When starting the game, the main menu is captivating and simple. Whilst this has virtually nothing to do with the gameplay, I just thought I’d mention it! Here’s a screenshot:
We know from beforehand that the developers wanted to let the player exercise their magnitude of choice within the game. Well, to my surprise, you are almost instantly greeted with options.
The scene is set with a few paragraphs, followed by options presented to you as to what you should do next.
“Your mind wakes in darkness. Aching cold sets into an unfamiliar body. A distant howling surrounds you, louder with each passing second.
Insistent and invisible hands slap and tear at the membrane that protects you.
Your first emotion is an involuntary and formless panic. You feel you have forgotten something – something important, as if it once meant the world to you… but the details slip away as you grasp at them.
You force your eyes open.”
Option 1 – Look at this body.
Option 2 – Look around.
Personally, I love that you’re controlling the story right from the beginning.
Generally speaking, gamers are usually given the beginning of a story, then they’re challenged to play out the middle/end, with little control over the storyline. Torment: Tides of Numenera changes this completely, allowing you to make decisions (which may be crucial), right from the get-go.
A brief overview of history:
The options I chose from at the start meant falling from a stratospheric height, putting me in trouble straight away. My character then proceeds to crash and become unconscious, with one word triggering his memory: Sorrow.
As mentioned in the trailer of Torment: Tides of Numenera, Sorrow is an ancient creature which has been awakened by a sorcerer who manages to cheat death. Obtaining immortality meant transferring consciousness from body to body, perfecting the algorithm more each time.
You are a previous incarnation of this immortal being, and you are being hunted by a creature going by the name of Sorrow.
Now that we’ve shed a bit of light on the game, let get further into some game mechanics.
Might – the risky option:
As you enter the first proper scene, again you are presented with options. Take a look at these:
Already a crucial element of the game mechanic has been revealed – [Might].
Alongside speed and intelligence, you now have might! Might increases your chances on being able to successfully execute an option. This involves spending might points.
Even if you spend might points, you’re not guaranteed success.
Going off on a bit of a tangent; although this is a game involving many unrealistic components, I feel like this specific element is very true to life. The more resources you put towards something (in this case, might points) the more likely you are to succeed with each option. However, there is still the chance you may not succeed!
After a short-ish introduction, you’re brought to the character creation stage!
You build your character by making three choices – a type, a focus and a descriptor!
Next up is actually choosing your character type. Again, there are three choices to choose from:
- Glaive – warriors of the ninth world
- Nano – wizards
- Jack – someone who is more well-rounded, taken after “jack of all trades”
Following this there are few more steps you have to go through to complete your character, these are:
Pools, abilities, exploration skill, weapon skill and more.
Not too long after you create your character, you’re put into a battle situation. It’s in the style of a tutorial, allowing you to get the hang of the turn-based battle system.
People may think that this is just a “tit for tat”, static battle mechanic. Let me tell you it’s much more than that. You can move around, interact with objects, cast spells and do all sorts of different things whilst it’s your turn to attack.
Again [Might] is involved at times, as you are able to test your luck with certain interactions. When sh*t hits the fan, sometimes you’ll truly need luck on your side!
That’s not even all, you can avoid battle completely. Some of the options presented to the gamer allow for you to avoid conflict altogether!
The tide system:
This was probably the most exciting part of the game for me.
Your tide depends on how other characters will react with you, closing some doors for your
Character whilst opening new ones! For example, a red tide means emotional, implying that your character acts on impulse. This will change how NPCs interact with you, making your decisions count.
The actions your character carries out always have consequences. Other colour tides include:
- Gold – means you’re more selfless
- Blue – you’re inquisitive
- Indigo – Justice, equity and compromise
- Silver – Admiration, power and fame
There are even other notable characters in the game with different tides, notifying you of their personalities before engaging!
During Torment’s pre-production, a table was created to help understand the tides:
I am very impressed with the depth of game, which has been drip fed to the player right from the start. It’s a perfect blend between subtlety and fast paced action. Whilst you almost instantaneously make important decisions right from the get-go, the game does a good job of introducing each of its unique components too.
If you’re a fan of aesthetic settings, this game is also for you. I loved most of the visuals it presented, however, for a game set 1billion years into the future, I do get the feeling that it can be too “medieval-y” at times. Other than this, the only other statement I can make is that I can already tell I’m going to enjoy the rest of this game.
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<3 from Gemcode.