02nd Mar2017

‘Torment: Tides of Numenera’ Review (PS4)

by Paul Metcalf

Torment-2d-PS4

I’m by no means a role-playing games expert, but I like to delve into the genre sometimes and get lost in the worlds. Torment: Tides of Numenera has now been released on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 and offers an interesting and deep experience for RPG fans, but has the release been worth the wait?

The game takes place in Numenera, and promises a vast story driven world of adventure. Set in the distant future, you are known as the Last Castoff who has fallen down from the sky, hunted by an enemy known as “The Sorrow”. Through exploration and interaction with the characters in the game, you must learn more about yourself, as well as a way to battle The Sorrow.

A single-player game, rather than going for an all-out action style, Torment: Tides of Numenera focuses on moral decisions, and for the most part finding a different approach to conflict rather than just combat. While combat is available, it really does feel like a last option, rather than the first choice. For those who rush into a battle, be prepared to struggle. Though sometimes, going into a battle to die can achieve progress in the story.

Where Torment: Tides of Numenera differs from other RPG games is the way actions are presented. There are separate pools for force, speed, and intelligence and the characters have to spend points from these pools to influence the action that has been initiated.

While this can be fun when successful there does feel to be a level of chance in this style of game-play. To be fair though, table top games that rely on the dice roll do have the same feel. When the three pools start to run low though, rest is needed to top them up. The problem with this of course is that if the players can’t be rested, then the potential of making a successful manoeuvre become less a foregone conclusion and more about luck. This is where more strategy has to become involved, and you have to have an understanding of your real chance of success.

Another influence in the game are the actual tides themselves of which there are five. These are given colours blue, gold, indigo, red, and silver. These tides stand for emotions, and influences based on the act the player takes. Based on what your actions are, these tides influence the game, changing events around you and the way other characters will react to you. It all sounds very complicated, but I’m sure anybody who has played or watched role-playing games will be used to influencers in games and their changing nature.

One thing you have to be ready for with Tides of Numenera is a lot of reading, but this is to be expected and something a lot of fans look for. Through conversations, smart thinking, and combat you’ll discover more about your character as well as influence those around you. I found many times when I was stuck in the game, death was an option that actually opened up many routes for the player. The fact that you return from death can be used as a tool, but beware the fact that there are many ways you can be killed for good. So, don’t become too reliant on returning from death.

What really is impressive is the amount of lore that is stuffed into Torment: Tides of Numenera. If you are a fan of games that are very story focused, and don’t want to rush the player through the game then this is a perfect choice. Thankfully though, even though there is plenty to learn in the game, you don’t feel overwhelmed by all of the detail presented. This is a game to be enjoyed, slowly digested, and most importantly enjoyed as something the player wants, and that is a role-playing experience.

Playing Torment: Tides of Numenera on the PlayStation 4 there is no doubt that it is a beautiful game, and thankfully the controller works well. While there are many screens (or character sheets) to go through, you never really feel lost in the detail presented. There is a steep learning curve at first though for people who are new to more complex RPG systems.

When looking at the longevity of the game, Torment: Tides of Numenera is huge, and that will be no surprise. Full of characters, and plenty of missions to keep the player busy, I’m sure many will be glad to know that there is much to explore after the first play-through. Starting a new game begins a new experience with different variables that alter the game for the player. For those hooked, this game will keep them busy for some time.

While I did find it hard at first, Torment: Tides of Numenera is a game that hooked me and kept me coming back for more. The deep story-line, and complex nature of the game really works well to make Numenera a very interesting gaming world. It may not be an easy game, but if you are up for the challenge this title is well worth your time. Though be sure you’ve got a lot of it to invest in the game.

****½ 4.5/5

Torment: Tides of Numenera is available on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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