I have just finished Torment: Tides of Numenera after pretty much exactly 45 hours. It being a first playthrough my character build and choices were about as mundane and predictable as you might expect (from somebody like me at least). Intellect really is the solution to most problems and I ended up with golden attunement (righteous good, more or less), though I also ended up with a lot of blue without really trying. Perhaps it’s easier with an Intellect-character, but I’m not sure.
Anyway, I really enjoyed most of the writing. Much moreso than in Pillars and overall I’d say it’s as close to a spiritual successor to Planescape as we are ever likely to get. Sure, the writing sometimes seemed more about form than function, but there was also a lot reactivity and pretty much everything where I expected to be some kind of consquence, did end up having one. Either shown in the world or in the ending slides. Basically, there were no obvious holes where the game had been left unfinished. It felt very polished and detailed in that respect. The only thing that was a bit annoying was that the game’s main story and some encounters were a little too derivative of Planescape at times, but the writing was good enough that even then I mostly didn’t mind it.
Another reason why I enjoyed it is the soundtrack, which is by Mark Morgan again. How subdued, how quietly melodic and mysterious it sounds most of the time, feels very fitting. And yet so different from the music in Planescape.
I don’t really have much to say about the aesthetics I think, except that that it communicated what the player needed to know and that I basically liked it. A bit of a mess perhaps, but that actually fits narratively. However just like with other parts of the writing and world-building, it’s another aspect that could feel a bit random. And not always substantial. But perhaps it’s for the better to leave more to the player’s imagination. Especially in this kind of setting.
I didn’t engage with combat all that much and frankly don’t really have much to say on the character system. However, I have to admit I’m not sure if the dominant tide of the main character has any effect on anything or if it’s really just like an alignment without much feedback. The only thing that really stood out to me otherwise were the Cyphers, which were a neat way of having unique consumable spells that are tied into the setting. And I suppose it’s worth mentioning that Tides is similar to Planescape insofar as it tries to avoid equipment being a bit to standard and mundane, like in other fantasy-RPGs. Though it seemed closer than Planescape. Well, as far as I remember, considering that my last playthrough was probably more than five years ago.
All in all, I liked it as much as Planescape, which is to say, quite a lot!
Edit: Oh, my party mostly consisted of Aligern, Erritis and Rhin.