Torchlight Thoughts

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?

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11 Comments

  1. xXJayeDuBXx says:

    I agree, it’s a decent game and it’s cheap and everyone should buy it!

  2. Andrew says:

    Torchlight was made in 11 months (by many of the same people that made Diablo 1 & 2) and sells for $20. Diablo 1 & 2 were big budget games with AAA price tags. Let’s put that out there first. =)

    Now, even still I believe that saying that the Diablo games are better is an exercise in rose coloured glasses. Torchlight is a heck of a lot more polished that Diablo 1 for certain, and perhaps even the second installment. I challenge you to actually back up your assertions to the opposite by demonstrating systems in the Diablo games that beat our equivalent systems in Torchlight.

    The plot/art direction angles are personal taste, and its fine that you like one over the other…. but aside from “long loading times” (huh? really?) and “lack of movies” you’ve yet to convince me of the meat of your argument.

    • Gordon says:

      Yeah, I think there’s probably lots of nostaliga there in my thoughts about Diablo :) I wouldn’t compare mechanics between the games, I think I just preferred the Diablo style and feel more than Torchlight which is a very personal and subjective thing.

      And yeah the loading times are weird… it seems to take ages to start up and load on my PC! Very odd. Maybe it’s just me…

  3. Longasc says:

    While I like Torchlight, I am already done with it. It has not the story/drive that made me play through Diablo I, which was IMO better than Diablo 2 for me as solo player, which was a lot more popular among the multiplayer crowd.

    I think Blizzard is going for the small group online thing right from the start plus offering a single player campaign, maybe allowing companions to help you out from the net, for instance.

    But I seriously doubt that Diablo gameplay, even if polished, has a lot of staying power in 2009/10. Blizzard might prove me wrong again, but the eternal item hunt that was Diablo II online quickly got old for me.

    Maybe Blizzard is at this very moment figuring out the specials and magic little thingies that make the new Diablo interesting for the 2009/10 audience… who knows.

    • Gordon says:

      You might be right. Thing is, Diablo 3 will sell by the bucket load just because it’s a Blizzard game… but whether it will be good as people expect or remember, that’s another story. Blizzard make good games but I’m not sure how long they can re-use the same ’90s gameplay for.

  4. It was my first online purchase ever, and I’m not regretting the game I bought. :)

  5. Bronte says:

    It’s strange how any other game would be criticized for the ‘lack of classes’ or the ‘lack of flashy graphics’ or the ‘absence of significant voice-acting’, etc. But for this game, all of it just pales in comparison to the gameplay, the intuitive controls, and the sheer amount of fun you can have with the game.

    I am shelving it because of Borderlands and Dragon Age: Origins for now, but I will be coming back to finish it in a month or two.

  6. [...] the title from Runic Games that seems to have the circle of bloggers I seem to frequent giddy with excitement over the neato features and Diablo-esque memories it has [...]

  7. [...] classes. And it ends too quickly. But it is an incredible experience, offers smooth gameplay and feeds on the far-reaching and widespread Diablo nostalgia that the gaming media has made no effort to [...]

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