Torchlight Review

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Torchlight is an awesome dungeon based RPG with a fun, familiar and enjoyable combat system. Plus the plethora of items that you receive in the game are just magnificent!!

What’s hot:

  • Very well done action-RPG formula
  • Engaging and atmospheric dungeons
  • Great bunch of monsters to bash up
  • Great Soundtrack and musical score
  • Rewarding loot drops

What’s Warm:

  • No multiplayer
  • Does nothing new

What’s Cold:

  • Nothing!

The first thing you’ll notice about this game is how close it is to Diablo 1 and 2. Infact most of the keys are still mapped from Diablo 1 and 2. And after a few hours of playing…you’ll realize that you don’t need to wait for Diablo III! (but we still are)… Fans of action-oriented role-playing can get a first-rate fix of hacking and slashing right now in Torchlight, a great dungeon crawl from the designers of the first two Diablo games and the cult hit Fate. Runic Games has forged a letter-perfect copy of the action role-playing formula with fast-paced combat and cartoonish graphics that will keep you clicking away!!

Also once it begins you’ll realize  how light, fast and undemanding this game is on your system. It even has a netbook mode!!  Although we’ve never tried it…it seems like it will run on low powered systems just fine. If you have been  a fan of the Fate games, then  don’t expect any surprises. Torchlight is an evident  successor, boasting the same attitude, art style, and lighthearted personality that make that series a breezier play than the gothic Diablo games.  The story lets you chose between 3 classes, a dual-wielding Destroyer, the fast ranged action Vanquisher and  the Ember-channeling Alchemist, you’ll soon be clicking and bashing away at stuff.  The story starts off telling you about your quest in Torchlight, a mining town built alongside a mountain loaded with deposits of the magic-enabling Ember mineral. A formerly good-guy adventurer named Alric has gone over to the dark side due to the corrupting influence of tainted Ember, so you sign on to help his former companion track him into the many dungeons that cut through the underworld beneath the town. The fun part is the technological mixing – Battleaxes coexist with rifles, and a robot bard who sends you on assassination runs. The art is centered on a more cartoonish look. Heroes have square Disney jaws and great big eyes. Monsters are more outlandish than creepy, with comic-book proportions and exaggerated attack movements. But the plot and quests revolve around familiar dungeon expeditions to kill monsters, fetch various items, and score lots of loot. So even if the game looks and feels a bit different, it remains a stock-standard action role-playing game at heart.

Torchlight PC screen
Torchlight PC screen

But it’s a formula that is used very, very well. Torchlight hits all the highs of the action RPG genre and avoids virtually all of the lows. The only serious issue that some will have with the gameplay is the absence of a multiplayer mode. Being able to kill monsters with a pal or three is a core part of the Diablo experience, so some players will find this omission hard to live with. Still, the solo campaign is reasonably lengthy (and is boosted by some bonuses after its conclusion) and well designed. Levels move along smartly, so you get into a perfect clicking groove. On normal difficulty, only the biggest beasties take more than a few clicks to kill if you’re collecting loot and upgrading weapons regularly. This helps the game’s pace, because nothing slows down a hackfest RPG faster than monsters that take forever to kill. Killing causes creatures to explode in fountains of blood, too. Level corridors tend to look like slaughterhouses after you’ve passed by, adding a sick sense of satisfaction to your exploits. Many monsters have weird names, like varkolyn or shambler, and some look strange, perhaps most notably some of the pygmy variations. Bigger boss-type foes scattered throughout levels even come with ludicrous names, like Ghoulrider the Merciless and Foolfighter the Reviled. But they all still attack like traditional fantasy orcs, zombies, giant spiders, and the like.

Great graphics, spells, loots and more!
Great graphics, spells, loots and more!

All of the randomly generated dungeons come in many themes and with dramatically different art. Bleak stony mines coexist with mossy labyrinths and roaring waterfalls. You’re unlikely to get bored with what you’re looking at. Quests never involve assignments that could be considered innovative, although they are mixed up enough in length and objective that you don’t feel like you’re constantly grinding. Some of the side quests, such as grabbing samples of the various types of Ember for a mage and collecting magical doodads for a cowardly researcher, serve as quick breaks from the more involved main story missions. Loot drops are extremely well handled. You get loads of generic stuff, but just the right amount of killer hardware and item sets to keep you picking everything up. And the whole adventure is further pulled together with one of the best soundtracks to ever grace an action RPG. Diablo composer Matt Uelman has put together haunting, hummable themes that flow along behind the ceaseless combat, keeping you engaged while not blowing up into an annoying clash of horns, which so often mars RPGs. The tunes range from Pink Floyd airiness to Renaissance fair string-plucking to a sparse, spooky piano.

Stunning combat environment
Stunning combat environment

Well if you ask me, this is one of the best RPGs to hit the PC in many years…and for just $20…or Rs. 1000…you can’t go wrong with this!

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