The famous computer role-playing game Planescape: Torment, and the new video game Torment: Tides of Numenera are peas in a pod, linked by the same deep, philosophical themes - their joint heritage referenced by the shared Torment title. But whereas Planescape is a weird Dungeons & Dragons setting we've had years to get our heads around, Numenera is a role-playing setting that's completely new - and no less strange.
Numenera takes place in the Ninth World, which is to say eight have come before it - eight whole civilisations risen and fallen. We're talking a billion years into the future here, which, call me a dinosaur, is an amount of time I can't even begin to understand.
The Ninth World has such places and faces as we've never encountered (unless you've played the Numenera pen-and-paper game) and remnants of technology so advanced they may as well be magical.
It's a roundabout way of saying that any kind of Torment: Tides of Numenera explainer or introduction is welcome, and that's just the video that Techland, the game's publisher, has put out.
The video shows a bunch of areas in the game's Ninth World that we haven't seen before, and gives us an appreciation of what is where according to the game's geography. Some of the places we'll visit sound great, like a sanctuary for Cast-offs - the bodies the Changing God inhabits then sheds like some kind of magical lizard on the run. There's also a Cast-off labyrinth that only exists in the player-character's head!
The video also highlights why isometric games like these don't look quite as exciting as they once did in promotional videos. Then again, the attraction here is the imagination and the depth on offer.
Pay attention, then, and you'll see a few new things, as well as some returning bits and pieces from the Early Access version of Torment: Tides of Numenera, which I wrote about earlier in the year. I liked it.
We also recently recorded footage of Torment: Tides of Numenera being played on Xbox One, because, as you may or may not know, it's coming to consoles early next year as well.
Last but not least, the game's creative lead, Colin McComb, was at EGX 2016 the other week talking about Torment: Tides of Numenera, in a presentation about making a reactive story in an impossible world. That video is embedded above.