Last Tuesday I purchased and downloaded Torchlight and I figured I may as well share my initial thoughts and impressions about it with everyone. Yeah, I know that every other blogger on the planet is doing exactly the same thing but, well, um, yeah. Can’t really think of anything to say about that except that maybe this post will show you glimmers of fetal wit that impress you more
As I said before, Torchlight is basically Diablo. So close to it, in fact, it’s uncanny. Everything from the get-go screams Diablo and I’m convinced they even re-used some of the same sound effects. So this makes Torchlight nothing new and nothing bad. It’s a a lot of fun and well worth geting but will always be lingering in Diablo’s shadow… and I hate to say it, but Diablo was a better game.
Torchlight does everything does everything right and adds some fun extras and clever ideas to the isometric hack-n-slash genre. For instance, being accompanied by a pet throughout your adventure is a great little addition and having Lassie at your side makes the whole world seem that little less isolated and alone. Plus you can stock up your pet like a loot mule and send it back to town to sell your wares as you continue your adventure. Score one for the lazy. Torchlight also has low system requirements and a cheap price point, making this is a great game to pick up and play anywhere. Suffice to say, there really is no reason not to get this game.
As I said though, I think the Diablo games were better. Firstly, Torchlight lacks the polish that Blizzard brought to it’s games and the long load times and lack of intro movies kill the setting a little bit. I’m also not a huge fan of the art style. There, I said it. Yeah, I respect their low system requirements and I think the graphics are fine but I just feel like the whole game is too light hearted and cartoony. For me, this is the big thing that made Diablo 1 and 2 better games. I loved their settings, their back stories and their art style. Tristram was a gloomy, depressing town being ravished by evil and you, the player, had to fight through down to the depths of Hell itself to save it. Maybe it’s just nostalgia talking, but Torchlight lacks in that respect and doesn’t deliver the dark atmosphere that I was hoping for.
All of this is of course my personal preference and I know that many love the art direction of Torchlight. The lighthearted side of these games certainly has it’s audience but I like a bit of darkness and evil in my hack-n-slash. Seems that I’m in the minority though as even Diablo 3 is going for a more cartoony, cheerful atmosphere which personally I think is a shame.
Anyway, to summarise: Torchlight is good and at $20 how can you not get it?