Planescape: Torment is an online role-playing computer game developed by Black Isle Studios, and later published by Interplay Entertainment. It was released for Microsoft Windows on December 12th, 1999, and follows the world of Planescape: Lord of the Rings. The game was heavily inspired by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The game presents a unique storyline in which the player assumes the role of either the main character or a major character (such as a High Elf or aroid) in the book series. There are several companions to the main character, and players are occasionally allowed to take on the role of one of these companions, too.
Planescape: Torment has a unique, non-traditional role-playing experience in which players assume the role of the main character in an interactive fiction that consists of a narrative background created within the Planescape universe. This enables the player to experience Planescape: Torment within an interactive continuity that does not have a single main character or plot. The novel’s various components – including the standard text based on the Planescape: Torment tabletop manual and Planescape: Torment video guides – allow for a non-linear approach to playing the computer game, but also allow players to develop a more flexible, personal role within the story.
The novel is written as a single novel, and includes all of the novel’s scenes, cut-scenes, and puzzles. This allows for an incredible degree of customization and personalization, as the player can decide how they will develop throughout the game, choosing aspects of the plot and character development according to their own decisions. The novel even contains an optional sixth sense, which has the player use “sixth senses” to detect the locations of hidden objects, solve puzzles, obtain information about the environment, and observe and react to the actions of the various characters in the game.
Although the nature of Planescape: Torment pre-established plot threads make it vulnerable to popular entertainment, this particular aspect of the computer game offers a unique opportunity to write interesting material. Many writers interested in exploring the mechanics of the Planescape universe would find the novel a rich source of ideas. However, the nature of the story lends itself to a linear and very linear gameplay, where the decisions of the protagonist have little influence upon the future of the storyline. The primary conflicts of the story take place within the main location of the game, which is located at the center of the Planescape universe. The secondary conflicts occur around the periphery of this location.
The design of Planescape: Torment lends itself to a large variety of plots and themes. Although there are five different basic areas of the Planescape world, the two most central areas of the game (the Plane of Telara and the planes of Chaeron) contain two entirely separate, self-contained plotlines with major characters. In the Planes of Telara, players must travel through the dungeons and caves of Telara while fighting hordes of dragons and other enemies on their journey to reach the Last Temple. Although part of the overall story of Planescape: Torment revolves around the conflict between the gods and the mortal races, this conflict is only loosely related to the main plotline of the novel.
The planes of Chaeron feature a very different story of significant importance to Planescape: Torment. This section of the Planescape: Torment computer game involves the player going through a maze-like series of levels, wherein much time is spent trying to avoid being killed by monsters. The player eventually learns that if he or she were to remain in the dungeons too long, their sanity would be lost, and they will have to start the adventure from the beginning, all over again. Although there is much time invested in this portion of the game, this does not neglect to contain some exciting action.
Planescape: Torment part II follows the story of the god of wealth, Arugal, and his struggle against the evil wizard, Lord Infernus. The second part of the game features a much larger and more involved story involving the final battle between the two deities. One of the most interesting things about Planescape: Torment II is that much like in Planescape: Torment, there is no overall ‘fatality’ rating. When you play the computer game, you see your experience change depending upon which skill you choose to improve. In addition, unlike in Planescape: Torment, where your death animation is just the same every time, in Planescape: Torment II the death animation is unique for each character. Some of the skills, including the’stonesense’ skill, are not available until you have reached a certain level.
The world of Planescape: Torment was created by lead programmer Robert Kiehn and the writing is done by Keene Disker. There are many unique aspects to this series of computer games, including the unique combat system, which allows you to choose between various styles of attacks (bludgeoning, slashing, stoning, etc). Another wonderful aspect is the inventory system, which allows you to develop and create a completely custom character in Planescape: Torment using any combination of armor, weapons, items, and skills you can think of. It’s a great way to spend some much time in the virtual world as you build your character and experience the game’s challenges, including the main storyline, which will challenge even the best experienced Planescape: Torment player. Planescape: Torment II offers a greater chance for players to achieve their goals and enjoy the time spent playing the computer game rather than simply waiting for the clock to strike twelve.