As a new player to this type of role playing genre, I was really excited to see what I would get myself stuck into this time. All I knew about Torment was that its successor was very highly praised and that drove me to really want to try this game.
The game is set in the distant future, where the decline of past civilisations has left Earth in a state of ruin which has impacted the standard of living to a more medieval state. Over time there are artifacts that have been left behind called the Numenera that represents what is left of technology from the past generations.
Tides of Numenera starts with you falling, with descriptions (being narrated) informing the player what the character feels, hears and sees as he’s in this limbo state. As the character lands, you find yourself in an odd place; you are on a platform with hexagonal segments, around you in the background there are numerous floating segments flowing like an ocean. After exploring this strange place you end up in a new location which is part of your mind. Here you talk to the spectre and it explains facts about yourself and answers all of your questions. Shortly after talking to the spectre you are introduced into the combat system where you have to fight a sorrow, which is some ancient guardian who has seen the torment caused by the changing gods. While hunting for their creator it doesn’t hesitate to destroy any of the castoffs. Upon defeating the sorrow you are teleported back to the real world where you find out you are a castoff who make bodies made by the changing god conscious. The story is epic and really in-depth, which is something I love about Torment.
Every decision you make will lead you to a different path, making this game very unique with such dynamic options. Other gameplay aspects allow you to build upon your character the way you want by either avoiding conflict altogether, lying to cleverly unveil secrets or trying to resolve every situation with a good ol’ brawl. The combat system has been made pretty nicely, it’s turn-based and there’s more chance of success with higher skills and with party members. Skills are often levelled up while doing something in the world that the game deems satisfactory. You start with a base amount of skill points that you can adjust to make your character in a certain way. Although I can appreciate this type of combat system I’m the type of player who enjoys to fight in a more head-on manner and unfortunately for me in Torment, you have to use your mind.
The game is heavily text-based which allows you to have your own choices but personally, I prefer a more linear approach where you have the option to follow different paths without needing to go out on a whim and click everything you see to gather the information. It does have its merits where you get to do everything your way but it does seem a little less rewarding as you can’t do anything incorrectly.
Technically the game is pretty flawless. I haven’t come across any game breaking bugs/issues that disallowed me from playing. Graphics are a little underwhelming at times but the game design keeps the world fresh with wacky environmental art and strange creatures. The music and ambient sounds are really interesting and really fit well with the setting of the game. Overall creatively speaking the game is really polished and well presented.
Last off I’d like to suggest a few improvements that I imagine others would also hope for. The ability to customise your character more at the start would be my number one. I mean of course you can create your character’s personality the way you want but appearance-wise it’s limited to male or female. There should be more modern character customization where you can make your character the way you want and even more in-game customization as the game goes on. Secondly, graphical improvements. I must admit the game would benefit from a graphical uplift to meet today’s game standards. Apart from these suggestions, I think inXile Entertainment has done an excellent job creating an outlandish experience which I’m sure others will also enjoy. My rating for Torment: Tides of Numenera stands at 8/10!