Twenty years after Dungeons and Dragons fans first fell madly in love with these games, Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Editions offers a complete bundle of some of the most popular RPGs of the 1990s.
It includes the original Icewind Dale campaign, the Heart of Winter and Trials of the Luremaster expansions, as well as bonus features in the form of the Adventurers of Neverwinter voice and portrait pack. There is even more content in the forms of quests that were cut from the original release. It has all been restored to meet the kind of quality you can expect from the Switch, in a clever way that doesn’t tarnish the nostalgia value of a classic and popular game.
As is often the case when old games are imported onto new consoles, it’s interesting to see how Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Editions fits into the world two decades later. Whether you played the original games or not, it’s a wonderful experience comparing contemporary RPGs with the predecessors that laid the groundwork for the smash hit games of today.
It opens with a classic fantasy introduction, all booming narration in the voice of a kindly old scholar, telling the story of a ravaged magical world. Twenty years after its conception, the storybook-style beginning isn’t the most original way to start the game, but it is done very well. It’s effective enough that you realise why it became such a common feature.
It narrows in on a snowy mountaintop town where you and your party find yourselves in the local tavern.
The game looks good for its age. The movements aren’t the most fluid and some details are lost to pixelation, but the focus is very clearly on the story and the strategy. The decisions you make close in on the tiniest elements, including the formation in which your party stands.
It’s up to you to ask around to learn about the place and what kind of adventures you can find. You get a fair amount of control over the kind of questions you can ask the locals and responses you can offer them in turn. These early questions allow you to establish a sense of your character, a blank slate that you start to craft through the attitude you present to the world around you.
Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Editions starts off somewhat text-heavy, which isn’t unusual in games of this genre. It means that, given the time you take to contemplate each action, there is a lot of content to get through. Even if you only play through once, without approaching the narrative from different perspectives, there is so much to do and so much to explore with complete freedom. You explore fantastical worlds, fight awesome monsters in turn-based battles and pit your strategic skills against the kind of great quests that inspired the next two decades of fantasy.
A huge game that absorbs you into its world, it’s easy to see why Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Editions was so popular back in its day. The magic has not faded one bit over the years.
Review: Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Editions (Nintendo Switch)
Some minor visual elements don’t translate to the Switch as smoothly as they could, but Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Editions sucks you into all the most captivating fantasy adventures.