Torchlight Review

Developer: Runic Games
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Rating Guide: How I Review Games

Review:

What do you get when you port a popular PC dungeon crawling RPG over to the Xbox 360?  Usually you’d get a hot mess of a game but thanks to Runic Games I’m happy to say that we finally have some light to shine upon the genre with Torchlight.  Let’s get right down to it shall we!

Gameplay Graphics and Sound

Torchlight takes place in the town of the same name.  You’re a potential hero set on finding out what’s going on in those dreaded mines of Torchlight.  Pretty simple right?  You get to choose one of three characters to start your journey and each of those characters has his or her own little pet to accompany them.  No, it’s not Fable and its dog system.  Your ally is pretty much just there to help you kick butt throughout the land and occasionally perform other various tasks.

The meat of the game though isn’t its story.  I doubt that any of you will take the time to really dig in to see what the story is all about.  That’s not to say that the story isn’t worth the attention because it’s a fun story actually.  However, you’ll be spending your time looting and leveling your character up.  And that’s a lotta fun folks!  There are tones of weapons, potions, skills, rings, spells, armor etc. at your disposal.  You’ll be addicted to progressing your character and turning your pet into various little creatures.  Didn’t I mention that?  You can use your character to literally fish for some fish to feed your pet.  Each fish (when fed to your pet) will transform it into a variety of different creatures found within the game.  Trust me it’s both fun and a bit hilarious.

One of the best things about Torchlight is how smoothly Runic managed to map the controls of the game.  It plays nearly perfectly on the Xbox 360 controller.  You can quickly get to your spells with the D-pad and cast them however you’ve mapped them.  The camera wasn’t a nightmare and the fighting was fluid.  It didn’t feel as if any of the control was compromised at all from its PC counterpart.  It felt very natural controlling the game.

Fans of World of Warcraft, Diablo, Arkadian Warriors and other types of games will be right at home with the system within Torchlight.  It’s pretty simple and one that doesn’t require a lot explanation which is great for most who want to pick up and just play.  My little brother is pretty deep into the game and all he does is go on rampages and pick up weapons.  He loves it.

One of the things I usually complain about with games of this type is the constant traveling you have to do and how tedious that becomes.  Thankfully Torchlight gives you easy access to travel from deep within the mines quickly back to town if you want to do business back in town.  Simply cast one of the Town portals and you’re there.  If you have no more room to carry items, you can even send your pet (equipped with a stack of loot) back to town while you continue to fight.

Visually Torchlight isn’t going to wow you but it’s still one of the better looking XBLA games in its genre.  I love the fact that you can zoom in on the action just as easily as you can zoom out and doesn’t become a camera nightmare.  Personally when I’m engaged with the enemy I prefer to zoom in to see the smacketh being laid down and when I’m done, I’ll zoom back out to explore.  The levels in the game are a decent size to run through but at times you’ll find yourself with little direction or clue on where to go.  There’s also a little lag when you’re fighting multiple enemies and you’re trying to unleash hell upon them.

You shouldn’t expect to be blown away by anything visually or in the audio department.  That’s not what Torchlight wants to leave you with.  It wants you to look at the clock and realize that you’ve spent four hours playing the heck out of this game.  The number of weapons and possible enchantments alone will ensure that.

One of the most glaring setbacks of the game though is the lack of co-op.  You’ll have to play alone my friends.  I don’t know if it’s fair to call it a setback though because it wasn’t co-op on the PC so why would it be on the console.  However, the fact remains that this game would be double the fun with a buddy to fight along with.  I’m hoping that Runic has plans to bring Torchlight 2 to the Xbox Live Arcade as well because I have to have that co-op!

Conclusion

Torchlight is the next addiction for Xbox Live Arcade gamers out there.  I would’ve loved having some co-op in this game but even that doesn’t stop it from being one of those games that you’re simply not going to want to put the controller down on.  Once you start with getting more weapons, deeper into the game and leveling up you’ll be hooked.

Runic Games did a great job of turning a PC classic into a console soon-to-be classic.  If you’re at all a fan of these RPG dungeon crawler types, then you’ll find plenty to love with Torchlight.  Bring on Torchlight 2!!

8.5
“Standout”

Deacon About Deacon
They call me "The Velvet Voice". I like sunshine, games and large amounts of money. I'm a Microsoft Xbox MVP and an Author. Check out the book about my journey through the gaming industry Press X to Reload and The Terribly Terrific Travels of Timber Timmins on Amazon.com. Support the site and buy 'em. Take a look at my About Me bio for more on me.

6 Comments

  1. The demo convinced me to go and purchase the first MSP card for this year. Too much goodness, including Beyond Good & Evil and Full House Poker (plus the upcoming offers on Raskulls and World for Keflings!)

  2. I just played this one all the way through.

    Liked it. Sort of a cartoonish version of Diablo though.

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