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Best Infinity Engine Game?


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  • 2 weeks later...
I want to get used to the Infinity Engine before Pillars of Eternity comes out, so what do you guys think is the best game that uses it? :)


Baldurs Gate II (Shadows of Amn+Throne of Bhaal) is a more traditional RPG in the sense that there is lots of fighting and a good bit of dialogue. It's a fairly standard D&D fantasy RPG set in the Forgotten Realms. It is still to date the longest game I've ever played, clocking roughly 200 hours for a "completionist" playthrough exporing everything and doing all the side quests. :) If you're looking for conventional sword&sorcery medieval fantasy epic with elves and dwarves, taking your character from humble beginnings to epic levels (and potentially beyond), this would be the #1 choice.


Planescape:Torment is more of an interactive novel than an RPG in essence. It is extremely dialogue focused and while it has combat it takes the back seat and is fairly lackluster compared to the fighting in BG2. The dialog and writing is great though, and many dialog choices have consequences, great or small. The Planescape setting can take a while getting used to and is rather weird compared to standard high fantasy, but it fits the mood and theme of the plot very well.


I'm currently replaying PS:Torment and it's still as good as I remembered it. :) If you want to try it Torment is available on Good Old Games (http://www.gog.com). GOG also has a link to a number of essential mods that make the game work on modern computers, allowing widescreen resolution and interface adjustments to accomodate it, along with various bug fixes (standard PS:Torment is locked to 640x480 screen resolution which looks horrible on modern monitors, and if you don't play it fullscreen the cinematics won't work) so be sure to get those as well. They're all easy to use, coming with installers. The game runs very well for me in 1920x1080 under Windows 7 64 with the modded GOG version.


If you do play Torment, a simple piece of advice that will make the game much more enjoyable, to avoid a mistake many people seem to do when playing the game the first time:


Don't approach the character building as your typical combat-focused RPG. Due to the extremely heavy emphasis on dialog you should focus on the "brainy" stats (WIS/INT/CHA) primarily, rather than the brawny ones (STR/DEX/CON). Wisdom boosts your experience gain from everything you do, Intelligence allows you to recover more memories throughout the game, and all three unlock additional dialog options, paths and solutions to quests and interactions. It also allows you to improve some of your party members, and affects what endings are available to you. Toward the end of the game you'll want those stats to be at superhuman levels (optimally 24+ CHA and 22+ INT/WIS). I'd put 18 INT, 18 WIS and the rest into CHA at the start of the game. You get 1 more attribute point to assign any time you level up, and you can get boosts to various attributes via dialogue and some artifacts throughout the game as well.


Your character may be physically weaker early on this way, but you'll soon be able to pick up party members to compensate, and if you train to be a Mage as soon as you have to opportunity your high INT will be an asset in battle as well. :)


If you don't do this and play as a strong dumb fighter you'll miss out on substantial chunks of the game.


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If you're looking for some Infinity Engine nostalgia I'd pick up both those games, they are radically different in both play style and story and are both very good games. If you have to pick just one, I'd go with Torment just for the novelty of it. I haven't come across any other game quite like it yet. Unless you don't enjoy reading lots and lots of dialogue text, then Torment isn't for you. :)

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I want to get used to the Infinity Engine before Pillars of Eternity comes out
From what I have heard from the beta, Sawyer has made a game that doesn't bear much resemblance to an IE game, except in the most superficial manner (i.e. fixed iso, RTwP, etc.). By all means play the IE games for their own merits, but don't expect PoE to be overly similar.
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