Review by MetalKingBoo
"Good alternative to play before Diablo III comes out"
Torchlight was made by the creators of Diablo, Fate and never-released Mythos. Perfect World Entertainment is actually planning to make a MMORPG version of Torchlight if the game itself sells well enough. And I gotta say, it may succeed. Even though it's cheap and small compare to most games today, it packs fun and entertainment.
It's not as original but there are a few new features. Despite that, the game still ends up as fun. The only real bad thing about this game is no Multiplayer what-so-ever.
There are 3 classes to choose from: Destroyer, who is a strong melee fighter, Vanquisher who is an expert markswoman with the ability to lay traps and so ninja-like abilties, and the Alchemst, who can do elemental spells and summonings. The skills tree, while similar to Diablo in layout, is more user-friendly because you don't need to waste points on skills you'll never use. Once you reach certain levels, you can use points on those skills straight away.
You can also choose a Cat or Dog as your pet. While there's little difference between the two, they act as both couriers and your fighting partner. They have the unique ability to transform into varying creatures. By collecting various fish and feeding them to your pet, they temporarily transform and become stronger with many abilities. Your pets do also have the weird ability of using spells as well! By finding/buying spell scrolls. Overall, I think it's really neat knowing your dog can shoot fireballs or your cat summoning skeletons.
The actual gameplay: you basically accept various quests to progress the storyline and explore into many different places fighting monsters, gathering items and other pressies. That's it basically. Oh, and there are 4 difficulties to choose from, from Easy to Very Hard. And if you want a more realistic challenge, you may add Hardcore, meaning Death is permanent. Cool right?
There are plenty of different weapons, armor, accessories and such that you can buy/find. There are also plenty of mini-bosses and bosses (though not as tough as in Diablo) to fight, which sort of spices up the game. However, it isn't as realistic as Diablo as you can carry lots of items AND weapons at one time (though their selling prices are just... way off from their original prices) and basically all classes can use any weapon, as long as they meet the stats requirement, and they all can dual-wield as well. Well, I see it as a downside but maybe you'll like this feature.
Decent and a nice excuse to kill things. A mysterious ore called Ember is nearby this town of Torchlight. A horde of monsters are attacking the town. Two heroes, Brink and Syl, are defending and as Syl gets injured, Brink runs into the mine for revenge. However as you and Brink work together, he transform thanks to a Master Alric, a former powerful goody wizard corrupted by the calls of the Ember. As Brink dies, you get infected with the same disease he had and now have to journey deeper into the mines and find a cure. However, Master Alric isn't the real baddie... there's a much more powerful evil behind all of this...
A few side quests/stories also involve a robotic bard hiring you to assassinate certain monsters, and a treasure hunter wanting rare artifacts from different worlds... nothing too drastic. Simple and short I guess?
The game world is a bit cartoonish and colorful and most computers will be able to run it. The game has the cool ability of changing the character and monsters to X-Ray vision if a wall or something is blocking your view. All the characters aren't too greatly detailed and some of the monsters look like something out of a comic book with exaggerated sizes. Though what makes this game shine is that despite being something like a dungeon crawler, each level or world has its own unique look. From water caverns to ancient ruins, the game makes you feel that you didn't see the same atmosphere over and over. However, for some of the side quests they just recycled assets of said worlds from the main storyline, which is a bad thing I suppose.
The spell animations and effects are what makes this game looks really awesome. What was also nicely done were creatures spewing blood and explode into gooey liquid. Armour and weapon sets look detailed and they don't clash terribly with each other.
Though I don't listen to this game's music as much, they are somewhat enjoyable. They fit perfectly with each scene. Voice acting is also suitable. Each part fitted nicely but sometimes may be a bit off... and cheesy at times! However as you play, the character responses do get repetitive. Especially when you have activated god-knows how many traps... always the same saying each time, it can get annoying. But overall, it's good, not much to complain about!
OVERALL: 30/40 (rounds up to 8/10)
Torchlight is a very good game to play while waiting for Diablo III. It uses almost the same formulas and gameplay as Diablo, but adds a few new things which makes the game at least a bit original. And it comes at a cheap price! Along with an undemanding system requirements! So play it now! Play it if you are a fan of Diablo or Dungeon-crawling RPGs in general.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 11/09/09
Game Release: Torchlight (US, 10/27/09)
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