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Torment: Tides Of Numenera (Xbox One) Review

There is a lot to do in Torment: Tides of Numenera. The story is  is a long journey about self-discovery. Along the way, players will meet and interact with a plethora of characters. Every choice made has a rippling effect and creates a dynamic experience for players. Torment: Tides of Numenera is a fun game to play and does a good job of immersing players into game’s world. Welcome to Ninth World, where a strange journey is just beginning.

Welcome To The Ninth World In Torment: Tides Of Numenera

A billion years into the future and the earth is a different place. While humans still remain, there are also a long list of other creatures, aliens and other beings. The backgrounds and characters are reminiscent of a Frank Herbert novel. There are a lot of unique characters that players will interact with throughout the game.

Torment: Tides of Numenera
Visit the Caravanserai and the Ninth World.

Take for example, Callistege, she is one of the first companions of the game. She is a ‘nano,’ or wizard, and specializes in trans-dimensional magic. Somewhere along her journey, something went wrong and now Callistege lives a shattered existence. While she was experimenting with trans-dimensional technology, she became aware that there were other universes. At the same time, every other Callistege also became aware of the multiverse. As she travels through the game, she will leave a trail of her sisters as they travel together across the multiverse. This is one of the first characters available to the main character and it only gets stranger. The story itself is quite a handful.

Introducing The Changing God

Welcome to earth 1 billion A.D. This is a drastically different earth. Along with basic physics, there is a presence of magic which characters use as freely as breathing or talking. Some characters can travel through dimensions while one character in particular has  found a way to transfer between bodies.

Using the technology of Torment, the numenera, one person developed a method to cheat death. By transferring his consciousness from body to body, he is able to live forever. He slowly grew his strength and wisdom. Then when the time was ripe, he revealed himself to the world. Now he is known as the Changing God. Even though he is revered throughout the Ninth World, even gods have their own devils.

The Changing God discovered the power of immortality. This discovery came with a price. A creature unlike any before has risen. Known as The Sorrow, this creature is on the hunt for the Changing Gods and his cast offs. The Sorrow hunts the Changing God in order to perform judgement. Along this journey, the Changing God’s cast offs have become collateral damage. Once the Changing God leaves the body of his vessel, the cast offs regain consciousness, but not the same as before. These bodies undergo some type of consciousness transformation and are reborn a new person. The game picks up when the Changing God makes one more transformation. The Last Cast off is seen falling like a stay from the sky like a falling star.

The Last Castoff

Torment: Tides of Numenera
Who is the Last Castoff?

In the beginning of the game, the main character is known as The Last Castoff. The story starts off with the Last Castoff falling from the sky. The main character is confused and has no recognizable memories. Some memories come and go, but are fleeting and discombobulated. Aside from having amnesia, the Last Castoff hears voices in his head. It turns out the main character is not quite as crazy as it sounds and the voices he hears may in fact be helping him. Players beware, it is hard to tell what a character’s intentions are going to be, so make sure to choose wisely.

Torment is a story driven narrative at its core. It is reminiscent of a ‘choose your own adventure’ book. Almost every conversation results in some kind of decision which will have rippling effects. There are no wrong answers either, the game will change based on your decisions. Players can go as far as augmenting their bodies with cybernetic enhancements. The choices seem endless. During one mission, I was asked to spy on a person because he had a particular creature with him. Once I started to observe the person, the creature made contact with me. This short encounter turned into a small story line and resulted with positive effects for both parties involved. This is a great way to really

Making An Effort To Explain The Gameplay 

Each character has three major skills from which to use during gameplay. The three are Might, Speed and Intelligence. Using these skills takes Effort, Effort is a type of currency for these skills and can be used in almost any certain situation. For example, there is a skilled combatant in the first area of the game. He challenges you to a fight, instead of turning into a Crisis moment, instead the player will be presented with a dialogue tree. The player must anticipate the move of the fighter and block that move, for this particular Effort, the skill of Speed will be used. The player will then have a choice of how many Effort points to assign to the choice, the more points the higher the percentage of a successful attempt. Players will a limited amount of Effort points to use, but players can cycle through other characters or use items to replenish Effort points.

The inclusion of the Effort system creates a dynamic process for storytelling. While some choices would be preferred, if the player does not manage to earn a successful decision, then players have to re-evaluate rather to try and perform the action again, at the cost of an Effort point, or take on a new path. Players always have the option to leave the conversation at any point. There are some abilities that are latent powers for certain classes that could also help in the aid of said choices.

In Conclusion

This is a gigantic game. It requires a lot of patience and reading. There is a special type of pace for this story. It is like a solo playthrough of a RPG board game. So be prepared for the slow burn approach to the game as well as the story. Though the ability to offer so many different choices had me hooked on this game. Outside of choosing death in the first few minutes of the game, there are no wrong choices. While the actual area the game uses is quite small, it is all the dialogue and story details that make this game seem so large. It is really quite brilliant. The ability to learn the backstory of the universe through story telling provides gamers with the choice, again, on how deep to go down the rabbit hole. The more I read about the characters and the Ninth World, the more I wanted to explore.

This may not be the most action packed game, but that is completely up to the player. For this particular title, I think it is a great way to present this story. There is a strong foundation of gameplay elements and I am excited to see how inXile will continue to support this title.

Torment: Tides of Numenera
Release Date: February 28th, 2017
Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher: Techland
Developer: InXile

This extensive journey is worth the time.

Storytelling - 90%
Character development - 90%
Gameplay mechanics - 91%



This is definitely a game that should be experienced. The story telling and the choices available to the player do a great job of immersing players into the Ninth World.

User Rating: 5 ( 1 votes)

About Rick Brown

As a fearful proponent, I agree with out robot overlords on House Bill 10010101 - The Full Extermination of the Human Race. But until then, make sure to check out all my writings on video game stuff.

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