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A lost treasure,
This review is from: Planescape Torment - White Label Range (PC CD) (Video Game)
This was released by Black Isle in the interim period between the much more commercially successful Baldur's Gate series, and it passed many people by, me included. Having only recently got a copy, Planescape: Torment wipes the floor with every other RPG I've played. Rich in imagination, it has thousands of words of beautifully evocative text and dialogue, brilliant characters, an epic, moving story and is quite wonderfully bonkers in places (like the "pregnant" street that needs to give birth to some houses) and all without a single RPG cliche in sight. The atmosphere is fantastic too - it really gives off the feeling of being stuck in a twisted, hellish dustbowl of a reality, with corruption and betrayal lingering in the corners of Sigil.
The story revolves around The Nameless One, who is your character to guide and develop through the game. Set on the bizarre city of Sigil - a labyrinth of portals both real and magical - and its surrounding lands, you must gather The Nameless One's memories and unravel the mystery behind his past - he is an immortal who keeps getting killed, but by unknown assailants. I don't want to give away any more than that though, as it has one of the most compelling stories of any game I've played, though the ending had me in a turnoil of emotion; surely a rarity in the gaming world...
Along the way, you'll meet dozens of complex and vivid characters, and the best parts of the game come through in the interaction with them - the wisecracking, guilt-ridden Morte; Vhailor, the indomitable paragon of Justice; Ignus, the insane, burning wreck of a man; Deionarra, the ghost of a former companion... all of these people and more jump out of the screen as truly great literary characters leap from the page. There are some complaints to be levelled at this game, mainly that the combat situations are a little dull, but then this is an RPG that is breaking all the rules and veering away from churning out yet another staid dungeon hack. This truly is a game that rewards time and careful consideration, and never once patronises the player's intelligence.
This is almost certainly a contender for the greatest RPG of all time, if not the greatest game of all time. There are so many reasons that this game has received the praise it has, and it's almost a crime that it didn't sell very well.