I feel like ever since Torment: Tides of Numenera and to a lesser extent Project Eternity blew up after name dropping Planescape: Torment, it has become the mode du jour to mention this game as some kind of code for gamer cred. At least these two games are being made by the actual people who wrote and programmed Planescape: Torment. The rest seem to be completely missing the point, especially the guys developing the next Dragon Age game. Check out what Mike Laidlaw said in a recent interview on Rock, Paper, Shotgun:
RPS: Oooo, Planescape Torment, you say? Was anything else in Inquisition directly inspired by it?
Laidlaw: From Torment specifically? Huh. Well, I think the big thing Torment brought to the table was offering a lot of different solutions and really cool solutions to the problems you faced. Not everything was fighting. Often just being persuasive or certain stats and stuff would come across like, “.” I really like that kind of stuff.
Underline is mine.
I mean, seriously? This is almost a repeat of his interview with RPS two weeks back on September 1st.
But then our delirious discussion meanders onto the topic of Planescape Torment, and Laidlaw positively lights up. He bolts up in his seat as he explains:
“Our goal with characters is that you should love them or hate them, but never just be like, ‘Yeah, whatever.’ That’s why, when I think back to my personal favorite – Planescape Torment – it’s an amazing game. Part of what made it so amazing is that the characters who surrounded the Nameless One were such extremes. ’ Then there’s the wisecracking guy who’s a skull and threatens to bite you. The succubus who tries to focus on her poetry. It’s just like… wow. And of course, it’s a setting that allows for that kind of rampant extremism. So I loved it!”
"He's on fire and in pain all the time, so most of his dialogue is, 'AHHHHHHHHHH.' "
That'd be a pretty succinct description of Ignus as a character if I were to ask my 4 year old nephew to describe him. (Note: I'm not mean enough to force a preschooler to play an old-school RPG.)
I get the need to hype up your games, and even chase some of the other games in the genre that sell gangbusters. Both the next Witcher and Dragon Age games are going open world after Skyrim sold 10+ million copies. Some would call that chasing a dollar; others would call that giving fans more of what they want. I'm not here to be the judge on that front, but if you're going to claim that you're influenced by certain games, at least have an idea of what you are talking about. That shows competency. Otherwise you sound like a shallow PR guy who is checking off talking points in his head.
Part of me is hoping that this is the game that pulls the Dragon Age series, and maybe even BioWare, out of the slump. Yet stuff like this isn't doing a lot to build enthusiasm.
"It's just like... wow." -Mike Laidlaw