It’s a well-executed set-up with a wondrous payoff. Whereas the fun in a game like For Honor comes from physically learning how to play, the fun in Tides of Numenera comes from achieving encyclopedic knowledge of a whole new universe through truly meaningful choices.
Despite the mechanic shortcomings, there’s still a lot to like and should be enough to satisfy anyone who’s looking for an old school RPG. inXile has some solid talent on board and this strong offering can definitely fit the role of a suitable successor to one of the most enjoyable RPGs of all time.
An amazingly deep and unique roleplaying experience but marred by roadblock mechanics and repetitive game elements (Hollingworth). A deep and fascinating world with a compelling narrative and large degree of player agency (Wilks) [Issue#260, p.53]
With frustrating tech, unappealing appearance and a lack of quality of life streamlining, Torment: Tides of Numenera might actually be my biggest gaming-related disappointment since I bought an Atari Jaguar.
As a fan of Torment, both Baldurs, Icewind Dale etc...I would highly recommend this game. It takes few hours to get used to the mechanics, but once passed, gameplay is amazing. Battle, thought avoidable and not often encounter feel very good. You will start complaining about how much text you have to read, to actually miss it later once all conversations are done. World feel right for Torment universe and story is very, very interesting.
The fact this game almost has a green user score, despite being unfinished and unpolished, shows how solid it is. I want to say it's underrated, but it's not! It has the score it deserves.
Is it a spiritual successor to Planescape? It certainly scratches the itch, which you would hope for considering how much of Planescape it rips off, but no. Tides is a pale shadow of the game it cribs from.
Is it worth playing though? Absolutely. I was surprised how decent it was in terms of party members and the combat system, given what some of the other reviews say.
The technical problems are real, however. Game crashed on me a couple times, and it's riddled with small quality-of-life issues, such as the camera jumping to the wrong area of the screen at the beginning of each turn in combat - just to name one. At one point, taking a skill that made one character immune to flanked somehow made my entire party AND every NPC immune to all positive and negative status (this includes entering stealth, and buffing with cyphers), which I thought was permanent but lasted until I restarted the game.
But let me say what I like about Tides of Numenera. The setting is ***ing gorgeous! I love the setting SO much, it's making me interested in the tabletop game. The environments you'll explore are alien, exotic, varied, and so, so gorgeous. It's better looking than Pillars 1 or Tyranny by far (all use the same technology).
Its other major strength is reactivity. This is the most reactive CRPGs I've played, it's far more reactive (and less railroaded) for example than the much-praised Disco Elysium.
So what's wrong with it? Well it kind of falls apart towards the end. A lot of what happens in the game's two city hubs don't make sense if you can't revisit them later, and you can't. And beginning with the second hub, it becomes clear the later portions of the game were not playtested as much as the early ones, because the coherency of the dialogue trees breaks down somewhat when the options at the bottom 'spoil' the responses to the ones at the top.
Some of the quests aren't great either. My least favorite quest is one of the first ones, for recruiting the party member named Tybis. There is no way to save Ris while also punishing Tybis, which I found extremely bizarre and unsatisfying, given how much of a straightforward scumbag Tybis is immediately revealed to be by listening to his story when he gives you the quest. Somehow, for some reason, they didn't expect players to take issue with this un-charismatic, un-charming, unlikeable rogue. Thankfully most of the quests are not like this.
What else is bad? The player can easily steamroll every skill check, starting around the midway point of the game when you've levelled up a couple of times. The battles are also pretty easy, but the biggest issue with that is how often the player is asked to resolve environmental interactions during battles, often with respawning enemies slowing them down.
See, in this game you only have one action and one movement per turn. You can use your action to move further, but more often than not, you want your one action. Well, in many cases interacting with environmental objects during battle to resolve objectives requires consuming your action in dialogue after reaching and interacting with the object. This can become frustrating when you have to wait another turn to do the action, sitting through another turn for all the enemies on screen. At the very least it provides some tension and challenge, but I don't think it was tested much.
Finally, there are choose-your-own-adventure sequences which play like visual novels. Most of them are optional, and some are fun, but they're removed from the rest of the game which makes me wonder why they're there in the first place. It feels like a consolation for cut content, and the art style of these sections is amateurish.
So to wrap up, it's a decent game. I can't recommend it for full price, but if you've been sleeping on this one then it's worth checking out.
What a waste of backer's money this game is. Personally I'm a huge fan of both pen&paper Planescape and Numenera. Therefore I was very enthusiastic throughout the whole development process of this game. After finally playing it I realized that developer's promise about walls of text written for the game rang hollow. Turned out it was not quality writing. It's almost sad how uninteresting it is. Plus the game is badly optimized for both pc and ps4 - huge framerate drops . Better go play Disco Elysium.
SummaryTorment: Tides of Numenera is a single-player role-playing game which continues the thematic legacy of the critically acclaimed Planescape: Torment by having to face complex and nuanced morality decisions, carefully contemplating deep and reactive choices with consequences that echo throughout the game all the while immersed into a new a...