Planescape: Torment, back in 1999, dumped the idea of exploring tombs of horrors and fighting dragons in favor of sort of wandering around, talking to people, and uncovering stuff. Torment: Tides Of Numerera continues the tradition, making it a different kind of RPG, albeit one that desperately needed more polish.
Torment: Tides of Numenera (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Hope you weren’t expecting the dev team to change things up, here, because things don’t change. Everything’s cleaner and clearer than it was in 1999, but that said, the art design is a bit generic “science fantasy” and the score is similarly unambitious. The framing story is no great shakes, either; you play a former vessel of “The Changing God,” who chucked you over like rotten fruit for some reason, and after you crash-land, you figure out why. The lack of creativity in some respects is probably because every iota of energy in the game was diverted into ensuring even the guy selling you healing items has a fascinating backstory; this game has a lot of story. And we mean a lot; it’s more of an illustrated, interactive branching novel than a traditional RPG.
Like most throwbacks, innovation isn’t the name of the game here, but Torment does crib a system, which it calls “effort,” from the Call of Cthulhu tabletop games where you can build up points in various disciplines and spend those points to ensure your roll on a task is successful. But they don’t regenerate, unless you rest or use a rare healing item. Otherwise, though, the whole point is to feel like a followup to a 1999 RPG.