Genre: Role Playing Developer: Publisher: Classification: PG Release Date: 19th Apr 2010 Platforms:PC
Average of 14 Ratings
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Developed by Runic Games, Torchlight is the latest game to join the semi-popular Diablo-like genre. For those not in the know, the genre can be summed up in one of two ways, depending on the perspective of the player at the time.
A fan would describe it as slaughtering thousands of enemies while you increase your skills and gain amazingly powerful weapons and equipment. A critic would describe it as holding the left mouse button, occasionally tapping the right mouse button and potion hotkeys and fighting the increasingly difficult battle to put a gun in your mouth and escape the boredom forever. While I played and loved Diablo and Diablo 2, I can now easily see where the critics are coming from.
Diablo set itself apart from its action-rpg peers with its heavy focus on action, randomly generated environments excellent multiplayer. Diablo 2 built on the formula, increasing the already expansive item variety, adding more depth to character creation and widening the scope of the game universe. Since then, companies have attempted to follow their formula, but have always managed to get at least one thing wrong. If you thought Runic Games - helmed and staffed mostly by Diablo alumni - would successfully avoid this, you would be wrong.
Attempting to recruit the casual gamer, Torchlight abandons the dark, gothic atmosphere of the Diablo titles for the more colourful, cartoony air of Mythos and Fate - the two Diablo clones members of Runic worked on before starting Torchlight. This may appeal to some people, but the lighter vibe combined with the incredible lack of variety throughout each level significantly detracts from any reason to explore, or any thrill felt at seeing any level decorations.
This combines with the sorry excuse for story to really highlight the pointlessness of the game. Torchlight follows your exploits as you voyage through an Ember mine, attempting to find whatever is corrupting the powerful Ember so you can cleanse it. A powerful wizard attempted to do it before you and was corrupted by his close proximity to the Ember and now his apprentice has recruited you (probably because nobody else is stupid enough to risk corruption - she certainly isn’t.)
While you venture deeper into the mine you are given side-quests of the ‘bring back this item’ or ‘kill this bad guy’ variety. The stories attached to these quests are so poor they needn’t have bothered, hammered home once you finish the main quest and are asked to retrieve various items from the infinite dungeon by Gar - a monster who talks in gibberish mixed with the level you need to go to, the monster you need to kill and the item you need to retrieve. This was no doubt necessary for a quest-giver attached to an infinite dungeon, but if it wasn’t a deliberate jab at the insignificance of the story behind the other sidequests it certainly was an accidental one.
Compared to the Diablo games however, the plots are pretty much on par. Diablo 2 managed a bit more depth than the first game, but they weren’t the kind of games you played for their story. While other Diablo-likes would focus more on the story - some with more success than others, a lack of story alone could not be considered a major failing of any Diablo clone. The story is merely something to occupy you, a reason outside of building your stats and equipment for you to continue on through the game. The most successful method of keeping the player going is multiplayer - unfortunately, Torchlight is single player only.
Without multiplayer, there really is no reason to continue through Torchlight unless you particularly enjoy watching numbers increase. Multiplayer offers the gamer both a competitive and a collaborative reason to go through the game multiple times - adventuring with fellow gamers and comparing equipment, or fighting them for spoils and bragging rights. Holding left mouse button and occasionally tapping right mouse button and the health and magic hotkeys is no exaggeration, the fighting mechanics are mindlessly easy. You can introduce more of a challenge to the game by using a variety of spells and skills, but it is ultimately unnecessary when you can finish the main quest on hard if you choose the right skills at the start.
Choosing the right skills for how you want to play the game is not a difficult task, as each of the three character classes has three sets of skills, with half of each set being shared between the classes. This limits the skills for each class to fifteen, making it a lot easier to decide how you will play your character - although it takes away from the uniqueness of each class.
Torchlight also adds a pet - a dog or a cat, which attacks alongside you and takes spoils back to town so you can keep on adventuring. It’s a great idea, although once hitting level 40 my dog started knocking enemies back like crazy - incredibly annoying for my axe-wielding sasquatch. I remedied it by constantly giving him fish - which transform him into various other monsters for set amounts of time.
Even with the pet and the infinite dungeon, Torchlight is very much the definition of a Diablo clone. If you liked Diablo and you want to play it again, saddle up because you are going to love Torchlight. If you liked Diablo 2 or Titan Quest or the thousand other games in the genre that actually managed to improve on Diablo in the last decade, look elsewhere. Torchlight is great if you have a powerful need to watch numbers incrementally grow larger - or you could get Progress Quest .
You know what killed this game for me? The demo. The demo gave something like an hour of game time and for that hour I really enjoyed the game. So of course I went out a grabbed the full version. I raced through the stuff I had done in the demo to see what else the game had to offer me. Within 30 minutes of passing what I had done in the demo I was bored out of my mind. So if you want a good hack and slash just go straight for one of the Diablo's or even Titan Quest but definitely do not bother with this poor excuse for a Diablo-clone.
Ok, just recently got this game. And yeah it was not bad at all. Alot like diabloe, you have different classes also different pets. The pet can be used to attack, fetch even change the pet to make them stronger, with a draw back. You can make weapons and armour stronger, combine them with other items for an extra bonus.
the down side is, after a while you tend to get bored, well I did. point click and just overall a game that is not as good as diablo, it does try hard. Maybe check out the second one or wait for diablo 3.