Status: Can you really ever finish Torchlight?
Achievements: 12 of 12
DLC Purchased: None
The Xbox Deal of the Week is always hit or miss for me. Too often it’s just a bunch of maps for shooter games that don’t interest me. That changed a couple of weeks back when I noticed that Torchlight was on sale for 800 points. I’d heard great things about the PC version of the game, and when I asked my friends for their advice on the XBL port their comments swayed me into taking the plunge.
Deep below the town of Torchlight lay mines and caverns filled with Ember, a material sought by the greatest adventurers for it’s unique enchanting element. Miners risk life and limb to bring Ember to the surface. What they do not realize is that an ancient evil lays in wait for someone to release him, as civilizations before this one have done. It is up to you to traverse the dungeons and defeat it before it claims Torchlight.
There are three basic adventurers you can choose from (ranged, magic, and melee), as well as three types of pets. The lone female hero favours ranged attacks, which worked to my advantage, as that was what I wanted my character to be in the first place. I chose the Cat as her pet and began gathering quests from the Torchlight inhabitants.
You won’t find yourself playing Torchlight for a riveting, on the edge of your seat story. It’s pretty thin, and really only a delivery system for the fun part: dungeon crawling and looting to your heart’s content. Gain a task, complete the objective, collect goodies, and then do it all over again.
If there is one thing I love about RPGs of any kind, it’s slaughtering enemies in order to pick up loot. There is something satisfying about loading up your character’s inventory with brand new gear and trinkets. Torchlight provides players with a seemingly endless underground world chalk full of Ember-imbued baddies hoarding all sorts of unique items for you to weed through. You will constantly find better equipment to arm and protect yourself with, and there are bonuses for equipping sets of armor should you find all of the pieces. Identified armor that is better than what you are wearing and you have reached the required level for will auto-equip, which is handy for the beginner. Some armor and weapons also have sockets for you to insert pieces of Ember that you will find throughout the mines.
Having a pet is super handy for the looter. Both you and your furry friend can carry 50 items a piece, which means you can stay below ground and stock up longer. I love to load mine up with all of the weapons and armor that won’t improve my stats, as well as my cheaper accessories. Once I’ve decided on what I don’t need to carry, I can send my pet to town to sell everything they are carrying. The only time I can’t do this is when I am inside a Phase Portal within the caverns. When my pet returns, anything new I’ve gathered and doesn’t suit my needs is sloughed off again. It’s a perfect system for accumulating copious amounts of money.
Regardless of what type of adventurer you choose to play as, certain spells can be purchased and learned for both yourself and your pet. There are healing spells, elemental attacks and summoning spells you can find or purchase, all of which can be hot-keyed on your controller. I made sure to equip my pet with high level Heal All and Heal Self spells since I set him to be aggressive in the field. This saved me from having to worry about him fleeing from battle too often and made sure that I was keeping myself healed without eating through my reserves of healing potions. I made sure to have ice attacks in my arsenal for when I ran into dragonkin and hordes of shamblers, as it would slow them down a bit and eat away at their HP over time.
In less than a week, I managed to play through the quests that you would consider the main storyline, and also ran around collecting items for some of the locals. Looting and grinding for experience is fun, but after a while with nothing more than side quests to complete, the game starts to lose a bit of shine. It is an amazing game and I loved it for what it is, which is why I really hope that Torchlight 2 expands and gives more depth to the story and characters involved and becomes even better.