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Quick Review: Planescape: Torment (2011 Novelization)

This really is a novelization, a lot of effort being made to go through the game as it’s played, going way beyond merely describing and attempting to make events flow more naturally. There is a lot of added writing, and much of it is actually really, really good, greatly improving an already great story. The intermissions and the multiple and fitting storytellers are also a nice touch, and successfully including that evil alternate path was quite a feat. Powerful sections follow that moment, gathered together, and later the writing improves even further. The Maze is notable, but largely fixing Curst, which was the one part of the game’s story that seemed lacking to me, is even more so. And what follows is better yet, adding many more details, written and fitting so well, developing, explaining, fleshing out and, in the end, providing closure… Or perhaps not, considering the epilogue, but I’d call that a good way to end it as well, even if it may not fit with the original concept.
It’s in bad need of editing, however. I’d have thought that a fan effort would have been thoroughly corrected since it was first released, but it’s full of typos, missing or repeated words, places where first and second person get mixed and, worst of all, places where the idea seems to have been changed in the middle of a sentence and the old text wasn’t deleted before continuing with the new. There are also moments when the one writing the descriptions of actual gameplay seemed to get bored, skipping more, which can be rather jarring, and those persuasion scenes from Curst also seem rushed. But the worst “crime” is modifying “Longing“. To change what may well be the best piece of writing in a game… I guess the idea was to clean it up, maybe even “complete” it to some extent, but it just doesn’t work that way, the original text being all about raw emotion and being torn in that manner. Also, don’t those memories about Deionarra contradict it? Or does that section refer to another moment?

Rating: 4/5


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