After nearly four years since it was announced, Torment: Tides of Numenera will finally release on February 28. James played it last week and wrote that it's "trending towards excellent", but since then the game has become mired in controversy due to a handful of features being dropped.
During the game's Kickstarter campaign, one of the stretch goals included a companion called "The Toy". This was the first absence to be detected by the game's ever-vigilant community, prompting inXile's Eric Schwarz to make a statement.
"The companion roster has been slightly reduced from our initial plans," he wrote. "Throughout development on Torment, our philosophy has always emphasized depth and reactivity in our storyline and in our characters. We know you would not be satisfied with anything else. During development, we found that the more far reaching and reactive our companions were, the better they felt and the more justice it did to the original Planescape: Torment. This trade-off meant we were able to add more companion conversations, banter, voice-over, quests, and story endings. We did not want to leave some companions feeling shallow, with storylines that felt incomplete, or be forced to shove them into the late game."
Schwarz added that all Kickstarter backers will receive forthcoming DLC and expansions for free, which suggests, perhaps, that the Toy and others haven't been ruled out entirely.
Another feature to go is crafting: Schwarz explained that as development on the game proceeded, the functionality made less sense. "We had some early design done, but everything ended up feeling like an MMO-style system, and that just didn't fit Torment's gameplay," he wrote. "Instead, we repurposed those resources, adding significantly more and better Cyphers and Artifacts to the game."
Finally, Italian localization has been nixxed: it would reportedly cost "hundreds of thousands of dollars", which was far too high to justify the comparatively low sales the studio expected to get in that region.