Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale are RPGs through and through
There’s no denying that Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale are classic AD&D RPGs in all their glory. Don’t stop here if you’re looking for remasters. If you’re looking to play these classics for the first time or want to enjoy these adventures on the bus ride home then welcome back! Even after 20 years these games still hold some magic and these Enhanced Editions on the Nintendo Switch are faithful and competent ports!
Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale are RPGs through and through. Both games came out one to two years after the original Baldur’s Gate game. These games are filled with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons lore, settings, classes, skills, armor, etc. Planescape: Torment takes place in locations from the multiverse of Planescape, a Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) table-top, fantasy campaign setting. Planescape: Torment is more story-driven then Icewind Dale and is less reliant on combat than its brethren games. The focus is more on you, the Nameless One, as the main character. Other members within the game can join your party along the way. The game is turn-based like its ancestors. Icewind Dale, on the other hand, starts you off right away with a full party of six characters of different fantasy classes and stats. Battles in Icewind Dale were meant to be real-time but over the years a multitude of pause options have been added. All of those are present here. Icewind Dale is considered more hack-n-slash than Planescape: Torment. This console version includes the “Enhanced Editions” of the original two games plus the Heart Of Winter and Trials Of The Luremaster Icewind Dale expansions. In both games, you go on detailed quests, read a lot of story dialogue, upgrade armor and weapons, buy skills for party members, gain experience, level up, etc. All of the hardcore Dungeons & Dragons statistics, dice rolls, import of your own customized character, dual classing, multi-classing, etc. are found here. These are truly some wonderful gems especially considering what year they originally came out.
If it hasn’t become apparent yet these are not “remasters”, these are console ports. If you were hoping for modernized graphics and improved movie segments and stills then you will be disappointed. After 20 some years these games have aged, even though the “enhanced editions” have made some graphical improvements since 1999. This is most likely not news to the people into these games. As far as control is concerned, the ZL and ZR buttons bring up responsive and useful radial menus to get to your inventory, journal, maps, etc. You’ll use the right stick to move the cursor around to interact with people, items, etc. A sore topic for me is the text dialogue (see screenshot above). There is a lot of text to read in both games. While the game settings have a way to use a larger font it didn’t appear to help a lot for the in-game text, especially in undocked mode. If your an older gamer this might be a turn-off especially for the amount of text to read. Some of the dialogue is done via voice-overs and is a welcome break from reading. When Icewind Dale is played undocked and set for auto-battle it felt like watching a bunch of three-year-olds playing soccer. Everybody huddled around the ball. This is part of the reason I set-up auto-pause.
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