Posted 2 years ago By kingquagmire - David Collins
Torchlight. Really, the emphasis should be on the ‘light’ part of it. Wait, wait, I know where you are going with that and you can stop right there, that’s not what I mean. What I was trying to say is that a light truly shined brightly out of developer Runic Games when this one was launched on PCs back in October of 2009. We’ve seen many Diablo clones over the years, some were coy about their influence while others were unabashedly carbon copy. Torchlight falls into the latter category, although they embraced the idea so well that you can’t help but love what the team has put together. Almost immediately fans (including myself) were clamoring for a sequel - preferably with a co-op component. While said sequel is still on its way, the first game has decided to take a stab at jumping platforms, heading over to Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE Arcade.
First, this has to be said: Very little has changed. Sure, the UI has been tweeked - ok, more like completely redesigned - to suit the 360 controller. And yes, there are other small nuances scattered about that are unique to the console version such as a new pet, the ability to turn your pet into a troll, and new armor sets. This isn’t a bad thing though. There’s a reason this game was my personal pick for PC Game of the Year 2009.
The story is pretty standard RPG fare: An ore called Ember is the basis for all magic in the world. Torchlight is a mining town that happens to be sitting on the biggest known deposit of Ember. But, the Ember is corrupting all who comes in contact with it, resulting in various evil creatures tormenting Torchlight’s citizens. You, of course, will be the one to save them. What brings you to the town will vary depending on the character class you choose. The Destroyer is the tank. He’s a warrior who, after hearing about the blight that troubles the town, wanders in looking for conquest. The Alchemist is your wizard character. He goes there to get some of the Ember for himself & doesn’t learn of the problems within the town until he arrives. The Vanquisher is your ranged fighter & she was actually sent to Torchlight to investigate the source of the creatures plaguing the town. But regardless of who you choose, the result is the same. You will journey into the depths of the mine to find where the monsters are coming from and put a stop to the evil that emanates from the ore. It isn’t anything you haven’t played before. Sure, it could have been a bit more fleshed out, but I didn’t mind because: a) Torchlight was always intended to just set the stage for an upcoming MMO. I don’t expect Runic to tip all their cards yet. b) In all Diablo-ish games, the meat is in the game play…
I’ll try not to drone on too much since, as I said before, this is pretty much the same experience as the PC version. It’s a hack-n-slash dungeon crawler. It has a ton of loot to find, lots of dynamic levels to explore, and plenty of monsters to kill. Visually, you’ll be hard pressed to find any differences between this and the previous version; which is a good thing as the cartoony, WoW-ish look suits the game perfectly. Everything that made Torchlight on PC so great is present and accounted for here, including the Fame system and the dumping of the rigid skill tree so prevalent in the genre.
However, I’d be remiss not to at least mention a bit more about the pets. It’s what turned out to be one of my favorite changes that Runic made to the hack-n-slash formula. Your pet can fight right along side you, carry items for you, and even cast spells and wear rings. But probably the most handy trick your pet can do is run your excess loot back to town and sell it for you. This way, you can stay in the game, keep fighting and spend less time running back and forth to shops to unload your goods (which I did alot in Diablo).
In the end, Torchlight is a home-run for any Action RPG fan! Runic took what made Diablo so great to begin with and polished it up to a brilliant shine by adding the pets, the Fame system, and doing away with the skill tree. Now those who have yet to embrace it on PC can give it a whirl on their 360 and let me tell you, one taste and you’ll find yourself gobbling this meal down and begging for seconds. It’s an easy “Buy” at 1200 MP and no fan of the genre should be without it.
Now, when can I have Torchlight 2?
+ Minor changes suit the console experience
+ Will satiate any Hack ’n Slash or dungeon crawler fan
- Can get repetitive for some
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Release Date : 2011/03/09
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : Microsoft Game Studios
Developer : Runic Games
Category : Role Playing Game
ESRB : T
7.0 / 10
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