Developer Black Isle Studios released several games based on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Originally, these games were for the computer only, but they were a faithful representation of what a D&D game would look like digitally with pen and paper. They are now available for PS4, Xbox One and Switch. Two of the most popular games are now in the same collection: Airplane: Torture and Icewind Dale: Enhanced editions.
Of the two Planescape games: The first torment took place in 1999. Players take control of Nameless, a seemingly immortal man who forgets everything every time he dies. At the beginning of the game you wake up in a morgue, so of course you have amnesia. Shortly after you meet a floating skull named Dead, who is friends with you and gives you advice on how to get out of the morgue. The first clue comes from an unlikely source, your body! It turns out that in a previous life you had a tattoo on your back that warned you not to lose your diary because it contained the key to everything. If you wake up without her, you need to find someone named Farod. This first area serves as a sort of exercise area for reaching the main centre, the city of Sigil.
The seal is located at the top of an infinitely high tower in the middle of the multiverse. Within its borders is a portal to other worlds. Different factions control the city, and Nameless can join several of them throughout the game. Part of the mystery of the game revolves around your amnesia and the attempt to merge what happened in the past. You will meet other characters who can join your party. Their history and possibilities are very varied. One of them is a Tiefling, a kind of half-demon, another is a mechanical creature called Modron, and you can even hire a succubus to join the party. The maximum group size is six people, including yourself, which of course cannot be waived.
Normally, when creating a character in AD&D, the alignment is selected and saved while the character is in position. The tuning goes from good to evil and from chaotic to legal. Usually the player chooses a lineup such as Chaotic Good or Legal Evil. Named One, however, is unique in that its alignment can change during the game, depending on the choices it makes. If it changes the alignment, the characters will react differently.
Icewind Dale, originally published in 2000, is a slightly different animal. The game begins with an introduction for players, given by David Ogden Styers, known for his roles in M*A*S*H and in several Disney animated films. Here players have to create their own game with gender, statistics and classes for each of the six character slots. This gives the player total control over the composition of the group.
The game takes place in the world of Dungeons and Dragons of the Forgotten Realms. In an area called the Ice Wind Dale. Before Archbishop Arachon came and tried to enslave them, barbaric tribes already lived in this region. But the tribes united against him and pushed him back. When Arachon is forced to return, he opens a portal to the underworld. The demons came out of the portal and instead of helping Arachón and his army of mercenaries, they turned against them. The barbarians and mercenaries tried to drive away the devil’s horde and fell down like one man. During the battle, a barbarian shaman had a vision of his god and crashed into the portal, pulling and sealing demons.
Upon arrival in the city of Easthaven, the adventurers are greeted by Grothgar, the head of the city. He invites the group to join him on an expedition to the city of Kuldahar, where strange events take place. During the journey the group is attacked by the Frost Giants, who start an avalanche that prevents them from returning to Easthaven. If the road back is blocked, they only have the way to the future. A magical tree that provides warmth protects the city of Kuldahar, but its power begins to diminish and the group is tasked with finding out what is happening.
And the landscapes of ice, wind, valleys and airplanes: The game of torment is very similar. Thanks to the Infinity engine, the game uses an isometric representation of players exploring the game world. Parties can be controlled by points and clicks – move the cursor to where you want the party to go and click, or you can use the Joy-Con on the left to move them directly. To switch from one mode to another, all you have to do is press a button. From top to bottom on the D-path increases and decreases the size of the field. Use the shoulder buttons to move through the different characters in a pile. ZL opens the party menu, where the player can select several or all party members at once, while ZR opens options such as inventory, priest and wizard spells and game options. I’ve been playing these games on the computer for years, so it took me a while to get used to the functions of the control wheel and the buttons.
Graphically, the games seem outdated. After all, they’re about 20 years old! Still, the developers have updated the backgrounds and the different character models well. The reason why the graphics of the game seem a little old-fashioned, is that the game uses a pre-Final Fantasy VII background with sprites – the latest craze of the Final Fantasy VII era. The text of the game is quite small, especially when played on television. I still liked the manual mode, although there is an option to increase the text size, I found it more readable on a smaller screen.
The complexity of the games can be high in normal mode. A little warning about fighting, especially when using spells. Friendly fire is one thing in this game. If players get too close to the fireball when it explodes, whether the character is a friend or an enemy, the spell will be damaged. The same goes for other speleologies. For example, if you water Entangle, the vines will take control and suffocate everyone in the neighborhood – they are not difficult! It takes some getting used to, because most role-plays, especially these days, don’t have a friendly fire.
The soundtracks of both games are excellent, and Icewind Dale in particular has some very good tracks. One of the first things I noticed in Planescape: The problem is that if you move around the city, for example. B. As you approach the bar, you can hear the ambient sound of the bar. Small details like these will help you immerse yourself in the game. The voice is also strong. Big names like Dan Castellaneta, Jim Cummings, Keith David and John de Lancey are everywhere.
Overall, this is a good improvement over some older D&D games. Anyone who has played these games in the past cannot go wrong by picking them up on the Exchanger, especially not for a game on the way. New players may find the challenge a bit difficult, especially in normal mode, but if you’re ready for the challenge, you’ll find a great collection of games here.
Flat landscape: Torture and icy winds Dal: Overview advanced editions
- Graphs – 7/10
- Sound – 9/10
- Gameplay – 7/10
- Late call – 8/10
Final thoughts: GRAND
Although the games seem a bit outdated, even with the visual improvements, Planescape : Playing the improved editions of Torment and Icewind Dale is always fun. Videogame veterans should feel at home here, and the ability to play on the field is excellent. Newcomers may want to take on challenges for the first time.
Chris is passionate about video and board games. JRPGs are close to his heart and he loves to listen to quality soundtracks for games!
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