Some games live on far beyond their initial release. They become the fabric of the gaming world, loaning out parts of themselves become the new bedrock of the gaming world. Sometimes it’s nice, though, to go back and look at these games for what they were – games that were meant to entertain. The purpose of this Planescape Torment review is to take an objective look at this classic game, and to see if it still holds up.
|Type of Game||RPG|
|Google Play||Download Page|
You wake up with no idea who you are or why you’ve awoken in this strange place. From the moment of your awakening, though, you know that something’s not right. Your goal, should you choose to accept it, is to make sense of a strange world and its inhabitants. During this Planescape Torment review, we encountered strange creatures and a truly unique world – one that helped us in our goal of making our way through a world that seems to know far more about our character than he knew about himself.
Design & Graphics
If you played any of the various Dungeons and Dragons games in the 1990s, you should be familiar with the basic design conceits of this game. It’s an isometric 3rd Person RPG, one that does trade out some of the more typical fantasy visuals for something that’s a little darker. The art design and sound are solid, if nothing special. All the real design work seems to have gone into the story, which stands up well – it’s definitely enough to help you forget that the game is a little ugly by today’s standards.
The move over to a mobile port is actually fairly good for this game, because it’s a lot easier to forgive some of the visuals and sounds on a mobile platform than it is on an HD monitor. Everything’s a little squished so it’s hard to make out some of the detail work, but it’s still a good looking game as far as mobile ports go. It was hard to remember that this game was as old as it was during the course of this Planescape Torment review, which goes to show how well it survived the transition over to mobile.
The main character of Planescape Torment is The Nameless One, a character that honestly evokes many of the other RPG protagonists of the time. He’s powerful, sure, but he’s also amnesiac – he has no real clue about where he is or who he was before he wakes up at the beginning of the game. While most games would use this as a method of helping the player put themselves in the character’s shoes, this amnesia is actually a vital part of the game. It’s the discovery of who The Nameless One used to be that really makes up the core of the story.
Without giving away too much, you’ll watch this character grow over the course of the game by interacting with what’s lefty behind by various incarnations of a certain immortal. Learning more about these characters helps you learn more about The Nameless One as well as his companions. While we managed to build a very specific personality in this Planescape Torment review, it’s possible to have your character turn out in one of several different ways. It’s a good balance between storytelling and the usual tabula rasa of an RPG protagonist. It works well enough that you’ll be invested in this formerly blank slate by the time the game ends.
If there is one thing that stood out during this Planescape Torment review, it was definitely the storyline. While most of the high points have been thoroughly spoiled in the nearly two decades since the game was released, that makes the story no less compelling. While it starts with what is now a bog-standard amnesia plot, the game quickly moves into the space of the weird and sometimes absurd. It’s a game set in a D&D universe to be sure, but not one with which most players are familiar. This is a game that is ultimately about choice and identity, and that demands a high level of storytelling.
While it’s true that there is combat in the game, most missions have multiple solutions. If you build your character correctly, you can absolutely talk your way around a lot of danger. In fact, it’d be more correct to say that this is a game with missions about solving problems, not necessarily one with a combat-oriented slant. It’s more about encountering different characters and dealing with their problems. Some of those problems are more memorable than others, of course, and some of the quests are a little tedious – but the bulk of what you’ll encounter will be memorable and thought-provoking.
While the target of this Planescape Torment review was the original mobile release of the game, we’d be remiss not to talk about the Enhanced Edition. Released decades later, the Enhanced Edition takes the base game and spruces things up to a modern level. It’s not such a huge leap forward that you’ll necessarily need to play through the game a second time to enjoy it, but it’s probably a better choice for those players who have never played Planescape before.
There is a major downside to the Enhanced Edition, of course, and that’s the fact that it is expensive. While it’s very easy to say that one should pay more for the Enhanced Edition on the PC on which the changes are more noticeable, it’s hard to advocate for the 19.99 price tag on a mobile platform. It might be worth the extra money if it’s on sale, but not necessarily at the base price point.
Planescape Torment is a game that holds up incredibly well despite its age. The fact that it’s not quite as combat or twitch-heavy as some other games in the D&D universe makes it a great fit for mobile and the story is still fantastic even if you know all the twists and turns. This Planescape Torment review was a joy to play through even if the game is starting to look a little long in the tooth.
What did you think about the game? Does it hold up on mobile or do you really need a mouse and keyboard? Does it still live up the hype? Be sure to get in contact with us and let us know what you think.
Bonus read: To The Moon Review