Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Planescape: Torment Returns on April 11th

When Bioware released Planescape: Torment in December of 1999, they did so just as 2nd Edition Dungeons & Dragons was gasping its last breath. Planescape was an odd choice to base a large scale computer rpg upon. The setting was unique, creative, exciting, and critically acclaimed, but it wasn't a particularly high volume selling setting for TSR. Add to this that Wizards of the Coast had just purchased TSR in 1997 and the Planescape setting, like many other D&D/AD&D settings, had been partially released to the wilds to be curated by fans. The game and the IP were languishing in limbo, even as the D&D brand would be resurrected shortly by the release of 3rd edition.

It may have been an odd choice, but it ended up creating a brilliant result. Planescape: Torment leveraged Bioware's Infinity Engine to create an rpg experience unlike any that had been produced to date. Most of that experience was rooted in the surreal qualities of the Planescape setting which may not have been a bestseller, but it was a magnificent creation. David "Zeb" Cook and his team of creative talent that included James Ward, Dana Knutson, and Tony DiTerlizzi combined their talents to produce an innovative and interesting sandbox. A sandbox that Chris Avellone and team explored with inspired creativity. Planescape: Torment is the Infinity Engine game I've played through most frequently, and given the strength of those titles that is saying something.

On April 11th, 2017 game developer Beamdog will be releasing a visually updated version of the game for both the PC and Tablet. Do yourself a favor and pick it up when it comes out.

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