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Planescape: Torment
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Bioware at their finest, Planescape: Torment is a Dungeons and Dragons PC RPG reminiscent of Baldur's Gate.  But the similarities end with this game's pedigree.  Like Baldur's Gate, Planescape is a hybrid of part real time and part turn based action set in the universe of the popular table top game.  Unlike Baldur's Gate, with its traditional fantasy setting of fighters, thieves, and wizards and its emphasis on having strong primary stats, Planescape is set in the wild, chaotic, and beautiful expanse of the alternate planes.  Instead of creating a class and picking skills, you jump right into the story as the game opens up on a battered guy who wakes up on a table with no memories of any kind but finds a companion in the form of a floating, sarcastic skull.  Planescape doesn't dump you into a grand "beat the evil so-and-so" quest like many of Bioware's other games.  The job of your character is to recover his memories and piece together his life and what went wrong, giving this game a much higher emotional impact than most other RPGs.  In Planescape, the wisdom stat is much more important than strength.  During your quest, you gather other companions to fight for you, jump to other planes with different environments and rules of reality, and assist good folk who give you a wide array of sidequests, which have been a staple of Bioware games since the beginning.  The illusion of the believability of the world is further enhanced by the presence of an in-game clock, which passes day and night.  With its charming cast of characters, emotional impact, and grand vision, Planescape: Torment reminded me so much of old school RPG playing at its best.  It deservedly earns a place among classics like Ultima VII.
Grade: Legendary

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