What is there to say about this game that hasn’t been said by many? When I think of Planescape: Torment a few words come to mind: brilliant, masterpiece, near perfect. If you don’t believe me then you have never played it, and here is why you need to.
Developed by the late and great Black Isle studios (creators of the Fallout/Baldur’s Gate/Icewind Dale series) and released by Interplay on December 12th, 1999, Planescape: Torment was released to critical acclaim by reviewers but did no sell all too well. Now considered a cult classic that can be slightly tough to find, it is now widely considered the best traditional AD&D computer RPG of all time.
P:T takes place in the Planescape campaign setting for AD&D, where it encompasses all the planes of existence. You play the role of The Nameless One, a man that has lived countless lives as an immortal, where each death brings amnesia of his previous lives. That’s right, the good ole’ amnesia bit, but trust me, P:T is the only game in my opinion that does the amnesia story arc well. You’re goal in P:T is to ultimately die, die the True Death rather than dieing and being resurrected.
P:T is not for those that do not enjoy reading however. There is a lot to read in P:T but it is easily the best story I have ever experienced in any game I have ever played. Let me repeat that, ANY game that I have EVER played. Not that there isn’t any voice acting in the game, oh no. What voice acting there is in P:T is top notch and extremely believable.
Along with the story are your companions, which are as varied and strange as any I’ve seen before. Your main friend, and the first person you meet, is Morte; a floating skull that has a swirly personality and is not afraid to point out peoples’ imperfections. Some other companions you meet are Dak’kon, the sword-wielding githzerai from the planes of Limbo and Ignus, an insane fire mage that also happens to be constantly on fire.
The game mechanics work much the same way as other Computer D&D games using 2nd edition rules, with a lot of twists. For starters, the Nameless One never wears armor, but can be imbued with magical tattoos that enhance his abilities. Morte, since he’s just a floating skull, can be equipped with new sets of teeth to attack with. And Dak’kon’s armor and weapon upgrades as he himself levels up.
Although the game is no longer officially supported, there is a small group that still support the game. For starters, the game has a number of unofficial patches that add quests and fix a ton of bugs. Lastly, there is a wide screen mod and interface mod that updates the game’s looks to be much more pleasing to today’s graphics standards. The game’s art style however is still fresh and unique even to this day.
So, in any way you can, attempt to pick up this classic and set some time up to play it through. You will be very glad you did, because I sure am.