Torment: Tides of Numenera, the much anticipated spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, is arriving next week. The game is set in the very distant future where ancient technologies left behind from civilizations past are confused for magic by the present populace; Torment is the combined effort of a number of the best RPG writers in the industry. It’s expected to be a rich, word-heavy, classic RPG experience, and fans are understandably psyched. If you’re itching for a way to distract yourself until the game launches, though, there are quite a few other CRPGs for you to try out.
The Age of Decadence
The Age of Decadence really commits to the old-school western RPG bit, so much so that it looks like a relic from the mid-‘90s. Ignoring the game’s antique graphics engine, though, The Age of Decadence is one of the most well-written CRPGs offered at the moment. Set in a world that is rapidly crumbling, you climb the socio-political ladder by either brute force or sly scheming to learn more about the failing world and the fascinating systems within. The game draws from ancient Roman, Middle Eastern, and Mongolian myths and culture, offering a fresh setting from the usual high fantasy worlds you may be used to.
Divinity: Original Sin
This gorgeous strategy RPG gives player full control of how their story pans out. Every interaction has a consequence; the world reacts to your every decision, meaning you can manipulate your encounters as you see fit. Every quest sees you weighing your actions, but there are moments of brevity thrown into the mix, too. Befriend your party members and parlay with the various characters you encounter, allowing the fascinating world of Divinity to unfurl around you.
Pillars of Eternity
Obsidian Entertainment found a way to modernize the classic computer RPGs of yesteryear. Pillars of Eternity is a game with fantastic writing that truly accommodates player choice. The game’s fantasy world is captured in lovely pre-rendered backgrounds, a real throwback to the genre’s origins. With a bounty of classes and cultures to explore, there’s a lot here to keep you busy for quite some time.
The follow up to the original Wasteland (the inspiration for the Fallout series) once again shows that inXile knows their way around this genre. Departing rich fantasy worlds for a world destroyed by nuclear war, players now assume the role of the Desert Ranger. You’ll be faced with many tough decisions on your journey to save the wasteland, and even the smallest choice may have rippling consequences. Wasteland 2 is a worthy throwback and an impressive CRPG by today’s standards.
This odd cyberpunk world combines sci-fi and fantasy. Witches and elves coexist alongside cutting edge technology. Players adopt the role of Shadowrunner, a figure dwelling on the outer edges of society, doing the dirty work of the noble elite. Although the base game is a bit small in scope, the game’s community has done some might impressive things with mods, creating brand new stories in this fascinating universe.