Torchlight – the Definitive Review

Having spent more than a few hours with Torchlight, a new action/rpg-lite from those folks at Runic Games, I have the be all end all of review for you.

Do you like Diablo 2?  If yes, you’ll like Torchlight. If no, you won’t.

That’s it.  There’s the gist of this review.  Torchlight is very much Diablo 2 with updated graphics.  Was it worth $20?  Well, if you liked Diablo 2 and want a refresh then yes.  If you LOVE Diablo 2 and don’t want anyone else treading on it’s sacred territory I’d keep your $20 until D3 arrives.

The rest of this will be details, petty nitpicking and praise for lightweight, fun games.

torch1

The Good:

The graphics are much improved, if cartoony.  I’ll admit that for the first ten minutes of the game I wasn’t terribly happy with the graphics but they grew on me. The outsized weapons and outfits, the silly beefiness of fighters, the cartoon zombies – they carry their own certain charm.

The game is incredibly easy to pick up and put down.  Got 4 hours?  Go for it. Got 20 minutes?  You can still have a blast.

You now have two inventory screens – yours and your pets.  Yes, your dog or cat (the only two options) can carry stuff for you, which is kind of a neat idea. They can also wield certain items (like rings) themselves.  A big, fun perk is that you can load them up with the various crap items you’ve found and send them off to town to sell it for you and bring back your cash.  Of course, they’ll be away from your side for a minute or so and not fighting for you.

It’s almost exactly Diablo 2 but not quite.  Random dungeons, quests from town, slots in equipment into which you can insert things to give them abilities, skill trees divided by path and level,  mana and health.  Sound familiar?  This is a good thing if you loved Diablo 2.

It’ll only set you back $20 and it can do nice big resolutions.

The Bad:

The plot is about as thick as a human hair.

You are limited to three classes.  The Destroyer (fighter) the Vanquisher (ranged/rogue) and the Alchemist (magic/pets).

It’s almost exactly Diablo 2 but not quite.  Random dungeons, quests from town, slots in equipment into which you can insert things to give them abilities, skill trees divided by path and level,  mana and health.  Sound familiar?  This is a bad thing if you disliked Diablo 2.

Should you get it?  Well I had fun with it.  I still have Diablo 2 laying around. Somewhere, possibly in a box.  Truth to tell, dropping $20 was easier than finding it and wrestling with it to get it to run on Vista.  Plus the updated graphics and resolution are a real perk.

[tags]torchlight, video games, review[/tags]

2 thoughts on “Torchlight – the Definitive Review

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  1. And here I was going to write a review of Torchlight myself tomorrow. I have to agree with most of what you said, though I thought it was a bit more than a Diablo clone, and a bit better too. The one word I would pick to describe this game is charming. Also, I would point out the very strong Steampunk feel of the game, from the pistol wielding Vanquisher to the gauntleted Alchemist. There is even a clockwork robot in town who claims to be a bard and gives you quests. I loved it, but then I am a veteran of both Diablo games. I even still have Diablo II installed on my PC, but I’ll be playing Torchlight.

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  2. Oh,one other great thing about Torchlight I would mention. The game seems to want to reward the player for just wading into massive numbers of baddies. The two classes I played had skills -most noteworthy the ricochet shot of the vanquisher- that enables you to, with a little luck, kill a lot of monsters with a single shot.

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