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Torment: Tides of Numenera video review

Obviousplant

Educated
Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
45
Hey yall, I managed to get a review copy of the game, so I had time to make a little video review of it in time for embargo.

Click this link to skip straight to the review

Note that the script is mostly based on a review I wrote for the Finnish version of Game Reactor, so I had a character limit to keep in mind. There are some more minor complaints I couldn't fit in, such as the UI looking unfinished, optimization problems in a few zones (at least if your computer is a toaster) and the lack of variety within your party members (as they're all humans).

So to give a summary of my take on the game

+ The game world is visually stunning and very imaginative
... But some of those ideas feel derivative in how closely they copy Planescape: Torment

+ The new turn based combat system makes trash encounters more fun
... But running away from encounters is a chore when you need to wait the turn of 10+ NPCs to end before you get to act.
...... And some of the boss battles were poorly designed, unfair&poorly balanced (based on my playthrough where I had a MC that wasn't specialized in combat and might've been underleveled)

+ Itemization is interesting. There's even an entire category of trash items, which still have flavor text in them. Some equippable items have negative side effects, which you need to take in consideration (though can be circumvented).

+ Not having to adhere to D&D rules is beneficial for the design, for the most part. The streamlined stat system's implementation is interesting.
... But the game does feel somewhat simplified and "less gamey", more like a visual novel. Infinity Engine features like tactical positioning outside of combat/sending one character to a different location, pickpocketing and killing who ever you want are absent.

- Character customization is streamlined. It was more limited in PS:T as well, but that's not really an excuse when the protagonist of this game is more of a blank slate than the Nameless One

Which leads me to my biggest complaints

- The main character is bland and uninteresting. And to lesser extent your party members are also less interesting and memorable as those of PS:T.
The new protagonist is a blank slate for the most part, so the game lacks that wonderful part of personal discovery that was key to PS:T's appeal, as you'd run into your past and learn more about your identity, quest and what your past incarnations had done.


- The story isn't as interesting.
The story didn't just grip me the way PS:T did. Much of that can be attributed to its premise: you're a conscious vessel of some God and there are others like you in the world. That's a lot more "epic" and preordained in the sense, when you compare it to Torment's story, which was more human. Even though The Nameless One was indeed immortal, you could accept it wiithin the confines of that game world, his quest felt more personal and relatable than other RPG stories. I just didn't get the same feel from Torment: Tides of Numenera on my first playthrough.


Overall, going in to the game blind, I felt that it accomplished its main goals as well as you could realistically hope to, given the quality of many preceeding kickstarter titles. Exploring the first city and its inhabitants for the first time manages to recapture the magic of experiencing Sigil for the first time, and the combat and usability have been improved to some extent. But like said, even though the game has lots of neat ideas in making the game world feel alien and intriguing, the characters, story and philosophical elements feel less potent compared to PS:T, so I don't know if it'll become such a classic over time. It's still recommended playing though, it's not like the market is filled with imaginative, turn based RPGs.
 
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Invictus

Arcane
The Real Fanboy
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
2,789
Location
Mexico
Divinity: Original Sin 2
Yup just reedemed my code on GOG... now I will spend my time playing Nioh, replaying Souls games and having fun with my new pyromancer in Dark Souls 3 so I will check on the game in say 4 to 6 months after its patching and balancing issues have been solved
The realities of modern gaming...
 

*-*/\--/\~

Cipher
Joined
Jul 10, 2014
Messages
921
Go to hell with this artificial SJW "problem"...
I mean that all your party members belong to the same race, ie are humans, and are thus more boring, where as in the original game your party memebers had far more diverse backgrounds.

Sorry then, guess I'm just too fed up by activists bitching at Vavra for not having enough niggers in a game set in medieval Bohemia...
 

Luckmann

Arcane
Zionist Agent
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
3,759
Location
Scandinavia
The streamlined stat system's implementation is interesting.
I'll never understand some people's obsession with trying so very hard to say something positive. It's obvious, dishonest stretching.

HLuFn6E.png

Go to hell with this artificial SJW "problem"...
I mean that all your party members belong to the same race, ie are humans, and are thus more boring, where as in the original game your party memebers had far more diverse backgrounds.
Then say species or type. "Race" in a context in which there are only humans is retarded, because it implies that you are speaking of actual races, not different types or species. Especially since all of them do appear to be of the same (anti-) race.
 

Obviousplant

Educated
Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
45
I'll never understand some people's obsession with trying so very hard to say something positive. It's obvious, dishonest stretching.
The edge&effort system is a way bring a semblance of interactivity to an experience that's very visual novel-esque through skill checks. It also makes your non combat and combat resource pool shared, so it adds an element of choices&consequences to your actions, as there's the possibility of wasting your skill points on meaningless skill checks, running into combat and being screwed when you don't have enough points to spend on skills and spells.
Should your stats alone determine your ability to talk your way through encounters, then the game would be even less interactive. It still takes into consideration your characters innate abilities (skill specializations), but adds in the possibility of failure.

Whether or not the system is balanced properly is another question (should sleeping&consumable cost more money etc), but at least the system adds in a bit of "involvement" and excitement to verbal encounters and performing tasks, so I don't see the problem in that per se. I would've preferred more substantial, Fallout style RPG systems, but I don't think it's realistic to expect them from a game which has a sizable portion of fans who are only in it for the story. I guess you could say that about my review in general: it judges it from the perspective of what you can realistically expect from a kickstarter title that runs on Unity, rather than on terms of what an optimal follow up should be like. I was mentally prepared for another Mighty Number 9, so you could say that I kept my expectations low :D

I think the word you were looking for is "variety", which imo suits better in the context.
Duly noted! Shouldn't write these things after few hours of sleep :)
 
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Neanderthal

Arcane
Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Messages
3,626
Location
Granbretan
- The main character is bland and uninteresting. And to lesser extent your party members are also less interesting and memorable as those of PS:T.
The new protagonist is a blank slate for the most part, so the game lacks that wonderful part of personal discovery that such so key to PS:T's appeal, as you'd run into your past and learn more about your identity, quest and what your past incarnations had done.

Did they gi any reason for im bein a borin bastard, somebody official on Inxile boards said there were a good reason when I asked why he were such a non entity?

Sounds like nowt special, might redeem an play in a few months.
 

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