For anyone that likes a great story, it's worth taking a trip back in time.

User Rating: 9.5 | Planescape: Torment PC
After hearing so many RPG fans hold a single game in such high regard topic after topic, post after post, I knew that I had to pick up this game and see what all of the fuss is about. The game I'm talking about is Planescape: Torment and it is indeed RPG goodness.

Planescape: Torment takes the tried and true cliché of a hero suffering from amnesia and actually makes a whole story out of it instead of using it as a simple plot device. What follows is a 40+ hour tale of past personas, lies, deceit, betrayal and loyal companions. The story and characters are simply amazing all around. I can't remember the last game this thought provoking in a long time.

The plot reminded me of Groundhog's Day in the simplest way. It's all because the main character has had so many incarnations that he literally has done pretty much everything. Some characters I ran into despised The Nameless One because he was evil in the past while other adored him because he treated them well. This forgotten familiarity also extends to the three classes available; Fighter, Mage and Thief. The Nameless One easily picks up on these professions because he's done them all before.

Planescape actually feels like there are hundreds of quests and that pretty much everyone you talk to has a different personality and something you could do for them. What's even more surprising is that the majority of the quests are actually interesting to do and often net some surprising rewards. The job didn't always match the payment but I enjoyed that the game kept me guessing. I loved receiving permanent stat boosts out of no where or unlocking prior memories out of the blue. Its little bonuses like these that made me want to talk to every single person.

The best part is that this game is an actual RPG meaning I can get just as much done by trying to talk my way through things as I could by just taking the physical route and attacking everything. In fact I think you can level up more through conversation. If you've played a game like KOTOR, then you pretty much know how the controls and combat work out. However, while typical RPG's only have stats to improve combat, Planescape's stats affect everything from conversation options to how much exp you get in any given situation. It's amazing that Torment has this deep of an RPG system under it and that only very small parts of it are used to this day.

The graphics held up decently and I must say fair better than Fallout's graphics. I think this is due in part to bigger sprites and a closer camera. The backgrounds occasionally got confusing as sometimes paths looked like buildings and vice versa but for the most part I would say the game has aged well. Even the blockyness and blurriness of the cutscenes weren't that distracting.

With Neverwinter Nights 2 fresh on my brain, it was nice to see some of the creatures in that game in Planescape. I mean they are from the Dungeons and Dragons universe so I did expect to see some familiar sights. What I didn't expect is that Torment had so many more creatures that I didn't know existed in this realm. It also gives a nice detailed explanation about the different planes of existence.

The voice acting and music are also timeless and perfectly fitting for this game. There's not a lot of spoken dialogue but when there is, it's done well. Sound effects are everything I expected them to be so there's really not too much to say here. The audio portion has withstood the test of time.

My main complaint would probably be that the game difficulty ramped up a bit near the end. It's pretty meaningless when you're an immortal with infinite lives (mostly) but constantly getting my ass kicked in certain parts then marching back sometimes made me feel like a feeble kid going up to a bully over and over again. Also it may be Microsoft Vista, but most of the spell effects didn't work the way they should. All the effects had black boxes around them so I usually strayed away from magic or killed magic users first because of the ugly boxes.

I really wish I could keep gushing about the story and characters I met along the way but that would delve into spoiler territory. I guess I'll just end saying that Planescape: Torment is an old game and that may turn some people off, but for anyone that likes a great story, it's worth taking a trip back in time.