Torchlight

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Torchlight on Steam (demo available)

MSRP: $14.99

Platforms: Windows, Mac

Release: 10/27/09


I missed the point-n-click ARPG bandwagon when it first came around.  I was still deep into city builders and adventure games, and starting to dabble in RTS games when Diablo & Diablo 2 were all the rage.  In fact, the first point-n-click ARPG I played was Diablo 3 in 2012, and the only reason I tried that one was that Blizzard gave it away for signing up for the World of Warcraft annual pass.

I actually really enjoyed it, and all the gaming news outlets of the time couldn’t stop comparing Diablo 3 to the upcoming Torchlight 2.  After reading about it a bit, I decided to pre-order Torchlight 2, and Runic Games threw in a free copy of the original Torchlight to occupy those of us who pre-ordered while we waited.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t really get into Torchlight.  There are only three character classes, and due to them having set models, only the Vanquisher is a female PC. The idea of having a pet that would run to town and sell all your vendor trash was fantastic – you didn’t have to stop exploring just because you ran out of inventory space.  However, there just wasn’t enough that was going on that was interesting to keep me playing.  In fact, I probably spent a third of my play time on the fishing mini-game.

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Most basic RPG tropes apply – you get quests, and along the way, kill a lot of stuff and pick up shiny things.  When you find better gear, you equip it.  You gain experience, and level up, and there are stat and ability points to distribute.  As you increase in level and power, you’re able to take on harder enemies that drop better gear and enable you to complete more quests. Torchlight also features a shared stash, that allows you to save items for your other characters, which takes some of the sting out of finding that really awesome staff on your melee fighter.

Torchlight also contains a fishing mini-game where you can catch fish that will provide buffs either to the player character or the player’s pet. When your pet isn’t in town selling your crap, they fight alongside you, and the buffs from the fish can be significant in some of the fights (although mostly unnecessary outside of boss encounters).  Depending on your opinion of video game fishing, this can either be a fun distraction or an exercise in tedium.

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Torchlight also has mod support, and quite a vast selection of mods exist, for everything from new character classes, to support for other languages, and sound & graphic changes. You can browse some of the Torchlight mods available here.

I think I brought unrealistic expectations into Torchlight at the time, and perhaps I’m still holding on to them a little bit, because I still can’t make myself play through the story. I don’t think it’s a bad game (and just the idea that it exists and was successful enough to merit a sequel validates its existence, as far as I’m concerned). But without nostalgia goggles to view it through, it’s not enough for me.

 

5 thoughts on “Torchlight

  1. […] dungeons and quests, but I’m just not able to bring myself to care.  I didn’t love Torchlight, but it was more compelling than FATE: Undiscovered Realms, but if I have an ARPG itch that needs […]

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  2. […] Quest Gold is an action RPG – similar game play-wise to games like the Torchlight games and Blizzard’s Diablo series – with a mythology based setting & story.  […]

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  3. […] that I’m an authority by any means.  I’ve spent quite a few hours in Diablo 3, played Torchlight and its sequel, and bumbled around a bit in Din’s Curse, Titan Quest Gold, and The Incredible […]

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  4. […] in quite awhile. If you’ve ever played another ARPG (such as any of the Diablo iterations, Torchlight, Titan Quest Gold, Victor Vran, or The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing), Path of Exile may […]

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  5. […] it turns out, I thought Torchlight was alright, but it didn’t wow me, and I didn’t hold out a lot of hope for the sequel. […]

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