Friday, February 14, 2014
Top 10 of my favorite RPGs Part IV
1. Planescape: Torment
Developed by Black Isle Studios, published by Interplay Studios and released in 1999 this game is an absolute masterpiece.
The action takes place in the multiverse of Planescape, a campaign setting for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rule set.
The game tells the story of the Nameless One, a hero stuck in a loop between life and death, reincarnating after each death but losing part of his memory every time. The quest of the hero is to regain his memory and find the nature of his immortality. As the game progresses, the hero learns about his multiple incarnations, both good and evil, which have a span of thousands of years, about the way he affected the lives of those around him and the course of history during all this time.
The gameplay is story driven and focused on dialogue and interaction with other characters. Although the combat system is using some of the Dungeons & Dragons rules it doesn't use their maximum potential. This together with the lack of a complex loot system form the weakest points of the game.
Planescape: Torment has one of the most complex stories and characters I have ever seen in a game, so complex that it rivals some of the best fantasy books. Choices matter, the dialogues are very well written and with many options and the outcome of a conversation can be changed in multiple ways affecting the progression of the story. The characters are amazing and the feeling in the game is at the highest level.
This game sets a high and very hard to reach standard for RPGs. For me, it is the best RPG I have ever played and it will probably remain on top of my list for a long time and not only because it is such a good game but also because the quality of RPGs has dropped a lot in the past few years. Developers put more accent on things that are not so relevant to this genre instead of focusing their efforts to develop the story, dialogues and interesting characters.
I hope an Enhanced Edition will be released soon as I want to play it one more time, and maybe by adding HD graphics to it new gamers will get a chance try it out and experience its beauty.
There are good news for the fans of this game, a spiritual predecessor named "Torment: Tides of Numenera" has been financed with the help of Kickstarter and fans. This game will be developed by inXile Entertainment, a studio with many former members of Black Isle and Interplay. The action will take place in a different universe, with a new story and characters, but aims to capture the same things that made Planescape: Torment such an incredible experience.
My Top 10 RPGs ends here.
The reason why there is no game from Baldur's Gate series in this list is that I started playing them multiple times, but never got too deep in the story from various reason, I did like them but I cannot express my full impression about these games. Hopefully now after the release of the Enhanced Editions I'll find some time to finish them.
There are many other high quality RPGs, but these are the ones I consider the best. I based my decision on story and dialogues, gameplay, feeling, innovations, character progression and very little on the technical part as I don't find it so relevant for an RPG.