Torchlight RPG Review
Torchlight is an RPG setting the world of RPG's alight with its 'I played it all night long and lost my job the next day' game play and exceptional customer service. Unlike larger companies which seem to delight in confounding their customer base, Torchlight makers Runic Games won hearts by demonstrating just how dedicated they were to their customer base. When a player had a bugged save, a developer asked him to send him the save file and actually debugged it for him. Try getting that kind of service from any of the major game companies and see how far you get.
There are so many exceptional things about this game that it feels like a waste of time just going over the bare bones of it. It's an RPG like so many other RPGs. If you've played an RPG before, you'll pick this up very quickly. There are different classes, abilities, stats, items, socketed items, gems, spells, and all the rest of it. In amongst the midst of typical RPG features however, Torchlight really does work magic.
What do I like about Torchlight? It's the little things really. Like being able to send your pet to town to sell off items that you've picked up in your travels. If you play on Easy mode, your inventory very quickly becomes full of all manner of fairly useless trinkets that are nevertheless worth money. Being able to send your little minion off to sell them and return to help you fight later is very useful indeed.
There are also two lock boxes in the town. One is just for you to store any trinkets related purely to your character, the other is to store shared items, which will be available to all your characters. It's a nice touch.
As you may or may not know, Torchlight is really the next generation of Mythos, an online RPG with muiltiplayer function that never got out of beta due to funding issues. I was luck enough to be able to play Mythos on beta and enjoyed it a great deal. Mythos didn't make it, but Torchlight did, and it is very much based on Mythos and you can see many of the elements of Mythos in Torchlight. Some of these are good, some of these are head scratchingly mystifying. 'Identify scrolls', for example. I'm not entirely sure why these are necessary. For the uninitiated, an 'Identify scroll' is a scroll you use to identify unnamed items. Some items in the game are apparently part of your existing knowledge base, others are not. In order to find out what the mysterious items are, you have to use the scroll. The whole business of having to identify the occasional item just feels like a random hiccup because most of the time you don't really care what the items are, at least, early on in the game.
What don't I like about it? Well, I have always felt that a top down view point removes the character from the game, and Torchlight uses this top down perspective exclusively. I would much prefer to be 'in' the game playing it rather than hovering around overhead, however it is simply a fact of life that you're more effective if you have a viewpoint above your head. I can't imagine how much better my life would be if I controlled my body whilst floating in the air above it, if Torchlight and World of Warcraft are anything to go by, I would be the most effective slayer ever.
The other thing I don't like is the point and click action. Is W,A,S,D really so hard to implement? Because you point and click to move and also point and click to kill things, you'll often find yourself running into an angry mob with all the flair of Custer on his last stand. It's annoying.
Having said all of this, is Torchlight worth buying? At the moment it is only $20.00, and for a game this fun and in depth, yes, it is totally worth it. You can pay five times the amount for games that offer far less entertainment value. Add to that the fact that you're dealing with a company that actually gives a damn about its players and you're not just buying a game, you're setting the gaming industry in the right direction.