Review: Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Editions

You know what they say about people right? Some age like fine wine, others age like milk. This goes the same with cult classics and even awesome games back in the day. Nothing says aged like… like this game! Both respectively got released in 1999 and 2002, and now make their big return in 2019! That’s 20 years! A quick reminder for anyone who wasn’t born back then. These are what you may call one of the forefathers of the Dungeon & Dragons themed games and opened up the crowd for the virtualization of the D&D genre. Since then it has gotten an Enhanced edition, the same edition that we got on console! So, are you ready to roll your dice and create your very own D&D character? Then let’s delve into this hulking behemoth of a game, this is Planescape & Icewind Dale!

What we liked!

  • Oodles of content: If you have ever played a D&D campaign, you’ll know that this can take weeks or months to complete. If you’re successful and can keep the Dungeon Master at bay with his sneaky ways. This goes exactly for this game as well. With both having an enormous playing field for you to trudge through. Icewind dale comes with its expansion pack, and Planescape Torment is a massive game as well. You could easily sink hundreds of hours into the game, and I’m not sure if you’ll even be able to see everything then. If you do decide to take upon yourself this journey, then be sure to pack a hefty lunch, a few clean underwears and something for the hand cramps, because you’ll be sucked into this world even before you could say Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Yup, that’s right! I said it, haha!
  • A lot of story (1/2): People who love exposition will have a BLAST when it comes down to it. There is an enormous treasure trove of knowledge and inside information strewn around every corner. Tiny little details, notes that at first would look just rubbish, but might actually hold a secret if you can piece ‘m together in the correct way? For anyone who wants and enjoys this? Then hoo boy, this game might be your Walhalla! 
  • Good soundtrack: The soundtrack in itself isn’t half bad at all. Even if it’s nearly 20 years old. The music and sound effects still hold up and can rival some current-gen. games. I mean… Mindboggling! That shows you how good the sound developers were back in the day that they could create an audio soundtrack so fine? It would stand the test of time!
  • RNG: Praise RNGesus because nothing in this game, well, almost nothing, is scripted. Everything that happens around you is based on the original D&D concept. Invisible dices are being rolled with each attack for instance. There are things that will improve your dice rolling of course, but it still remains uncertain. So you can be sure that everything is up for chance in this game!

Somewhere between

  • A lot of story (2/2): People who do not like to read much in a game, should stay clear from this one. Almost everything is text-based and has a lot of exposition. And when I say a lot? I really mean A LOT. I don’t know how many pages of text they had to work with? But god damn… And because there is so much of reading for you to do in here, you might actually feel daunted into pursuing the real story. Because some things that will be said is just rubbish. Others might have tiny clues about mysteries for you to uncover.
  • Control Scheme: The overall control scheme has quite a learning curve. For instance, your inventory wheel is on the Right trigger. I don’t know why they chose for it to be like this, but damnit. The amount of times that I actually paused my game instead of opening my inventory menu is too damn high! Then when you are in the inventory screen itself, getting your items to go into the right slot is an issue in itself as well. Now, don’t get me wrong! The moment that you’ll get everything under control, it’s going to be very intuitive. But it’s just those first few hours that’ll make it a living hell for you to navigate through.
  • Not new people-friendly: Anyone who wants an introductory game into the D&D world might want to try out a tabletop game first. There you’ll get much better information and details about what traits to get or where to invest your skill points into. Which class suits which race best and so forth. There is little to no info given during your character creation phase and if you’re not familiar with all the terms that you’ll be shown? You might create a rubbish character that will always underperform. Now, there are countless of lists out there on the world wide web, but that really takes away from the fun of creating your very first squishy.
  • Looks: As I said in my intro, things age like fine wine, or like milk. This is the case for these 2 games as well. In my opinion? They didn’t age well at all. The looks are very outdated, even with an “enhanced edition” logo slapped onto it! Everything still looks like hotchpotch and as if they were scrambled together to make a monstrosity of a game. Now, of course! I know that this is a 20-year-old game but… Come on… The least that they could’ve done is clean it up a bit… No?

What we disliked

  • Nothing: I have nothing bad to say about this one! … yes… really… So, move along to the conclusion… shoo shoo! You heathen trolls! BEGONE!

Rating:

69%

While Planescape: Torment & Icewind Dale will offer you content that will keep you busy for weeks on end? I do have to say that this one is a game for the true hardcore fans out there. It’s steep learning curve and relentless onslaught onto your senses will undoubtedly scare away newcomers to the genre. And frankly, there are better ones out there that will offer you the same. Yet, make it more beginner-friendly!

Written by Alexis

Xbox writer for LifeisXbox

A dedicated writer who is determined to bring out the best or worst in a game and bring it to you in the most honest of ways.