Torment: Tides of Numenera is as the case brags the #1 Kickstarted RPG and that is down to it’s pedigree & the Torment name. Releasing on not only computers but the Playstation 4 & X Box One we will look into if this is the shining example of cRPG or just another bump in the road. Read on to find out!.
Torment is set in the far future in a very cyberpunk/sci fi setting, you are thrust into the role of the old shell of the Changing God, if this means nothing to you, it’s supposed to. The game starts as a complete mystery and it’s down to you to not only figure out what on earth is going on, but in a refreshing twist you’re out to save yourself and not the world!.
The writing in Torment is world class and thankfully so as there is more of it than you can shake a whole forest of sticks at!. This could be considered a bad thing for those wanting a little more hands on gameplay but honestly the story is worded so well and the characters that join you just spur this tale onwards throughout it’s initial 30 hour plus playthrough.
Another fantastic aspect of the story is just how every action and conversation can have a drastically different output sending you on a much different path than you originally traveled. The game employs a point system in 3 key attributes such as Might, Intelligence and Stealth, it’s liberal use of these points and a RNG based stat which will see you either succeed or fail in tasks or conversations and trigger alternative paths and quests.
Torment is a classic top down RPG much like classics of old such as Balders Gate, Diablo and Divinity. Despite this camera angle it manages to look so detailed and lived in, it really is a credit to the art department for this game that you can lose yourself in this world with merely looking at it alone.
Naturally because of the camera angle it won’t appeal to everyone visually but if you’ve already poured hours into titles like Wasteland 2, Divinity or the many classic cRPG titles which inspired this you’ll know visually what to expect.
The sound in Torment is top notch featuring an impressive soundtrack which really helps bring the world and mystery together. My only major gripe with the sound is that voice acting is kept to a bare minimal and you’re never too sure when it’s going to kick in or not.
In regards to gameplay Torment:Tides of Numenera is CRPG 101 in all but 2 regards, what I mean by this is that you’ll be completing side quests, reading up on lore and talking to everyone and everything. Where it differentiates it’s self is the performing actions and the combat, I mentioned earlier about the actions system and have to say I loved the idea and how the story shapes around it, the combat on the other hand not so much.
The combat in Torment I found to be the weakest part of the package, despite the multiple ways to approach combat such as traps and dialogue I just found myself finding anyway to avoid combat, it’s slow, awkward and just no fun what so ever, you’ll find much more enjoyment from talking and stealthing your way around encounters.
My final point before I finish this review up is that the Playstation 4 port is rough, the developer has promised the performance will be improved via a patch but so far it frame drops aplenty, load screen is on the majority of time and feels so janky. It does deliver quite a blow at the moment with it’s performance but once the game is patched I will return to the title and see if it’s performing closer to what the game needs.
Overall I enjoyed the narrative writing and depth of Torment: Tides of Numenera, if you allow yourself you can easily lose yourself in highly crafted lore and explore this heavily lived in world. For people unfamiliar with cRPG titles it wouldn’t be a great jumping in point if only for the fact the combat is the true weak element with the title it may not hold as well to a newbie as it should. Fingers crossed for a patch for performance but as it stands it still deserves place in many hardcore rpg players collections.
- Fantastic Writing
- Beautifully crafted world
- One of the few of this genre on console
- Performance issues
- Horrid combat
- Being so text heavy may put off newbies
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