We Need Another Boundary-Breaker Like 'Planescape: Torment'


#1

On the eve of E3, we're looking at a game that threw out conventions.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/we-need-another-boundary-breaker-like-planescape-torment

#2

Whenever I give Planescape a try, I feel like I’m playing a different game than the one everyone keeps talking about. Sure, there’s some interesting writing in places but it is also a game where you fight rats in the sewer. Maybe it just hasn’t aged very well.


#3

Planescape felt like a really fun diversion where the goal is to meet cool weirdos. Where you can go hours without fighting anything and when you do, you feel like you messed up. It’s an effective deconstruction of the morality within DnD, using its 500k-ish words to reach a level of philosophical and emotional depth not often reached by video games.

I feel kinda bad for not actually liking the game that much. Yeah it holds the literary achievement of being the most complex interactive novel, but it’s effectively a pretty good book surrounded by some barebones “game” mechanics and standard graphics and music. Its narrative ambition ultimately became the sole reason to play PS:T.

IMO there has already been a lot of games that have succeeded it in both storytelling and how the story is proped up by its gameplay, sound, visual design, ect (Majora’s Mask came out just a year later). That Atlanta thing about how video games have bad stories from a couple months ago was dumb, but video games are at its best when they don’t just lean on one kind of storytelling.