Torment: Tides Of Numenera Review: A Sci-Fi RPG Focused On Worldbuilding


Overview of Torment: Tides of Numenera

Torment: Tides of Numenera is a science fiction role-playing game (RPG) developed by inXile Entertainment. Released in 2017, it serves as a spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed game Planescape: Torment. Set within the fascinating world of Numenera, a tabletop RPG created by Monte Cook, Torment offers players a rich and immersive experience unlike any other.

The game puts players in the shoes of the Last Castoff, a character who has gained consciousness after being abandoned by a powerful being known as the Changing God. As the Last Castoff, players embark on a remarkable journey through the Ninth World, a futuristic setting filled with strange and otherworldly technologies.

At its core, Torment: Tides of Numenera emphasizes player choice and consequence. The decisions you make shape the world around you, influencing the lives of the inhabitants and determining the outcome of various quests and storylines. Every choice you make has implications, and the consequences can be far-reaching.

One of the standout features of Torment is its deep and intricate worldbuilding. The Ninth World is a truly mesmerizing setting, seamlessly blending elements of science fiction and fantasy. With its diverse landscapes, unique creatures, and ancient ruins brimming with mysteries, each location in the game feels meticulously crafted and filled with lore waiting to be unraveled.

In terms of gameplay, Torment offers a complex and thought-provoking experience. The game focuses more on dialogue and exploration rather than combat, allowing players to engage with the world and its characters on a deeper level. The turn-based combat encounters that do occur are strategic and require careful planning, adding a layer of tactical depth to the gameplay.

Moreover, Torment: Tides of Numenera showcases a compelling narrative, driven by richly written dialogue and memorable characters. The game’s writing is top-notch, tackling thought-provoking themes and philosophical questions. Each interaction feels meaningful and adds to the overall depth of the story. The choices you make not only affect the immediate outcome but also shape the moral and ethical journey of your character.

Overall, Torment: Tides of Numenera offers a unique and captivating RPG experience. Its emphasis on player choice, engaging worldbuilding, and thought-provoking narrative set it apart from other games in the genre. If you’re a fan of immersive storytelling, deep character development, and a richly detailed universe, Torment is a game that should not be missed.

The World of Numenera: Creating an Immersive Sci-Fi Setting

One of the most impressive aspects of Torment: Tides of Numenera is its ability to immerse players in a captivating and immersive sci-fi setting. Set in the Ninth World, a far-future Earth, the game introduces players to a world teeming with strange and awe-inspiring technologies known as numenera.

The Ninth World is a place filled with remnants of civilizations long gone, where advanced technology coexists with ancient relics and mysterious artifacts. The level of detail and creativity put into crafting this world is truly commendable. Each location you visit is uniquely designed, with its own history, inhabitants, and secrets waiting to be discovered.

The environments in Torment are richly diverse, ranging from sprawling cities and decaying structures to lush wilderness and underground tunnels. The vivid descriptions and stunning visual design combine to create a sense of wonder and intrigue as you explore the vastness of the Ninth World.

The characters you encounter in the game are equally fascinating and diverse. From eccentric inventors to enigmatic beings, each NPC contributes to the worldbuilding by providing unique perspectives and knowledge about the Ninth World and its mysteries. Engaging in conversations with these characters not only reveals more about the setting but also offers opportunities to shape the course of the story through your choices.

The lore of Numenera is also intricately woven into the fabric of the game. As you progress, you’ll uncover fragments of ancient lore, delving into the history and mythology of the Ninth World. These discoveries add depth and context to the events unfolding around you, making the setting feel alive and interconnected.

Another standout aspect of the world of Numenera is the concept of the Tides. These are powerful forces that shape the world and reflect your character’s alignment and choices. The Tides include concepts like wisdom, passion, and justice, and they have a tangible impact on the game’s narrative and gameplay. The way you interact with the Tides can affect how others perceive you and open up different paths for you to explore.

Overall, the world of Numenera in Torment: Tides of Numenera is a masterclass in immersive worldbuilding. With its intricate lore, diverse environments, intriguing characters, and the presence of the Tides, it creates a rich and captivating sci-fi setting that will keep players engaged throughout their journey. Whether you’re new to the Numenera universe or a seasoned fan, this game offers a truly immersive experience that showcases the creativity and depth of the Ninth World.

The Unique Gameplay Mechanics of Torment: Tides of Numenera

Torment: Tides of Numenera offers a gameplay experience that sets it apart from traditional RPGs. The game incorporates a variety of unique mechanics that enhance both the storytelling and the player’s immersion in the game world.

One of the standout gameplay mechanics is the emphasis on dialogue and choice. Conversations play a crucial role in Torment, allowing players to shape the outcome of quests and influence the attitudes of NPCs. The choices you make in dialogue can have far-reaching consequences, impacting the flow of the narrative and the relationships you forge with other characters.

In addition to traditional dialogue choices, Torment introduces the concept of the Tidal Affinity system. The Tides, powerful forces representing different aspects such as wisdom, passion, and justice, manifest in the game as colored pools. By interacting with these Tides, players can gather points and unlock unique abilities. This mechanic adds a strategic element to the gameplay, as you decide how to align yourself with the different Tides and leverage their powers to overcome challenges.

The game also implements a unique character development system known as the Legacy system. As the Last Castoff, your character can inherit skills, abilities, and knowledge from the Changing God and previous castoffs. This allows for a wide range of character customization, as you can choose from different Legacies to shape your character’s gameplay style and narrative background.

Exploration is another key gameplay element in Torment. The Ninth World is filled with hidden secrets, ancient artifacts, and dangerous encounters. As you travel through the game world, you’ll encounter various locations to explore, each with its own mysteries and quests. The game encourages players to engage in thorough exploration, rewarding them with unique items, knowledge, and opportunities to shape the story.

Combat encounters in Torment are unlike traditional RPG battles. The game opts for a turn-based combat system that emphasizes strategy and tactical decision-making. Players must carefully consider their positioning, abilities, and the environment to overcome enemies. Combat encounters are not the primary focus of the game, but when they do occur, they offer a rewarding and thought-provoking experience.

Overall, Torment: Tides of Numenera showcases a range of unique gameplay mechanics that elevate it above standard RPG fare. The emphasis on dialogue and choice, the Tidal Affinity system, the Legacy system, exploration, and the strategic combat all work together to create a truly engaging and immersive gameplay experience. Whether you’re a fan of deep storytelling, strategic decision-making, or immersive exploration, Torment offers something truly special in the world of RPGs.

Exploring the Ninth World: Quests and Exploration in Torment

One of the core aspects of Torment: Tides of Numenera is the exploration of the Ninth World, a captivating and enigmatic setting filled with unique locations and quests waiting to be discovered. The game offers a rich and immersive exploration experience that rewards players for their curiosity and thoroughness.

As you journey through the Ninth World, you’ll come across a wide variety of locations, each with its own distinct atmosphere, inhabitants, and secrets. From bustling cities and hidden underground complexes to ancient ruins and uncharted wilderness, every corner of the game world holds the potential for captivating stories and intriguing encounters.

Quests in Torment are not just mere tasks to be completed; they are intricate narratives that unfold as you interact with different characters and explore the world. The game offers a vast array of quests, each with its own unique objectives and multiple paths to completion. The choices you make in these quests can have significant consequences, shaping the outcome of the story and the fate of the characters involved.

The exploration in Torment goes beyond simply following quest markers on a map. The game encourages players to take a more proactive approach, seeking out hidden areas, talking to NPCs, and interacting with objects in the environment. By delving deeper into the world and engaging with its inhabitants, you’ll uncover additional quests, discover valuable items, and unravel the mysteries of the Ninth World.

One of the standout features of Torment is its ability to provide meaningful choices and consequences during exploration. The game presents players with morally ambiguous situations and dilemmas, forcing them to make difficult decisions that can have a lasting impact on the game world. The consequences of your actions may not always be clear-cut, adding depth and realism to the overall experience.

In addition to the main storyline and side quests, Torment also offers optional tasks and hidden storylines for those who are willing to go the extra mile. These hidden quests provide additional layers of depth and exploration, rewarding the most dedicated players with unique insights into the Ninth World and its enigmatic history.

Overall, Torment: Tides of Numenera offers a rich and immersive exploration experience that goes beyond traditional questing. The game’s emphasis on choice-driven narratives, diverse locations, and hidden quests creates a truly engaging and rewarding exploration dynamic. Whether you’re delving into ancient ruins, navigating through treacherous wastelands, or conversing with intriguing characters, Torment offers a world ripe for exploration and adventure.

Character Creation and Development in Torment: Tides of Numenera

Torment: Tides of Numenera offers a robust character creation and development system that allows players to craft unique and personalized characters. From the moment you begin the game, you have the opportunity to shape your character’s identity, skills, and abilities to suit your playstyle and role-playing preferences.

The character creation process in Torment involves making a series of choices that define your character’s background, skills, and motivations. You can select from various character types, such as the Glaive (a warrior), the Nano (a mystical spellcaster), or the Jack (a versatile rogue), each with its own strengths and abilities. These choices not only impact your character’s starting attributes but also provide a foundation for how they interact with the game world and its inhabitants.

As you progress through the game, your character’s development is influenced by the choices you make and the actions you take. Experience points earned from completing quests and overcoming challenges can be used to improve your character’s abilities and unlock new skills. You can choose to specialize in certain areas, becoming a master in combat, persuasion, stealth, or exploration, or you can develop a well-rounded character capable of handling a variety of situations.

In addition to traditional RPG mechanics, Torment introduces the concept of Effort, a resource that allows you to exert additional effort to succeed in certain tasks. This mechanic adds a strategic layer to gameplay, requiring you to carefully manage your resources and choose when to push your character to their limits.

What sets Torment apart from other RPGs is its Legacy system. As the Last Castoff, your character has inherited skills, abilities, and knowledge from the Changing God and previous castoffs. This inheritance provides a unique background for your character, shaping their narrative and opening up new possibilities in the game world. The Legacy system adds depth and replayability to the game, encouraging players to explore different character backgrounds and storylines through subsequent playthroughs.

Furthermore, the choices you make during dialogue and quest interactions can also have a profound impact on your character’s development. Your character’s alignment with the Tides, their interactions with NPCs, and the decisions they make all contribute to their personal growth and the relationships they form throughout the game.

Overall, Torment: Tides of Numenera offers a deeply satisfying character creation and development system. The ability to shape your character’s identity, skills, and abilities, combined with the impact of choices and the Legacy system, allows for a truly personalized and engaging gameplay experience. Whether you prefer to specialize in a specific role or explore different facets of your character’s abilities, Torment provides the tools and flexibility to create a character that is uniquely your own.

The Narrative Experience: Storytelling and Choices in Torment

Torment: Tides of Numenera sets itself apart as a narrative-driven game, placing a strong emphasis on storytelling and player choices. The game offers a rich and complex narrative experience, immersing players in a world filled with intriguing characters, thought-provoking themes, and meaningful choices.

The writing in Torment is exceptional and sets the stage for a captivating storytelling experience. The game’s dialogue is well-crafted, with deep and meaningful conversations that reveal the personalities and motivations of the characters you encounter. Each interaction feels genuine and immersive, as the dialogue branches into different paths based on your choices and actions.

The depth and complexity of the narrative in Torment are further enhanced by the game’s emphasis on choice. Throughout your journey, you’ll be faced with a myriad of morally ambiguous decisions and dilemmas. These choices not only shape the immediate outcome but also have far-reaching consequences that impact the world and the characters you interact with.

One of the defining features of Torment is the Tidal Affinity system, which ties player choices to the game’s overarching narrative. The Tides, representing different aspects such as wisdom, passion, and justice, weave their way throughout the story and reflect the alignment of your character. The choices you make in dialogue and quests can tip the balance of the Tides and influence how the world perceives you. This mechanic adds layers of complexity to the narrative, as the repercussions of your choices are not always immediately apparent.

The game also offers a multitude of branching storylines, giving players the freedom to explore different paths and make choices that align with their character’s beliefs and motivations. Whether you choose to be a hero, a villain, or something in between, your decisions have a profound impact on how the narrative unfolds, allowing for a highly personalized storytelling experience.

Furthermore, Torment explores thought-provoking themes such as identity, mortality, and the nature of existence. The game delves into philosophical questions, challenging players to ponder the nature of their own humanity and the consequences of their actions. The writing brilliantly weaves these themes into the narrative, forcing players to confront deep and profound concepts throughout their journey.

Overall, Torment: Tides of Numenera offers a narrative experience that is both compelling and thought-provoking. The well-crafted writing, meaningful choices, and interconnected storylines create a world that is dynamic and responsive to player decisions. Whether you’re seeking a deeply immersive storytelling experience or relishing in the opportunity to shape the narrative through your choices, Torment delivers a narrative experience that stands out in the realm of RPGs.

The Strengths and Weaknesses of Torment: Tides of Numenera

Torment: Tides of Numenera excels in several areas, making it a standout RPG experience. However, like any game, it also has its share of strengths and weaknesses that impact the overall experience.

One of the strengths of Torment lies in its immersive and richly detailed world. The Ninth World is a captivating setting, filled with imaginative landscapes, intriguing characters, and an abundance of lore. The game’s worldbuilding is top-notch, seamlessly blending science fiction and fantasy elements to create a unique and engaging universe.

Another strength of Torment is its emphasis on choice and consequence. The game offers a staggering number of choices, both big and small, that have a significant impact on the story and the game world. The freedom to shape your character’s morality and the ability to influence the Tides provide players with a sense of agency and make each playthrough feel unique.

The writing in Torment is exceptional, with well-crafted dialogue and thought-provoking narratives. The game tackles deep themes and philosophical concepts, challenging players to engage with complex ideas as they progress through the story. The quality of the writing enhances the immersion and creates captivating and memorable moments throughout the game.

Torment also offers a strategic and tactical combat system. While combat encounters are not the main focus of the game, they provide a satisfying and challenging experience. The turn-based combat requires careful planning and thoughtful decision-making, adding depth and variety to the gameplay.

However, Torment does have some weaknesses that detract from its overall experience. One such weakness is the occasionally slow pacing. The game’s emphasis on dialogue and exploration can result in moments where the momentum slows down, especially during lengthy conversations and quests. This slow pace may not appeal to players who prefer a more action-oriented experience.

Another weakness of Torment is the occasional lack of clarity or guidance in quests. While the game encourages exploration and discovery, there are times when the objectives and next steps are not clearly communicated, leading to confusion and frustration for some players. This lack of clarity can disrupt the flow of the game and hinder the overall enjoyment.

Additionally, some players may find the game’s complexity and depth overwhelming. The sheer amount of choices, character abilities, and lore can be daunting, especially for those new to the RPG genre. While this depth is a strength for many players, it may be a weakness for those who prefer a more streamlined and accessible experience.

In summary, Torment: Tides of Numenera excels in worldbuilding, choice-driven narratives, and tactical combat. Its strengths lie in its immersive setting, thought-provoking writing, and the ability to shape the story through meaningful choices. However, the game is not without its weaknesses, including occasional slow pacing, lack of clarity in quests, and a level of complexity that may be overwhelming for some players. Despite these weaknesses, Torment remains a standout RPG experience that offers a rich and rewarding journey for those who appreciate deep storytelling and immersive worldbuilding.