Screenshot of Torment Tides of Numenera Cover Image

What is Torment Tides of Numenera?

Torment Tides of Numenera was published by Techland Publishing in February 2017, three years later after its planned release. The game was developed by inXile Entertainment and can be enjoyed on PCs, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It drew inspiration from the classic game produced in 1999 and called Planescape Torment. It is a role-playing videogame that was funded exclusively through Kickstarter.

Key facts about Torment Tides of Numenera

  • Torment Tides of Numenera has an amazing personal story, worthy of its predecessor.
  • There are hundreds of quests to complete and a huge open world to explore, but no multiplayer.
  • Torment Tides of Numenera allows players to choose violent or peaceful solutions to most problems.
  • The role-playing videogame is overly complex and requires the player’s undivided attention.
  • Torment Tides of Numenera has a great dialog tree system for complex character interactions

Gameplay of Torment Tides of Numenera

The developers chose to use the Unity game engine and players experience action from above the characters. Although this is a story driven role-playing videogame, the Torment Tides of Numenera is pretty complex. The emphasis is on storytelling and this greatly enhances the importance of the dialogue free system. As players explore the huge world, they need to interact with AI controlled characters.

Players can choose between one of the three available classes, a warrior called Glaive, a wizard known as Nano or the rogue Jack. The basic classes can be customized so players can create a character that excels in a specific type of combat. Even though violent interactions between characters are possible, the gameplay is not fast-paced as in most role-playing video games. In addition to the features chosen by players through customization, the characters can developed various skills through direct interactions.

At the cornerstone of the Torment Tides of Numenera gameplay are the key decisions that affect not only the story but also the character’s abilities. The game uses Tides to highlight the manner in which heroes are perceived by the NPC’s. Depending on the decisions they make and the actions they take during the single player campaign, characters can evolve in one direction or the other. Overall, the Tides determine the Legacy which in turn affects their skills, bonuses and the abilities of weapons.

Screenshot of Torment Tides of Numenera Order of Truth

Plot of Torment Tides of Numenera

The story of Torment Tides of Numenera begins in a distant future devastated by endless wars. Human civilizations stopped evolving and people are living in modest settlements. Their existence is influenced by the proximity to relics from a distant past that scholars claim to belong to the eight great ages. The current events are set in the Ninth World where people have limited understanding of the artifacts. Most are broken beyond repair, but the few functioning ones are not understood even by scholars.

Players assume the role of the Last Castoff and embark on a series of quests defined by complex dialogs and human interactions. Most of the characters they meet as the story evolves will play an important role in their own evolution. Depending on how they choose to handle various issues and how they treat their peers, players will make allies or enemies out of them. In addition to the NPC’s whose allegiance depends on these factors, players can also choose between one of the eight companions.

The leading character and the one that is at the center of the Torment Tides of Numenera plot act as vessel for a powerful consciousness. As the story progresses, players learn about the fact that an ancient man found a way to transfer his consciousness from one body to the other. He did this countless times to evade death and is commonly referred to as the Changing God. His deeds didn’t go unnoticed and prompted a powerful being called The Sorrow to intervene.

As the Last Castoff is targeted by this powerful being, he tries to find his master. In the process, he runs into other castoffs explores the beautiful world of Numenera and finds answers to philosophical questions.

Screenshot of Torment Tides of Numenera City

Development of Torment Tides of Numenera

The fans of Planescape Torment were anxiously waiting for someone to take responsibility and produce a sequel. Almost a decade later, a game developer felt comfortable working on this ambitious project. They enlisted the talent of inXile which was at the time working on Wasteland 2. The two video games had several things in common, including the fact that they were crowd funded. Torment Tides of Numenera had no problem in raising the needed money for development to begin and got more than $4 million.

Rumors about the sequel surfaced in 2013 and soon after players were presented with the first trailers. The role-playing videogame envisioned by the developers met their expectations. This acts as a catalyst for its success on Kickstarter and brought more people to the fledgling team working on it. The connections between the two games are relatively few, due to licensing issues. However, the manner in which all the interactions between characters matter and impact the story highlight the similarities.

The development team was sent back by delays caused by the fact that they were working on two major projects. Wasteland 2 was the top priority and it was also hit by delays, which had a domino effect on Torment Tides of Numenera. It quickly became obvious that they won’t be able to release the game as planned, in the second half of 2014. The new deadline was set for February 2017 and enjoyed the international acclaim the fans were hoping for.

Where can I download Torment Tides of Numenera?

Torment Tides of Numenera can be downloaded from inXile or from the publisher’s website. In either case, players might want to consider the possibility of also playing the original game. Keep in mind that it’s been nearly 2 decades since that game was produced. That's why the graphics don’t meet the high expectations of modern gamers. On the bright side, the story of both games is amazing and by playing the first title, people will get a better understanding of the new release.

Compared to the best role-playing video games ever produced, this one had a relatively small budget. While the story and execution are stellar, players might want to experience the thrills of other RPG games. There are plenty out there worth playing, but Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Diablo III Reaper of Souls, Fallout 4, Dark Souls 3, Mass Effect 3 and Deus Ex Mankind Divided are the best.

Screenshot of Torment Tides of Numenera Unexpected Journey

What are others saying about Torment Tides of Numenera?

There are not many Torment Tides of Numenera reviews out there yet, simply because the game was released in February 2017. Those who had the chance to play the game and committed enough hours as to be able to write such an article were generally favorable. Pretty much everyone praises the role-playing videogame for its amazing story and the sheer beauty of the world. Once the single player is completed, there is very little left to do and explore in this game.

Torment Tides of Numenera is regarded on the best text-based storytelling games of all times. Financially it was a huge success especially given the fact that it was the product of crowd-funding. The environment designs and the great writing made it one of the best rated releases of early 2017.

My Rating of Torment Tides of Numenera

I fondly remember the days when role-playing video games were played at a relatively slow pace. It was the story that mattered and everything else came second. Torment Tides of Numenera kind of pushes the envelope by having its gameplay rely so much on text. Personally I don’t mind this one bit and I think that it’s a welcomed diversion from all the explosions and monster killing madness. Just keep this in mind before playing the game, since it’s definitely not an RPG for everyone.

If you appreciate the quality of a well written story and want to explore a unique world, then Torment Tides of Numenera is a great choice. It doesn’t have a multiplayer, but the narrative is so good and the decisions so important that its replay value is insured. Take your time with it and try to think through every decision you make. It will definitely impact the way your character evolves. Peronally, I think this game deserves nothing less than a rating of 9 out of 10.