Published on Monday, 08 August 2011 20:00
Written by MuNkY
|Publisher||Runic Games, Microsoft Game Studios (XBLA)|
|System Availibility||PC, Xbox 360|
|Release Date||October 27, 2009 (PC), March 9, 2011 (Xbox 360)|
|ESRB Content Rating||T (Teen)|
|By It Now On|
Something is wrong in the town of Torchlight
Generally in the gaming year the summer months (May to Mid-September) are considered the slow months. October to December is the holiday season where all the blockbusters get released. January to April you see a lot of top caliber games that didn't want to compete for a spot before Christmas. But May to September is usually the time where it seems the gaming industry takes a nap. The summer months are usually where, I personally, like to try to knock out some of my gaming over flow from the previous 8 months. Torchlight
was one of those games that I wanted to play, but got pushed aside this year so I could play something else. I had been hearing how good this game was basically since it was originally released for PC. But I never had a computer good enough to play it. (Plus as most of my loyal readers already know, I hate PC gaming) But now that it has been released for Xbox Live Arcade, I will say that it was definitely worth the wait, and I am sorry I pushed this game aside for so long.
is a dungeon crawler style RPG, created originally for the PC, by the studio Runic Games. Torchlight
, where the game title is derived, is a mining boomtown that has sprung up around a vein of ember. Ember is a rare ore that has the ability to give people and items magical power. Shortly after the ember mine was opened, creatures coming from the mine attacked the town. A famous alchemist named Master Alric was hired to deal with the problem, but now he has disappeared in the mine. You arrive in Torchlight and are hired by Syl, Master Alric's apprentice, to travel into the mine and find out why he hasn't returned. You have the choice between 3 different character types to choose from. The Destroyer is the melee focused class, The Vanquisher is the rogue type class, and The Alchemist is the magic focused class. But within each of the 3 different classes there is room for you to make individual specifications so that the character can be customized to your needs. For example, The Vanquisher can be played as either a heavily ranged focused class, or you can use them to set up traps to attack enemies. The Alchemist can be played as a typical spell casting mage, or you can use them as a summoner that can call multiple creatures to fight by his side. Also the different weapon types add another layer of depth to each class that make character possibilities almost endless.
you use the town itself as sort of a hub where you can buy new equipment and supplies, and also sell all of your unneeded loot. But the rest of the game takes place in the caverns below. As you delve deeper below Torchlight
you will eventually discover that the ember is corrupting everything around it, which is causing the creatures to become evil. You also discover that Torchlight
is just the latest of a long line of towns, cities, and civilizations that have been corrupted by the ember here. Every few floors you explore you will discover a new type of environment with new types of enemies. And as with most dungeon crawler type games, there is no shortage of enemies. You will have to fight your way through thousands (or possibly hundreds of thousands) of creatures and enemies to reach your goals.
Now you might be asking yourself... What is the ultimate goal in Torchlight
? Well overall the main story centers on you trying to figure out why the ember is corrupted here. But as with most games of this style, the story itself doesn't really get much more complicated then that. Where Torchlight
excels is rewards (A.K.A. loot). Anyone who has ever played a tabletop RPG like Dungeon's & Dragons
, or another video game RPG like Diablo
, Baulders Gate
or Dungeon Seige
, you know that most of the satisfaction you get from playing is seeing what new loot you have discovered once you a finish a quest. Torchlight
is no different. Every enemy has the possibility to drop money, armor, weapons, items, all the above, or multiples of all the above. In my opinion this is the real goal of Torchlight
(or any dungeon crawler for that matter). Trying to find the next best weapon or bragging to your friends about what piece of equipment you found is the real reward. Telling your friends that you just found a weapon that deals 400 damage, has additional frost and nature damage, and also has life stealing, is the video game equivalent of telling your friends "neh-neh, looky what I found".
Which leads me into my one and only problem with Torchlight
... no multiplayer. Normally I am the biggest advocate of single player experiences in gaming. It's not that I hate multiplayer. But I would rather game by myself then have to deal with all the random assholes on line... you know who you are. But the dungeon crawler RPG is basically a game genre that is made for multiplayer. It's like sitting down with your friends and playing tabletop Dungeons & Dragons
, but in video game format, and way more fast paced. Torchlight
is certainly a fun experience by itself as a single player game. But it would be made better by adding multiplayer. Being able to jump online and play a game like this with a few good friends is a fun experience. I am talking about playing with real friends, who you know, in real life, not online people who you will never meet face to face.
While we sit and wait around for Blizzard to release Diablo 3
is a nice temporary stand-in for the genre. (Diablo 3
is supposedly being released sometime in the next decade, but I wouldn't count on it) I would say that Torchlight
is probably the best dungeon crawler RPG to be released since Diablo 2
, and is only really held back by its lack of multiplayer. But at some point later this year (2011) Runic Games is releasing Torchlight 2
, which is going to have some potential for multiplayer, possibly up to 6 player co-op. So if a multiplayer dungeon crawler is what your looking for you might want to wait until later this year. But if your like me and need something to fill in your summer gaming lull then Torchlight
will do just nicely.