8 Things We Wish We Knew Before Starting Torment: Tides Of Numenera

Torment: Tides Of Numenera is one of many games to have cropped up during the “great CRPG resurgence of the 20-somethings''. It takes its DNA directly from the likes of Infinity Engine games of yesteryear, such as Baldur's Gate, or more specifically and unsurprisingly, the legendary Planescape: Torment.

Despite making a comeback, the genre is notoriously niche, complex, deep, rich, and text heavy. Think of a brick wall, and then imagine running headlong into it and the wall refusing to budge. For most gamers, that's how approachable this genre can be – but if you grab a hammer and “carefully” chip away at it, you are in for a treat like no other – or maybe a couple more walls, who knows?

8 This Is NOT Planescape: Torment 2

Fans of Planescape Torment probably saw the word “Torment” featuring prominently in a title for a CRPG and lost their collective minds. Throw around the name, Chris Avellone and things get a little bit silly on the speculation front. It is important to note that Torment: Tides Of Numenera has nothing to do with Planescape: Torment.

We mean this quite literally. Despite sharing multiple key figures, part of a name, existing in the same genre, and providing a similar concept, the two are not related – not officially. Torment: Tides Of Numenera is a “spiritual successor”, not a straight sequel. They don’t even exist in the same universe.

7 Grab Your Reading Glasses

Something to bear in mind before you dive under the tides of Torment is the sheer amount of story that will be thrown your way. For most players, this will likely be one of the densest stories they have experienced in the medium, and it is the main draw of Torment: Tides Of Numenera.

That’s not to say it’s a bad thing of course. In fact, Torment: Tides Of Numenera has an outstanding story that should be experienced by as many people as possible. Alas, this overarching drive to push the story above everything else could be a turn-off. If you want to be engrossed, however, go no further.

6 Character Creation Isn’t That Important

Character creation can take a while in many games – especially CRPGs. They can completely shape how you play the game, and your decisions in the first 10 minutes often end up being the most impactful. This is less true in Torment: Tides Of Numenera – to the point where it’s not that important at all.

This is because you only have three classes, you will bump into companions who will fill in the gaps, and you can tweak your bits and bobs during the game if you want to veer down a different path. We’d advise going Nano and having a focus on intelligence, but don’t stress over it.

5 Get To Know Your Companions

Ever since Baldur’s Gate 2 exploded onto the scene with a roster of timeless companions, RPGs have tried to capture that magic. They don’t always succeed of course, but the attempt is usually there. Torment: Tides Of Numenera doesn’t just attempt this – they knock it out of the park.

There are a bunch of characters in Torment: Tides Of Numenera, and they all fill different mechanical roles. But the real reason you want them in your party is because so many of them are fantastically written. Listen to them, engage with them, and pick a party that tickles your fancy. We couldn’t get enough of Erritis, for example.

4 Combat? What Combat?

Earlier we touched on Torment: Tides Of Numenera’s focus on story, and now we are going to move the spotlight to the combat system. In short, it’s not good. This was the case with Planescape: Torment too, so if you have played that game, this isn’t a shocker.

Not only that, there isn’t much combat at all. You will be forced into battles from time to time, but the game isn’t built around it, and you don’t need to engage with it all that often. For an RPG, this approach is exceedingly rare – and wonderfully refreshing.

3 Don’t Waste Your “Effort”

There is a great system in Torment: Tides Of Numenera called “Effort”. In short, this system governs all the fancy things you can do on any given day. It is essentially an expendable resource, and it’s very important to manage it well.

When you first start, you won't have much in the way of Effort, and if you go around blowing your load early, you can find yourself in a bit of trouble when you really need it. Ration your effort, and use it slowly and carefully. A lot of things can change based on whether or not you have Effort available.

2 Go For A Nap

Coming off the back of Effort, resting is really important. It will cost money since you need to hire a room, but the cost is well worth it because it restores all your resources – Effort included. If you find yourself in a bit of trouble, then taking some time off for a kip will pay off in droves.

Don’t abuse resting though. Many events in Torment: Tides Of Numenera react to time passing. If you are going to sleep constantly, the world will move on, and events will take place that you might have been able to avoid had you not embodied your inner cat. Rest, but don’t become a sloth.

1 Hold Down Tab

Torment: Tides Of Numenera is a pretty game, but it can get busy on the eyes. Things can get obscured or hidden, and it can be difficult to ascertain whether or not you can interact with something. This is where “Tab” comes struts into view. Hold this button down, and your life will change for the better.

Tab highlights intractable objects, and makes everything easier. You can find hidden loot and mysterious objects you might have walked past otherwise. A general rule is to keep your finger planted on that key whenever you enter a new area.

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