakable bond of admiration.