That nostalgia train just keeps hitting all the right stations for me
Way back in the 90’s, Black Isle Studios was the RPG studio for a lot of PC gamers. For me, Fallout 2 and the Baldur’s Gate series is all I need to point to for proof. But in 1999, they made a huge RPG that was different to anything I had played on the PC up to this point. That game was called Planescape: Torment.
Based on the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition ruleset, Planescape: Torment had you take the role of the Nameless One. Now taking the role a specific character in a computer game isn’t new, but it was still not ‘the norm’ for D&D RPG games even back then. This isn’t what drew me in though.
You see, the Nameless One is immortal, but doesn’t know why. Each time he dies, he loses some memory – sometimes small inconsequential ones, sometimes severe memory loss. As the player, the main quest of the game is to actually find out who you are after one such severe event, essentially waking up an amnesiac.
There were other major firsts to Planescape: Torment as well. You begin assigning your character various stat points as with most RPG’s, but you always start a fighter with a true neutral alignment.
During the game, you actions begin to dictate your alignment and other characters will react to you based on what you have done. Also, while you start a fighter, during the game you recover memories of lifetimes passed and allows you to multi-skill or change classes as you progress. For what was on the surface a linear story, you truly have a lot of creative power and influence in this game.
Now today these types of features may not seem like anything to be excited about, but back in the late 90’s, this is one of the games (if not THE game) that started the storytelling trends we know today.
Another aspect of the game is how narrative driven it truly is. You can finish 90% of the side quests with the correct dialogue choices alone. There is nothing stopping you from going combat heavy, and I have done this many times, but you can talk your way through the entire game. It is this aspect of the game that makes me think I will give it a go on my phone – the small screen shouldn’t be too much of an issue for talking my way through.
And that is probably the only sticking point I have with the game on mobile. Even though it is a great candidate to be picked up and put down on the fly, it is a very text heavy game and the mobile has a very small screen.
Like the Baldur’s Gate Enhanced editions before it, you probably really want to be playing these on a tablet rather than your phone, but I don’t have an Android tablet. And that’s important right now, because on the Google Play store Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition is AUD$5.49!
Honestly, if you have a tablet you play a lot of games on, do yourself a favour and grab Planescape: Torment for yourself. Or wait until the next Steam sale and grab it on PC!
To see more of what all the hubbub is about, check out the Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition trailer below.
I would love to say I am going to play this tonight, but Batman Ninja is finally in my grasp so that will probably be my viewing for the night!