Torment: Tides of Numenera PC Game Review: Page 3 of 5

Posted by Ransley Garrow on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 8:00am

Gameplay

There are three classes that the Last Castoff can choose from the intro the Glaive which focuses on melee combat, with skills that reduce the penalties for heavy armor and assist with the use of heavier weapons. The Jack which focuses on a bit of a hybrid between light weapons ranged weapons and some esoteries which are the in-game spells, the Jack is very much the jack of all trades, master of none. Finally, there is the Nano which focuses almost exclusively on esoteries, the Nano is very much the sorcerer or mage of the world. Upon leveling up a character may increase either their stat pool by two points, their effort, their edge or increase skills and abilities.

There are three main stats that govern attributes as well as acting as resource pools for skill checks, might, speed and intellect. Might increases your healthy by one for each point added to the pool it is also the resource used in intimidation checks and checks to smash items. Speed increases chance to avoid physical attacks by five percent for every two points added to the pool and is the resource used for pickpocketing checks (called quick hands) and for deception checks. Intellect increases resistance to esoteries by five percent for every two points added to the pool and is the resource for psychic checks and persuasion checks. Resting will replenish health as well as all three resource pools, characters will also gain fatigue if they go too long between resting which penalizes their stats.

Torment: Tides of Numenera PC Game

Combat encounter inside a dark rift. Cultists were trying to awaken a being from another dimension to free themselves from life.

Combat is turn based with turn order being determined by a combination of speed and a stat called initiative, higher initiative means going earlier in the turn order. Each character can perform two actions per turn, they may attack, use esoteries, move or use cyphers. Cyphers are single use devices that have a multitude of effects including healing, buffing, debuffing and doing damage. A character may choose to take two move actions but cannot perform two attacks or use two items. Attacks have a percentage chance of success, success chance can be increased to one hundred percent via exerting effort. Effort drains the stat pool for that weapon, but it also increases the damage of the attack. While expending effort can finish off opponents quickly early on, it makes prolonged encounters more dangerous. Items to replenish health and the three resource pools are must have items. Enemies and allies can also be surrounded which lowers their defenses making them easier targets, but Jacks and Glaives can learn a skill that makes them immune to flanking penalties.

Effort dictates how much energy either the Last Castoff or one of their allies may put into a task, effort can be increased as they level up which has the potential to increase the damage of attacks and their success with non-combat checks like speech, picketpocketing or hacking. Characters that may also increase their edge which awards them free effort on a check, for example, if a Glaive wanted to smash a door open and they had four effort and two edge, they would only have to spend the difference between the edge and the max success chance from their might pool.

Torment: Tides of Numenera PC Game

Miel Avest a refuge for other castoffs of the Changing God.

Skills and abilities are typically intertwined with each other and share allocation in the leveling system. Skills are passive things that can increase checks for speech or lore, or increase the power of abilities. Abilities do a variety of things including damage, healing, mind control or allowing a cypher to be used multiple times before it is spent.

While combat there is much depth to the combat, combat can be easily avoided in most cases. Though if combat is preferred what is on offer is one of better turn based combat systems seen in tactical RPGs. This is very much an RPG that requires careful thought, with each action having consequences on your character and how they are perceived by allies. Be prepared for walls of text and plenty of dialogue with this game, though.

Torment: Tides of Numenera PC Game

The Bloom a mass of flesh, maws and organs. Portals open from the maws, but they are picky and often change.

Quests in this game are the RPG fairly standard, mostly focusing on fetching or finding certain objects or people. There are few quests that outright require combat in this game, though that may be a hidden blessing as most quests will still have your party exhausting their resource pools completing various non-combat skill checks. This is also a game that expects you to search everywhere, this game will tell you whom to find or what to acquire and at best give you a general location. There is no hand holding in this game, nor will you ever find a person with ‘!’ over their heads. This is very much an old school approach to RPG design while it's nice to see it executed so well, this may be a turn off to modern gamers as this approach have very much been abandoned by developers. This is a game that proudly wears its inspiration on its sleeve.

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