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Ah Thanksgiving (probably my favorite holiday) is fastly approaching, but sadly, that means the time for delicious Pumpkin flavored goods is sadly ending.

So I’ve been playing a lot of Planescape: Torment recently because I really miss me those Infinity Engine games. Planescape is the game that has been sitting on my pile of games to play practically forever, simply because, like my personal favorite game Baldur’s Gate 2, it’s held up as one of the greatest RPGs of all time. And playing through it, even though it came out well over ten years ago, I can really see why.

Now it should be said that Planescape is =not= a pretty game. Baldur’s Gate 2 still kinda holds up I think since Athkathla is really gorgeous, but at least so far, most of Planescape is the same color. You’re also kind of forced into playing a set character, and he’s not exactly a looker either (but that plays into the story). This kind of bugged me at first, but it seems like as the game goes on you can choose what classes you’re going to be by talking to class trainers (you start off as a fighter by default).

Where the game shines is in exploring some of the weirder concepts of DnD, specifically the planes. The game takes place in Sigil, the “city of doors", which is made up of all sorts of travelers and vagrants from all across the planes. Any door can lead to a portal, and any portal can be activated through any number of keys–an object, a piece of junk, a tune, etc. There’re planes of absolute law and absolute chaos, planes where your very belief in things shape the mysteries you behold–In fact, one of your potential party members has a sword that exists only because he wishes it so.

You start off finding yourself being cut up by the Dustman–a cult of guys who want to make sure the dead get taken care of either by being buried, cremated, or turned into zombie laborers until they rot–who’re preparing you to be cremated. You discover through a series of tattoos/scars on your back (that your trusty floating skull companion helps you read) that you are essentially an immortal man who cannot die, and that you have been sold to the Dustman because selling bodies to the Dustman is one of the primary sources of income for the poor of Sigil. And as you are immortal, one guy has taken it upon himself to keep selling you back to the Dustman each time you do get yourself killed, so it’s up to you to get out of there and recover your memories so you can figure out who the hell you are.

What is kind of cool is that as you unlock memories to your past, your character gains more enhanced abilities–like having some more HP, being able to speak another language, or being able to raise the dead. One thing I’m kind of sad about is that there’s not quite as much cool and unique loot as there is in the Baldur’s Gate series, but more of the items you do find can serve multiple uses. For example, in an early quest I found embalming fluid which can be used to heal your character, and also for a quest involving a woman stitching up a zombie. Since I found two, I gave one to her and the other I used to heal myself, but later I found I could’ve had someone use the fluid on me to disguise me as a zombie.

The fights are =kind of= annoying as you don’t really have anyone with access to healing spells for a while and healing items/places to rest aren’t too common. But thankfully, a lot of things you can talk your way out of…or just run away from. What I like is that there’s a lot of creatures and concepts that I haven’t really seen explored in other DnD-inspired games. For example, the Dustman themselves who seek to free others from the “agony” of living or the cranium rats who function as a hive mind and when gathered together can cast magical spells that will ruin your day. There’s Chaosmen, oddly polite exiled demons, a dude that is a portal to the fire dimension and is trapped floating in a bar…on fire…And it’s just really cool to see the weirder races of DnD like the Githyanki and those centaur things actually have roles and add to the game. I dig it.

Still like BG 2 a biiit more, but PS:T is a great game that all should check out nonetheless, especially if you’re a lore whore like me (and too poor to buy Skyrim).

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