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Role Playing (Games)

A Retrospective on Planescape Torment 99

Posted by Zonk
from the man-that's-a-good-game dept.
Despite the cult status of Planescape: Torment, it was one of the least successful entries in the Baldur's Gate family of games. At the Rock, Paper, Shotgun blog Keiron Gillen has a great look back at the game, with a specific emphasis on the connection between the game mechanics and the story, and the importance of Torment to games as a medium. "While we're a long way from the videogame equivalent of a Tolstoy or a Dostoevsky, for what it's worth, Planescape is as close as we've come, and worthy of real literary consideration. Of course, such dry analysis always turns people away from the Great dead Russians - when it should be remembered these are works full of life and joys and - yes - deep sadness. The same is true here. It's a philosophical buddy-hatey road movie based around the search for the self and the endlessly reiterated question "What can change the nature of a man?". And you find yourself lingering on that. Not just what can change the nature of your character - but what made you and what manner of man are you anyway."
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A Retrospective on Planescape Torment

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  • I would love to play Planescape Torment if I could get my hands on a copy. I really liked the Baldur's Gate series (Baldur's Gate II is, I think, my favorite game in the genre, followed closely by Planeshift [planeshift.it] and Baldur's Gate I). I didn't really like Neverwinter Nights (the original; Hordes of the Underdark was great), because it seemed too limited in the choices it offers (i.e. the story is too linear). My understanding is that Planescape Torment is much better in this regard. Alas, the game seems to have
    • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @02:57AM (#20764901)
      Gametap has it, and you can get a 15 day trial subscription. Gametap is my current favorite game. I get to play something different every month for only $15. I'm a fan.
      • do I keep the games I've downloaded? Or do they lock me out?
        • do I keep the games I've downloaded? Or do they lock me out?

          You're locked out; everything is run through the GameTap client and you can't run the GameTap client if you can't log on to GameTap. But the game selection is amazing--if it's more than ten years old and it's not Nintendo ('cause Nintendo is keeping all their oldies to themselves to sell via the Wii), there's a decent chance they'll have it. The Sega collection is particularly impressive, and they've got an amazing collection of 2D fighters. PC

    • It was a hard one to find [yahoo.net].

      Seems a bit steep for such an old game, but it is quite difficult to come by. more info can be found here [the-underdogs.info] of course.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I have an old copy that I borrowed from a friend and never returned. I never got around to installing it until a few months ago. I didn't really find it that good. I guess that I just don't like that kind of game. Although I like other somewhat similar games like Zelda, Diablo, and such. Maybe I just don't have enough time to pour into these long drawn out games anymore. You could probably buy an old copy off someone, I don't really want to see my copy, because well, it's not mine.
    • by Kelson (129150) *
      I picked it up a few years back as a dual package with Soulbringer on one of those 2-for-$20 re-releases. I started with Soulbringer, got stuck after a while, and never got around to installing Planescape.

      It sounds like I should dig out those CDs and give it a try.
  • I played all of the Baldur's Gate games, and their expansion packs, but none of them held my attention as firmly as Planescape: Torment. That was the first time I played a game where the story was truly the point.

    The first time the insane Ignus started muttering about killing the rest of the party I knew this game was different. The floating skull, Morte, was funny. The entire cast was well-acted, and believable to an extent I hadn't seen before.

    It remains a high point in my gaming past. It's also the
    • I hate to write a "yeah, what he said!" post but I do agree entirely with everything you've said! This game, for me, is THE high-water mark. It was a "novel set in motion" with a fantastic story of human redemption. It presented a believable world populated with remarkable characters I still think about from time to time.

      IMO, PS:T is the hands-down best game I've ever played.
    • The floating skull, Morte, was funny.

      Anything like Murry the Demonic Skull [wikipedia.org]?
      • Anything like Murry the Demonic Skull?

        They're both talking skulls who accompany the protagonist. There the similarity ends. Murray is a wannabe demon monstrosity. Morte has been to hell and knows what demon monstrosities are actually like, and is absolutely terrified that some incarnation or other of the Nameless One will eventually send him back where he belongs...

  • by LarsWestergren (9033) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @03:14AM (#20765027) Homepage Journal
    Slashdotting....

    Always great that PS: T is acknowledged.

    If you liked it, or get curious about it, you may want to look at the Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion Mask of the Betrayer which is released tomorrow in Europe and in a couple of weeks in the US. Many of the same people who worked on PS:T have worked on this. Also if you just loved the Planescape setting, there is Rogue Dao's Planescape Trilogy [planescapetrilogy.com] for NWN2, first episode will be out in a month or so.

    I thought NWN2 was a good game, but it was a resource hog and did contain bugs that turned some people off it. Now that it has been out a year and 8 or so major patches have been out, it is polished enough that you should definitely consider picking it up. They have promised that Mask of the Betrayer will have a much more dark and personal storyline and much more polish too.
    • Chris Avellone who was the lead designer/developer on Planescape: Torment was a member of the NWN:2 team, as well as the upcomming expansion. He wasn't the lead developer, though he was the lead developer on KOTOR:2. It is a shame that KOTOR:2 was rushed, and treated so poorly by LucasArts. That was ALMOST a truly great game.
      • by Brataccas (213587)
        Well, if we are lucky, the Sith Restoration Project [team-gizka.org] may yet save KOTOR:2.
      • Unreliable narrators (Score:4, Interesting)

        by LarsWestergren (9033) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:22AM (#20765329) Homepage Journal
        It is a shame that KOTOR:2 was rushed, and treated so poorly by LucasArts. That was ALMOST a truly great game.

        Yes, I have great hopes for Team Gizka's [team-gizka.org] restoration project.

        Rest of the post contains plenty of **SPOILERS**.

        Like the fact that Chris likes to take the RPG/CRPG conventions and turn them into plot elements - for instance in PS:T, the fact that your character in computer games always is immortal (since you can just reload) - there you play the Immortal One.

        Same with KOTOR 2. We choose to ignore the fact that our characters in RPGs gain godlike powers in very short time. If this was normal, wouldn't everyone be doing it - be out whacking rats and progressively more difficult wildlife to gain robust health, superstrength and intelligence? Here it is suddenly part of the plot - no, not everyone can do it. It seems that you, and you only, have a rather sinister power to gain supernatural strength by absorbing the life force (XP) of those you kill. The character might have thought a lot about this, but since there is no voice over a la Blade Runner, the player doesn't know it.

        Sounds like he MAY be going down a similar path with the soul eating in Mask of the Betrayer. But we will see.

        Bioshock might have been taken a leaf out of the same book. Some people have complained that "it is so unrealistic that the player injects himself with a syringe that is just laying there in the beginning of the game, ruined the immersion for me". Well, it turns out later that he was compelled to do it. The character might have fought against it, filled with horror, but again, this the player does not know until later in the game. So they use the literary device known as "the unreliable narrator". The reader/player identifies with the character (even more so in games of course), but it later turns out he/she did not tell everything.

        • by Sobrique (543255)
          I really loved the 'metagame integration' that they pulled in bioshock. It was just such an elegant reason for _why_ you were doing all these quests, that I still smirk when I think about it today. And use the 'key' phrase when talking to workmates around the office. One or two notice :)
    • Sadly, they're fscking trashing all the old characters, from what I've read. TELL me they're changing their minds on that? Seriously, going "O hai, romantic interest- eh, he's gone now. Hey, look, someone new! How YOU doin?" just... doesn't... sigh. Hated NWN2's ending. But... same people who worked on PS:T... I may be convinced to get it. The trilogy looks cool, though I always headdesk when trilogies never seem to be finished. Few people managed it. As far as PST goes... I'm glad they referred to it lik
      • Sadly, they're fscking trashing all the old characters, from what I've read. TELL me they're changing their minds on that?

        I too liked the old characters and would have liked to have more adventures with them, but unfortunately, no. The same old reason - there were maybe a hundred slightly different outcomes depending on who you spent time adventuring with and who you chose to gain influence with, and if you played [good|neutral|evil][lawful|neutral|chaotic][smart|stupid][wise|unwise][charismatic|unpleasant]
        • Guh. I know it's a perfectly good reason, but it's really crappy work story-wise. I mean, I didn't even care at all about the bugs. I beta test stuff. I'm used to bugs. Bugs, I can handle. Them getting better with the tools will -not- help the story, though. I DID like the campaign of NWN2. I really did. It was going well. Heck, they even had a likable paladin. I'm always astonished when those pop up. Then the ending... People laugh when I say that I can tell them the ending and not spoil any of the plot.
          • If I was watching the ending pictures closely enough, I didn't see the friendly neighborhood tiefling with the rest of the escapees, although I might have just overlooked her. Which means she may or may not be with you in the expansion.
  • Like the article says:

    the greatest of the PC RPGs. [...] its name being a simple byword for narrative excellence without anyone really feeling the need to say why.

    (What do you mean, quoting out of context?)

  • by Brataccas (213587) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:12AM (#20765271)
    If you are planning to (re)play PS:T, make sure you patch the game with the official and unofficial patches from Planescape-Torment.Org [planescape-torment.org]. (WARNING: the bug fix descriptions contain spoilers, read at your own risk!)

    PS:T was the single greatest gaming experience I have ever been a part of. When people complain that games aren't art, it is obvious they have never played this.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The setting wasn't the same D&D universe as Baldur's Gate. The developer was Black Isle and not Bioware. PST used a modified version of the Infinity Engine, and that's the only thing they had in common.

    Arcanum and The Temple of Elemental Evil have more in common than the Baldur's Gate games and PST, and nobody would say they're in the same game family.

    PST is barely even a CRPG. It's more like a throwback to interactive fiction. It's mostly an adventure game.
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      I assumed the engine was what they meant by 'family'. Anyone that takes even half a look at it would see how little it resembles Baldur's Gate.

      I'll admit I didn't play all the way through PST (my attention wandered after being in that big city for so bloody long) but it's as much as CRPG as the Baldur's Gate games. Thinking maybe I didn't really know what CRPG meant, I looked it up. http://www.angelfire.com/hero/tjekanefir/crpg.htm [angelfire.com]

      Yup, that's what I thought. BG and PST are both on that list, as well.
    • 3 out of the 5 games were developed by Black Isle. But this doesn't mean their engine had nothing in common.
      Their father (Bioware) is the same :)
      Btw, they has more than the engine (.exe) in common, lots of data files were inherited by PS:T.

      PST IS a Computer Role Playing Game, more so than BlackIsle's next creations (Icewind Dale series).

      Arcanum used tile based graphics, TOEE used pre-rendered graphics, maybe they had more in common elsewhere, but the graphic engine is different.

      PST and BG2 uses exactly the
    • by Hatta (162192)
      That's good. Of the Baldur's Gate games all I've played is Dark Alliance II. Which is to say I played it for 2 days, was bored to death and haven't touched it since. I've heard a lot of good things about Planescape, and the less like BGDAII it is the better.

      Too bad there's no xbox version. I usually like to play these things on the couch with the GF watching.
    • by zhrike (448699)
      PST is barely even a CRPG. It's more like a throwback to interactive fiction. It's mostly an adventure game.

      I disagree, strongly. In BG and its subsequent clones/sequels, you could choose a role and it would direct your potential
      actions, and usually there was a choice of acting within your role, or acting without and (punitively) becoming a fighter.
      There were a narrow set of objectives with side quests, but most of the main lines were the same. in the original BG, I felt that
      the sense of freedom afforded
      • by cjp (624694)
        It's a roleplaying game in the true sense of the word. It's barely a CRPG in that it's not all about the crunchy, crunchy numbers (like most other CRPGs are). It seems wrong that Diablo and PS:T both get the same label in the media.
    • The "Baldur's Gate family" of games is a term meant to encompass all games that used the Infinity Engine, specifically: Baldur's Gate 1, 2, and expansions; Planescape: Torment; and Icewind Dale 1, 2, and expansions.

      What all of these games have in common is the Infinity Engine and the D&D universe created by TSR. Baldur's Gate was created by Bioware, as you said, and was meant to more or less "bring back" CRPG's to the classic D&D adventures of old. Torment was created by Black Isle and was meant t
  • The very best (Score:5, Insightful)

    by soccerisgod (585710) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:39AM (#20765409)

    I have to admit that I only played Planescape for the first time as recently as last year, but I was adicted instantly. I've never ever seen a game with such an incredible amount of dialog, nor have I ever seen this kind of quality dialog in any other game. It is deep, philosophical and you actually have meaningful choices that often have subtle nuances to them - for instance you may have the same sentence as a choice twice, but with one option lie and with the other actually mean what you say. There are not many stats, but what stats are there play a big role in dialog, and I can only think of a very few games that come even close in this regard. (mostly the Fallouts)

    But the artistic achievement of this game is not limited to dialog. The art in this game is superb. AFAIK no other (significant) game has tried to recreate the world of the Planescape universe, but if they had, I'm sure they would never come as close as PS:T. It's so beautiful it makes you wheep. And the score by Mark Morgan is just perfect and one of the best games scores in general that I know.

    If you haven't played this game yet, get it right now.

    PS: Since when is PS:T a game of the Baldurs Gate series? It may use the same engine, but that's where the similarities end...

    • Same engine means a lot :)
      80% of the PST game could be moved under the BG2 engine without change, this entitles us to say they are of the same family.
    • PST and BG do have a connection though, since Sigil is connected to all planes. You can even purchase items in BG2 that were carried by PST characters, and the Nameless One is mentioned in the item descriptions. You also meet some planar travelers who, if I'm not mistaken, mention Sigil.
  • My girlfriend asked me, when I was playing Bioshock last month, which video games had a truly great story. Not a backstory, but the game itself tells a great story. Bioshock doesn't count, since while it has an awesome backstory (which is revealed in a nonlinear fashion) the story of the main character himself in the game could be expressed in about two sentences (which I won't do, for spoiler reasons).

    While the Final Fantasy series are often lauded as having great stories, I consider them pretty trite.

    I ki
    • by moranar (632206)
      I find your separation of "story" and "back-story" a bit artificial. The "back-stories" you speak of are the stories those games tell, be it by shooting guys, hacking through them, or persuading them.

      Games that tell a good story, like you intend, are the Monkey Island series, Grim Fandango, Day of the tentacle, and the rest of the lucasarts adventure games. KotOR does, too. You decide if they're great or not. But again, I enjoy a good game story, even if the main character has to slug its way through it. It
      • Re:A great story (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ShakaUVM (157947) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:40AM (#20766997) Homepage Journal
        It's not an artificial distinction. It's actually very important. What differentiates a game from a novel? The fact that you (the living human behind a computer) gets to do stuff. It's that stuff that you do that needs to have a compelling story and development. There's a difference between doing cool stuff (like in PST), and reading a novel of a backstory and then shooting aliens (like in Halo).

        Or in other words, suppose you copied the backstory to Halo to Space Invaders. Evil covenant thingamabobs are invading Earth, and you have to kill them. You still couldn't say that Space Invaders had a great story.
        • by moranar (632206)
          If you reduce it to that, it's not a great story, evidently. If you managed to tell a great story with Space Invaders, it wouldn't still be Space Invaders, it'd be something else.

          Many games tell a story not exactly through what the main character does (which, in every case, could be reduced to what the interface allows us to do), but through what you call "back-story". Most role-playing games try to make you believe that you're really unfurling the story, while what you really are doing, if we get to it, is
          • by ShakaUVM (157947)
            I don't believe that the method of telling the story is so significant. You do.

            Only insofar as I don't count backstory. What the player/character *does* in the game, what story it tells, is the important thing. That's why space invaders could never have a great story, even though a person could write a novel as a backstory for it. The mode of the game isn't that important -- you can tell a story in a FPS. There's a difference between Halo and Bioshock in storytelling, but even Bioshock is more about discove
            • if that's the case then why pick on Halo? sure it can be superficially reduced to "run around and kill aliens" but in reducing it to that you have to ignore the plot development that happens before/between/during/after the alien killing.

              The problem with the plot/story telling in the Halo series is that if you don't pay attention to it (which is relatively easy to do) it easily boils down to the "run around shooting aliens" concept. One might even be able to argue that this is the reason that Halo is so succ
              • by grumbel (592662)
                The problem I have with Halo is that you really only see a tiny little piece of the whole story, I can read the Halo novels, read about it on Wikipedia and all that stuff, but when it comes to the game there really is very little story there. Sure, a bit is still left, but you don't really get to know the Halo universe with just the games alone. Same problem with Half Life 2, sure, there might be some story actually hidden in there, but when I need a magnifying glass to find it I really feel that there is s
        • Or in other words, suppose you copied the backstory to Halo to Space Invaders. Evil covenant thingamabobs are invading Earth, and you have to kill them. You still couldn't say that Space Invaders had a great story.
          I actually own a paperback which is based on the Defender videogame [wikipedia.org], but haven't worked up the courage to try reading it yet...
    • Although I havn't ever played PS:T, One game (series) that stands out masivly for me in terms of amazing story and charector development is The Longest Journey, and its sequel, Dreamfall. Those were two games that entirely wrapped me up in their plot, setting, and depth.

      I would love to paste in the opening dialogue for TLJ, but the best I could find was the opening monologue for Dreamfall:

      "They say that every story has a beginning and an end. That might be true in most cases. Sometimes, however, the two are
      • by Toonol (1057698)
        Although I havn't ever played PS:T, One game (series) that stands out masivly for me in terms of amazing story and charector development is The Longest Journey, and its sequel, Dreamfall. Those were two games that entirely wrapped me up in their plot, setting, and depth.

        I would rate PS:T as a better game, but Dreamfall is very impressive. The game elements are pretty minor, but the story and characters are fascinating. The writing and voice acting were notable. Highly recommended.
    • by Elemenope (905108)

      While the posters above hit two of the most important ones, with Grim Fandango and The Longest Journey, I'd also add (and I'm kind of shocked that it hasn't yet been mentioned here) Deus Ex. Talk about intricate plot! Also, the Myst games get an honorable mention, though with those (especially the first) you get more of a sense of being an intruder in an already-passed story than a part of one yourself.

      • by ShakaUVM (157947)
        Yeah, I liked Deus Ex's story a lot, but not quite enough to label it "great". It was actually the runner-up, as it were, to PST in my mind. =)
    • "Gabriel Knight: Sins of the fathers" has a great story and is a very immersive experience. Graphics are a bit dated by now, since it's a DOS/Win3.1 game... but it can still be enjoyed today.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    There are two games which I hold above all others in terms of art and story, Planescape: Torment and Grim Fandango. The fact that both at their core are about characters in the afterlife trying to move on seems to be an eerie coincidence in my book.
  • Still to this day I havent had the luck of finding a greater game than Torment. Still to this day I utter random quotes with some friends such as "I endure and by enduring I grow stronger" (Dak'kon, voiced by one of the x-files guys) and everyone smiles recognizing immediately where it comes from :-)

    Plus how could a fantasy roleplaying game voiced by Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer Simpsons) be bad?

    the commercial problem was that the Planescape setting was so outrageous and out of the ordinary field o
    • by Petrushka (815171)
      For reference, Dan Castellaneta played Nordom -- it takes a fair while to encounter him. Still, among the most memorable characters. I used to have Nordom quotes for most of my system sounds. "Affirmatory." "My analysis is correct. Danger! Danger!" "Annah, Morte wishes to snuggle with your pillows." etc.
  • PST and Fallout were very similar IMHO. They are probably two of the very few games I played through to the end and thoroughly enjoyed. I bought Fallout 2 and Tactics, Baldur's Gate 1 & 2, NeverWinter Nights on the back of Fallout and PST but they failed to compell me to continue after a few hours.
  • ...but IMO before we get to the point that games are celebrated for their literary value, we'll have to reach FIRST the point where Science Fiction or Fantasy gets any literary cred outside of their genres....
    • Science fiction and fantasy do get celebrated for their literary value when they deserve it. A good recent example is Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. It won a little award called the Pulitzer Prize in 2001. I don't know how you can get much more celebrated than that. There are plenty other examples of celebrated SF and fantasy. Frankenstein is usually regarded as a pretty important work of literature, for example.

      Yes, there are literary snobs who look down on these two genr

  • Seminal? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by matthewsmalley (242855) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @07:58AM (#20766591)
    Torment was a great game (to repeat what most people are saying here), but was it seminal as the article suggests?

    The great tragedy with this game is that it wasn't followed up with a sequel, nor did Black Isle go on to make anything like it again (Icewind Dale was basically a snowy version of Baldur's Gate), nor was there a sizeable shift in the output of "western RPGs" to be more role / story based. To misquote wikipedia: it isn't "a work from which other works grow".

    IMO, since then we've had a gradual erosion of the place the story occupies in the makeup of an RPG (Dark Alliance, Oblivion, Dungeon Siege, Dark Messiah).

    Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed Oblivion, but it was built on technological advances and genuinely fun gameplay, not on the foundation of the story, without which even Torment would have sucked.

    I'd even go as far as to say Diablo was the seminal game which blended with traditional western RPGs to open the gates for our current run of best sellers...
    • by kalirion (728907)
      Sequel? I can see a prequel to PS:T, but a sequel wouldn't work, not if you want to use The Nameless One in it. Unless of course it's an action hackfest through the Blood War with a character who can knock down Glaabrezu with his own hacked off arm (+2).
      • Re:Seminal? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MBGMorden (803437) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @11:00AM (#20768775)
        Sequel would work fine.

        *** SPOILER ALERT ***

        Before going to "hell" as it may be, Fall From Grace tells The Nameless One that if there is any way to get him out, she will do so. I mean, main party members include a ghost, a demon, a floating skull, and a tiefling (half-demon). Something tells me they wouldn't have much trouble getting to that plane and getting him out. Of course, that game would largely be focused around the other chars, rather than TNO himself, though he could still be part of the story.

        Also, I must say: the ending video of this game was the one time a game has ever brought tears to my eyes. He wakes up, looks out into the field of endless demons and devils fighting each other, then looks to the side and calmy pulls a mace from a body laying to his side. Picks it up and slowly looks at the head as the begging question "What can change the nature of a man?" echoes in the background. Though his face shows almost no emotion there is this absolute wave of sadness that you can feel, then it pans out with him slowly walking towards the battle accepting his fate. The music really helps set the tone here, and I have all of the PS:T sound track on my computer and still listen to it quite often :).

        I've played other games that were fantastic - heck Baldur's Gate 2 was great, as was KOTOR and Jade Empire, but NOTHING quite measures up to Planescape Torment. It's a shame that a sequel will likely never come out. If it had the depth and play time of the original I'd gladly pay ten times what a normal game costs.
        • by kalirion (728907)
          Before going to "hell" as it may be, Fall From Grace tells The Nameless One that if there is any way to get him out, she will do so. I mean, main party members include a ghost, a demon, a floating skull, and a tiefling (half-demon). Something tells me they wouldn't have much trouble getting to that plane and getting him out. Of course, that game would largely be focused around the other chars, rather than TNO himself, though he could still be part of the story.

          Hmm, all the characters of the first game would
          • Like some of the Neverwinter Nights expansion packs, which had you starting at level 15-20? I think it was Shadows of the Underdark or some such that had you starting at a high level.
        • Though his face shows almost no emotion there is this absolute wave of sadness that you can feel, then it pans out with him slowly walking towards the battle accepting his fate.

          Maybe you were accepting your fate. Personally, I was on my way to kick ass and take names. All three major previous incarnations: absorbed. The Transcendent One: absorbed. The golden sphere: opened. Name: remembered. Character level: astronomical. Charisma stat: maxed long ago, 'You could lead the planes to war'. Bring it the fuck

      • My point was merely: magnum as this opus was, history has shown it wasn't seminal. (I agree a 'direct' sequel wouldn't have worked - though something with similar values and set in a similar universe could have potential)
    • by Malkin (133793)
      I think it was seminal, in the sense that many game developers played it, and hold it up as a sort of ideal for quest design, character development, and story development. It's one of those games we tell students to go out and get their hands on, because they need to play this game before they go out into the world to make their own games.

      That said, however, in spite of the game's very existence, many in the industry speak of it as though it were an unattainable ideal. The lukewarm market response to PS:T
  • If you've only played this game once, do yourself a favor and load it up again. The game play and story are so deep, that its worth it. Playing through this the second time, I encountered entire boards and storylines that I never encountered the first time through. Playing through the third time, I still encountered boards, stories, and characters I never encountered before.

    And I know I'm still missing some... apparently whenever you make a choice - pick a faction, have a character join your party, some

  • This game was so deeply sad (in the good way).

    I played it in my teens though and I don't know whether I'd still find it deep today. What do you think?
    • by MBGMorden (803437)
      I played it in my late teens (was a Freshman in college starting the game, and I think I finished up the summer afterwards), and found it incredibly deep at that time.
  • Is it a PC-only game? My cursory searches didn't turn up anything for consoles. I played Baldur's Gate on the PS2; I like playing PlayStation RPGs that support multiple players. I guess this isn't one of those?
    • It is a PC-only game, and it is single player only. That is part of its beauty, though; a lot of the story comes from the NPC characters, which would be sorely missed if you had a party of untalkative PCs.
    • by MBGMorden (803437)
      "Baldur's Gate" didn't actually come out on the PS2. What you would have played was "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance", which is an offshoot game made for consoles that really has nothing to do with the PC version of the game. Not that it wasn't fun (I played through it), but it was more hack n' slash arcade type fun. Multiplayer, "twitch", and completely void of story. The PC version was a turn based (though this fact was hidden) novel in video game form. Both entertaining, but the PC games were in a comp
      • by skinfaxi (212627)
        You're right, it was Dark Alliance. Also correct about the lack of story! But fun for multi-player hack-n-slash.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I loved/love PS:T. It has the deepest, most well executed story I have ever seen in a video game. When ever I would read about Ebert saying that video games can't be art, Torment jumped to mind as incontrovertible evidence that he couldn't find his ass with both hands and a convex mirror.

    I actually just loaded this back up under WinXP a couple of weeks ago and have been playing through it again for the first time in probably 5 years. Runs great as long as you patch it. Gameplay gets a little tedious to
  • For anyone even half-interested, the original design-document (or whatever the fuck they call these things) is a blast.

    http://www.rpgwatch.com/files/Files/00-0208/Torment_Vision_Statement_1997.pdf [rpgwatch.com]
  • > Despite the cult status of Planescape: Torment, it was one of the
    > least successful entries in the Baldur's Gate family of games.

    One of. Can't claim worst, because that'd be the last game in the series, Temple of Elemental Evil.

    They actually had some superswords that would automatically counter-attack something that attacked you. If you, unfortunately, went to go hit a flame elemental or some such, which also had an automatic counterattack, the game would get stuck in its turn-based mechanism as s

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