Torchlight and Diablo have more than just a few things in common; they are both played from an overhead perspective, they are all about getting massive amounts of loot garnered by killing enemies, and you click on enemies to attack them. What makes this more than just another clone of a classic game is that they are both made by the same people. The similarity between the two games is a little hard to not bring up the direct comparison between the two, but that doesn’t mean that Torchlight is in anyway a throw away game.
What Torchlight does differently is the setting; Diablo was dark and brooding while Torchlight is quite the opposite. The game seems to be whitewashed with the same graphical style that World of Warcraft has – stylized to such a degree that the game is recognizable even at the lowest settings. The story follows this lead, although it doesn’t really feel that memorable, and is mainly just an excuse to dig farther into the dungeons to find more loot.
Loot is one of the things that the game does do very well. There is a fine line between dropping entirely too many junk items and dropping too few good ones. Torchlight manages this well and thus the pacing of the game. After a couple of hours it always seemed like there was one piece of equipment that was kicking around in my inventory waiting for my player to gain a level or two, pushing me forward.
The game also introduces a companion character in the way of a dog, or cat. The characters animal friend does the mandatory basic AI fighting, but will also cast up to two spells that it has been equipped with and rarely feels useless in a battle. The animal also does one amazing bit of streamlining that most Diablo type games needed by teleporting back to town to sell items. The animal has roughly the same amount of inventory space that the player character. When sent back to town, a process that takes all of two minutes max, sells all non-quest items in its inventory. Basically this means that the player can continue to explore a dungeon until they are no longer equipped well enough to continue any deeper.
While all of this is a welcome addition to the game, it does manage to take a couple of missteps. The first, and most notable is the complete lack of online multiplayer. This entire genre of game was almost entirely founded around the idea of playing through the game with friends, or simply killing them for sport. The company has said that they are releasing the game later as an MMO style game, although that doesn’t help the game at the moment. There are also only three character classes to play. All three of them do play differently, and they do have different skills and talent trees that they progress down as they level up making them play fundamentally different from characters that are spec’ed differently. These are probably the only things that are wrong with the game.
Torchlight is priced to move as well. The game came out at 20 dollars, and considering that it does lack the content expected from a full price game, this still seems about the perfect asking price. There is a lot of content packed into this game, even if it doesn’t allow play with other people.
Packing in the content tightly, and the asking price is pretty much perfect. While it does seem odd that there is some content that excluded it is really hard to pass up. At the moment, the game is only up for digital download but that shouldn’t really stop anyone that is reading this review online. The game is simply worth it, and PC gamers should definitely check it out.
Not As Good As: It would have been with multiplayer
Also Try: Not complaining on message boards about it
Wait For It: The box release comes out in January
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