Ryan Wilson

Review: Torchlight

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Torchlight (PC)Admittedly, this is a review a long time in the making.  Why is that?

I just couldn’t put it down.

Yes, dear readers, the main reason that this review has taken so long to publish is my own personal addiction to the game.  Every time I’d  sit down to write this review, I’d end up playing more and more of the game.  Before I’d know it, it would be 3 a.m. and I’d only be five words into the review.  I’d even try writing the review on my low end laptop, but to no avail.  The Runic Games team has made a game that runs flawlessly even that!

SquishyTorchlight is a single-player collaboration between team members involved in the development of the Diablo series, the Fate series, and Mythos, forming the gaming equivalent of a supergroup, Runic Games.  The resulting superbaby is one of the smoothest and tightest Action RPGs this reviewer has ever played.  The oft-dying hirelings of Diablo 2 have been replaced with the very competent pet system of Fate, which becomes your constant companion/pack mule.  Though only given a choice between a dog or a cat, your pet can become very powerful with the use of fish (which turn the pet into a monster or boost its stats for a set amount of time) or by the completely absurd concept of teaching it spells.  Yes, Mr. Woofers can apparently read and conjure an army of the undead with a single bark.  Take that, Lassie!

Weapon selection is as vibrant as its predecessors.  Whether you want to go after the enemies double sworded or wand and gun, Torchlight will support your demented needs.  I did, however, find unique weapon drops to be a little more frequent than I’m used to (every other item dropped by the enemy seemed to need an identify scroll), requiring multiple doggie trips to town, but this is nothing a patch can’t remedy.

The difficulty curve of the game is what really kept me coming back again and again.  Even playing on the highest offered difficulty, there were certain areas I just seemed to breeze by (possibly due to my desire to complete every quest thrown my way).  However, the difficulty would ramp up significantly before it started to get stale.  This strange balance kept the game interesting, making this a game you could play and stop at your convenience, rather than quitting by boredom or by rage.

Absurd concepts aside, Torchlight is a must buy for anyone with a love for Action RPGs and a computer.  The $20 asking price is an absolute steal for how much gameplay you get out of it, increased drastically by its modding potential (Runic includes a powerful editor with purchase of the game).  I cannot wait to see what this team will bring to the table with its upcoming MMO version of the game.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some monsters to slay.

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