Some time ago, I had the joy of playing Pillards of Eternity. I really enjoyed this game for what it was: an RPG that offers choices that have a real impact on the adventure. For Torment: Tides of Numenera, let's see what this game has in the code ...
Graphics and ambiance
To be completely honest, this game is far from being visually unpleasant, it has a fairly pronounced techno-country vibe that gives it a real presence. I want to underline the techno for the fact that we feel the influence of machines and other tech advances that make the world go round ... and the country for the side a little ... populace that eats the dead, after torturing them for days to discover their secrets or sect bivouacs in the middle of a city to name but a few.
The effects and spells are the small weak point that I found. As much as some are simply enormous, as many others are really little worked and give a strange and messy effect.
The rather convincing sound environment brings a good immersion. The effects of spells are mostly successful, although some are much less convincing to me. The environment is always fair and reinforces the immersion.
In order to avoid unnecessary revelation, I will only explain the basic pitch of the game and the arrival in this world.
When we start the adventure, we have few elements of answer. We are a bodily envelope abandoned by the changing god who, as his name suggests, changes bodies in order to learn what the body was created for. We are being chased by a creature who responds to the sweet name of Affliction and who chases the changing god for a reason we do not know (which we obviously learn later in the adventure).
You evolve in the ninth world, built on the remains of the old eras ... looters, scientists and other dangers await you to help you escape the affliction. Obviously, not all help is free, you will have to do different tasks in order to gain the trust of the populace who have a rather special memory of you when the changing god was in charge ...
Note that our deaths, which can occur directly during the tutorial, can be ... surprising.
The Numerana are technological remnants of the vanished worlds. Often, the usefulness of this technology is still very obscure for the inhabitants of the ninth world. For this, the priests of the Aeons are trying to unravel the secrets with the group called "the Order of Truth". Another group, seeking to get closer to the changing god, is also trying to learn more: the Adepts of the Changing God.
The first step in creation is to determine your gender.
Following this, you will be confronted with different situations described, and will make choices reflecting your intended class. Once the choices have been made, you will have to choose between the different reflections that will determine your personality which itself grants different bonuses and penalties.
Obviously, all of this is not final. You can change absolutely everything via character creation which makes you choose your class, your basic skills, your descriptor as well as your reserve points.
So far, I've only seen three classes:
- The Glave : the fighter par excellence. He has a special tab when creating characters to manage his ability with weapons. He is resistant, uses more power or speed than intellect.
- Le jack: the jack-of-all-trades class of the game. Jacks are liars, thieves, merchants, looters, assassins, explorers, and so on ... they are talented in vast areas and are useful at all times. You need a balanced distribution of points in order to be always ready.
- The nano : this is the class that comes closest to the traditional mage. Able to use esoteric abilities, he focuses on the intellect.
You should know that each class has their own exploration skills, even if some happen to be common.
The dominant character of your character will offer you advantages and penalties depending on what you choose. For example, a cautious character will have stealth and perception points as a base, but will lose initiative.
The rise in level
When you level up, you will have the choice between:
- Increase your advantage : when you put a level point in this branch, you select a statistic that will have a base point (free) during your tasks requiring effort and reduce the cost of skills.
- Increase your effort: allows to increase the points usable in the efforts.
- Increase your talent: allows you to improve your skills (for example: stealth, traitorous strike, esoteric assault, etc.).
- Increase your skill : allows you to increase your skill level (for example: perception, natural knowledge, healing, etc.).
- Increase your reserve: the points awarded here will increase the base points your character has in the selected statistic.
Every 4 points awarded, you change ranks and new bonuses and choices will be offered to you.
Cyphers are a big part of the game. They are ancient items, often from previous eras, giving you different bonuses or skills. For example, a gravity bomb will give you an area explosion as well as a chance to knock out enemies. However, the number of cyphers that can be worn is limited according to several criteria (talent, descriptors, etc.). Beyond a certain number, you expose yourself to increasingly violent and disabling penalties.
Often single-use, sometimes artefacts with a number of multiple uses are found. Another interesting thing, cyphers never miss their shots.
Your choices are crucial, and can drastically change situations and the course of your adventure. Your reputation may suffer, and your companions may decide that you are no longer worth the trouble and leave you or even betray you. You also have to take into account that your choices change your flows and, at the same time, the way the world sees you.
The flows represent the character of your character. You can also see this, like in other games, in the form of a karma system, but more evolved and complex. Several streams are present and some, depending on which one dominates you, will offer you different answers to the NPCs.
- The blue flow: this flow represents wisdom, those who seek knowledge and the spirit.
- The indigo flow: this flow represents justice and equity, whoever takes this path works in the interest of all and not his own.
- The red stream: this flow represents revolutionaries and artists. Living in the moment with passion and emotion, they simply follow what their heart tells them.
- The gold flow: this flow represents goodness, this flow will be your dominant flow if you ever prefer others and come to the aid of the most needy, whatever it costs you.
- The silver flow: this flow represents power. Are you a megalomaniac and want to weigh in on the lives of others? This is what you need!
Many companions will join your group. Although it is only possible to have 3 with you at any time, you can change them as long as they have not left you because of too big a difference of opinion. Obviously, some companions don't get along and you will have to choose between them, which can sometimes really complicate things.
Each companion has their own, even unique skills, their own character, as well as interactions and reactions that will radically change your conversations with the different NPCs.
The most successful point of the game in my opinion. Each crisis is a kind of choice to be made. You can decide to try to talk to different NPCs, interact with the environment or simply fight. Obviously, all these choices are not necessarily available and sometimes a crisis is not clearly announced as such. Dialogue gone awry, a clumsy attempt at action, or the wrong switch can outright lead to drama or even death.
The combat takes place on a turn-based basis. During your turn, you can use different skills that don't consume an action, make a move, and then strike (which consumes the action). You can make a double move, but in this case the action is consumed and you move on to the next character's turn.
If you want to use a skill, a spell, or strike an enemy, you will have to apply effort to it by drawing directly from your reserves. Without effort, you won't be able to do much damage, or your chances of hitting the enemy will be greatly reduced.
Depending on the type of damage you choose, enemies will necessarily have weaknesses or resistances on the element. It is therefore good to know how to change it when the need arises.
The different elements:
The quests in this game bring experience, items, as well as some companions. Often, completing quests involves multiple characters and gives you the option of completing the quest in different ways. Funny enough, the interaction between different quests can help you in others and give you totally different endings than the basic one. Even funnier: you can, by completely devious means, complete the main objectives and avoid fights and even negative effects.
Obviously, it is important to fill them in, and to see the effects that this can bring to you, good as well as bad.
A point that I find sympathetic! During many interactions with NPCs, the elements of the scenery, or even in combat, you will have to spend points from your reserve. Depending on the points you assign to a stain, you will have different results.
If it is a contextual action or a particular skill, you will have a percentage rate that will show your chances of success. If it's a fight, this will show you your chance to land the hit, as well as the damage dealt to the target.
To put it simply, reserves are no more and no less than the stat points you added to your character at the start of the game and then during your leveling up. There are only two ways to fill the gauges: sleep or use consumables.
Failures and successes
Sometimes being successful in an effort is rewarding, offering information, dealing damage, fooling the right person and many other things ... but as I have read, and much later experienced, failure is sometimes less rewarding, but much more interesting, offering new possibilities.
Torment: Tides of Numenera is a nice surprise, a game that I have been following for some time via the various videos that we could find on the net. Without being revolutionary, it still offers quality content and a good story. It's all wrapped up in efficient and solid gameplay, providing important gameplay for those who like to indulge in the pleasures of exploring a game in its entirety. Note that you can play so as to sound like a Good Samaritan, or a heartless and remorseless perverse sadist of the worst kind, thus offering significant replayability if you want to know the consequences of all attitudes.
To conclude, I think I can say that this game is clearly worth a look!