A cartoony Diablois how you can best describe Torchlight, the digital-distribution only action-RPG (Role Playing Game) from Runic Games. Another way to describe this $19.95 title is Buy it, you will not regret it!.
Coming from a die-hard Diablo fan it isn’t hard to see why this almost-clone of the games (the second for the most part) is so well received. Everything from the title screen, to the inventory to the actual experience is very similar (and in some cases almost the same) as Diablo II. To understand this a bit more, I have broken this review down into short segments and loads of screenshots (with alternate text so that you can hover your mouse and understand the screenie better!)
Before clicking on the start game button, you must (as in all RPGs) create a character.Torchlight is no different it gives you three premade characters known as Hero Classesand I have tried to fit them in with their closest cousinsfrom the Diablo universe:-
The Destroyer a Barbarian/Paladin hybrid. Brute force with weapons and not brute defense against other weapons. Not much else!
The Vanquisher an Amazon/Rogue hybrid, capable of dealing damage from afar as a ranged weapons specialist or up close and personal as an assassin.
Finally, the Alchemist a Sorceress/Necromancer hybrid who uses a lot of magic and a lot of summoned monsters.
Intersting to note are the pets which serve as your constant companion. You can feed them fish (dealt with later) to transform them into different animals and creatures. Also interesting to note all characters can use magic spells even your pets. While the Alchemist will have magic skills, the other two can simple learn magic from scrolls. Again, all classes are able to dual-wield without any penalties (come to think of it, this game has very few penalties!) and thus a balance is maintained between the heroes.
As all action-RPG fans know, before the nitty-gritties of delving into a dungeon and killing monsters mindlessly, one must know why one is doing so. Herein enters the story! There is not much to the story of Torchlight; you are a passing hero in the mining town of Torchlight (hence the name). This town mines the magnificently rare and deceptively mysterious ore called Ember. Word has it that this ore corrupts all those who lust for it and the once prosperous town has become a mere shadow of its former glory. So, seeing that the super-awesome hero/heroine that you are, you start your investigation by killing monsters and helping the residents of Torchlight, of course!
3/5 for the generic story without much twists and turns.
Everything in Torchlight has a cartoony but dark feel to it. It is pretty, it is not a game that will only run on high-end computers (in fact, there is a netbook modein the settings!) and it is a game that makes light of the heavy atmosphere by the very look of it!
4/5 for Graphics!
For those who have played the games that inspired Torchlight, finding their way around the game is as easy as seeing items and going Hey! Gems and Socketsor Hey! Enchanters and Gamblers!. There are general merchants, gemstone merchants, shady gamblers (whose merchandise is overpriced and if you are lucky you’ll get an amazing item), enchanters (put your item and if you are lucky then you will get an amazingly enchanted item, or will lose all enchantments) and more.
The inventory is easy to use and master it’s about as stock as all action-RPGs are! Your pet also has an inventory and he/she/it can put on an amulet, two rings and learn two spells. At lower end of the screen are quick-skills, HP/MP orbs and options easily accessible.
The Character Sheet allows you five points per level and the Skill-Tree allows you one skill point per level. There is the inclusion of another element – Famethat you gather by killing boss monsters or completing quests. As you advance up a tier of fame, you get one skill point.
All the dungeons are randomly created so no two play-throughs are the same. The dungeons open up intuitively (as opposed to many of the older action-RPGs) and are quite well designed. Kudos to the designers!
Battles are generic and the enemies will increase in strength as you advance through levels. The graphics, though not awesome, are pretty and will gouge out the eyeballs of a Diablo fan!
Around the dungeons, you will see fishing holes (there is one in Town too). These are the places where you fish for, well, fish. Sometimes you get fish that have gobbled up armor or weapons, while mostly you get a fish that helps transforms your pet into a different creature for two minutes usually. Using fish is essential when you are fighting huge bosses and they have a weakness for a certain element.
A very interesting part of this game is that once you have finished the main quest, you may choose to retire and transfer an heirloom one of your items transferred to your successor-hero. This makes for a very interesting game the second time you play it!
In all 5/5 for the gameplay! Admirably intoxicating and addictive!
Mellow and powerful at the same time, the music creates the necessary atmosphere for this game. The sounds are sharp while the voice-acting is elegant.
A 4/5 for the sounds. (5/5 reserved for the creepy sounds inside dungeons made famous by Diablo, Fable and The Witcher)
4.5/5 An extremely well done game that offers you what big-developer games offer at almost half the price. As I said before, buy it, you will not regret it!