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неделя, 19 март 2017 г.

Torment: Tides of Numenera - A World to behold




You are falling from the sky...You do not know who you are, where are you or why you are falling. Faint memories flutter through your mind.

This is how Torments starts and if you are wondering, yes you can die in the first forty or so seconds of the game. Or you can live and unveil the unbelievable world of Torment.

Few things I want to say before continuing with the game. This is more of a first impressions than a review as I have not finished the game, but I have played around twelve or so hours. Second I will try to go without any major spoilers, but if you want to experience the whole game without any knowledge better not read this. Here it comes!



Who am I?



You just fell from the sky. You have no idea who you are, where are you or what happened. When I played for the first two hours I felt so confused I barely knew what to do. The game overwhelmed me. And this is how it should be, this confusion you feel together with your character is obviously intended and greatly woven in the story. When you learn more about the world you will be faced with the choice to be who you want to be or try and pretend to be the one who everyone think you are, which is decisive choice and the world will react to it. While we are on the topic of the main character something which appears to confuse people is the character creation. While making your character you will make few choices which are vague and is not clear to what exactly they lead. Some people tend to not find such way of building character fun and to them I can say only...you can choose whatever you want at the end of the "Memories segment" (where you initially build your character) so do not fret. 



World and Exploration



 Sadly, the part of Torment's world you will see is not much. Actually it is just one city(well and the endless plains of your mind, but I will let you find this on your own). But if you want to learn more about the world, yourself and what has happened you can talk with the people of the city. No I will actually go further and say that you must talk to the people of the city. The least you will get from the conversations are items, skills and side quests, but what is more important you will get knowledge for the world, for yourself and for the man you are looking for. Each dialogue choice you make shifts the Tides which are the game mechanic determining how people react to your words and to you in general.  Speaking about this, probably here is the place to say that Torment is precisely targeted game. The developers had clear idea what audience they target and because of this it is a special piece of a game. You need to be one of these gamers who are genuinely interested in the world of the games they play. If you are not you will not only miss a lot of the game but it will probably be a bit of a boring slow experience. The driving force of the game(at least for me) is the will to know more.




And while we are on the topic of talking to people and before we continue to the world I want to mention something which annoyed me a little - people are too talkative. You will rarely be denied the opportunity to talk to someone about pretty much everything. This breaks more than few characters. True, later in the game you might be able to talk about more things with certain NPCs than when you met them for the first time, but this does not really neglects the will of everyone to talk with you about everything. BUT this also does not mean you should not choose your words wisely, as I said you will talk a lot and this is what will progress you in the game. One wrong word may cost a lot. One seemingly wrong word can bring you more fortune than you imagine.




Returning on the topic about knowledge and the world - it is a world worth knowing more about, but it is not only words. You are part of this world and while you are limited in only one city mainly it is a huge city. See it, explore it, watch it. Torment looks old, but the level of details is amazing, everything around you moves, shines, works. The city pulses with life. Dive in and be part of it.



How the world works


Knowing all this, let me tell you about some actual game mechanics. Torment is squad based RPG with (small in number) turn-based battles. Each dire situation being battle or not is called a crisis and each crisis can always be resolved without killing everyone or even without fighting at all. But if things go bad during battle your characters will have two types of actions - attack action and movement action. Each of these can be spend for what it is or it can be used to activate skills. Often in battle( and almost always out of one) you will need to invest your stats in different skill checks. Each point invested this way is lost effectively reducing the stat, until the character does not rest. This system brings very interesting resource management aspect into the game, because you do not know what you will need and when also you are not able to rest just anywhere, no you can rest only on specific places and while resting some quests may progress, situations may change. 





Conclusion


Torment: Tides of Numenera is squad based RPG with turn based battles, but you will almost never be pressured to fight as there are numerous ways to resolve a crisis. Torment is a game focused on talking and learning about the world in which you have fallen(you literally fall from the sky). It is a game targeted at people who like long dialogues, hard choices, intriguing world and exploration. Oh and have a lot of free time. Torment: Tides of Numenera as most games of the genre is between 25 and 30+ hours of gameplay. But every hour invested is worth it, even if you do not finish it play it if not for another thing then for the rich palette of characters you will meet. Torment is like a how-to to anyone who is in the business of creating characters.

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