Planescape: Torment Review
What can change the nature of a man?
The answer to that question would ordinarily be simple—a pair of scissors and a lack of balance. Fortunately, Planescape is the farthest thing from ordinary.
To begin with, you wake up in a morgue with amnesia, team up with a floating skull, and learn that you’re immortal. That’s just the first five minutes, and things only get crazier as the game progresses. The entire world is an insane place where virtually anything can happen, and it’s anything but predictable. The moment you think you’ve seen everything it has to offer, something even crazier happens. I refuse to go into detail because there are too many incredible moments that you have to experience for yourself, and to spoil those moments would be every bit as unforgivable as spoiling the plot of a recently-released game.
This is seriously one of the best games ever created. The story is in a class of its own, the music fits every place and situation perfectly, and the characters are so unique and interesting that even many of the non-playable characters wind up being more compelling than most games’ protagonists. You simply can’t beat it.
Combat is a bit clunky at times, but it works well enough to be forgivable and doesn’t wind up detracting from the experience. My recommendation is to play through for the first time as a mage with ridiculously high Int and Wis, because you unlock the best conversation options that way. Going through the game as a fighter or thief will cause you to miss some of the best conversation options, and the dialogue is really where the game shines, both compelling and abstract without ever being overbearing. Oftentimes it’s difficult getting used to the lore of a game, but Planescape features such stirring writing that you’ll actively search out things that will expand your knowledge of the world around you. By the time you finish the game, you’ll want nothing more than to dive back in. Planescape raised the bar and still stands tall as a testament to games’ ability to transcend the medium to become art.
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