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About martyn_van_buren

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  1. It must be a decade since I last played Planescape: Torment, and I've been waiting since then for another game like it. I don't mean some sort of prescriptive nostalgia-fest with isometric what-have-yous and all that, but I would love to see something that picked up where it left off in terms in of being driven by character and themes rather than dungeons and combat and power fantasies. I remember the combat being so easy as to be basically trivial by the time you started wandering out into the Planes to do really bizarre things --- and that felt absolutely great; by that time you were hooked by the story and didn't care. Planescape was a seriously lean game, the opposite of a Dragon Age or a Baldur's Gate. There must have been a little filler, but not much. Fighting happened when the plot needed it, and quests told interesting stories that expanded on the games' themes. Items, stats, and lore appeared when you needed them and kept out of the way most of the time. And most important, the story never, ever stopped moving. I don't really remember anything about the gameplay mechanics --- I can't remember a single spell (and I'm pretty sure my Nameless One was a mage), nor one fight, nor a single item --- except for the sacred disc that the religious exile carried and which you gradually unlocked to discover his past and its intersection with the Nameless One. But I sure remember the bizarre mystery of the Nameless One's past and the terrible realization that all the evil you got a chance to fix in the game had started with him. I remember the chaste succubus and the renegade robot and the tower of skulls that you had once pulled Morty out of --- and the remarkable revelation that he was the game's most faithful character. And the Lewis Carrol-weird portals to other worlds. I remember how uncomfortable it made you with who you were, and how you gradually realized that every one of the characters was somehow fighting their own nature. And oh, man, I remember the themes. They were over-the-top and a little ridiculous and really fantastic. I don't remember any moment in gaming better than when you realized why the game was called Torment and how much it was really about what can change the nature of a man. For me anyway, that's what made it unique. I don't think there's ever been anything else like it, and it would make me enormously happy if there were.
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