Review: Torchlight

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As you all know, in the beginning Runic God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and Ember was upon the face of the deep. And Runic God said, Let there be light: and there was Torchlight. And Runic God saw the light, that it was good: and Runic God divided the Torchlight from the Ember.

Torchlight

Anyway, let’s get to the game now :) Game should run smoothly on every computer that is bought within last 2-4 years, because requirements are so low. Although everywhere is said that it takes ~400mb disk space, it is not quite right. It takes 540mb  (840 according to Steam) on my disk… For so less megabytes, so much good stuff, it’s amazing.

The game is mix-up from various cool RPG games – pets from Nethack; graphics style from Warcrafts; fishing from WoW; randomized dungeons from Nethack, Rogue or Dungeon Master; going deeper underground as in Diablo 1; imbuing items like in Diablo 2. And almost all of those features were in Torchlight ancestor game-serie called Fate.

As I read from forums, that you can level til 100, and I am only 38 or so, when finished Ember Mines. Now I am heading to Shadow Vault and I am not taking you along. This means that you have to figure out what happens next by yourself :)

Torchlight MMO comes in about 2 years – article here. And Diablo III is pushed to year 2011 :( Article and picture here. This means, that we have lot of time to spend with Torchlight!

I recommend everyone to grab this excellent game with cheap and fair price ($20/16£/16€).

May the torchlight be with you!

Hint: Click on the images to see them bigger.

Introduction

Welcome to the Torchlight – the mining settlement, a boomtown, founded on the discovery of rich veins of Ember – a rare and mysterious ore with strange power to enchant or corrupt everything that it contacts. In deep underground is evil evolving. The town cries for help and adventurers around the world gather to free the town from the evil monsters.

Meet the characters

Meet the destroyer

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The strong brutal melee fighter – destroyer. Boost strength and defense and hack your enemies like they are pumpkins. Destoyer can focus on 3 different skill-trees: Berserker, Titan, Spectral.

The most required item is, guess what? – Identify scroll :D At least, in the beginning. Lots of unidentified junk is popped out so they are very needed :) I was able to buy from shop an identify spell, memorized it and now I sell those scrolls like junk. When you start buying every gem from Shops, then you will lack of money. Also when playing normal skill level, then lots of healing and mana potions will pop up.

I am playing berserker and my primary skill is Stampede, the special skill, where my big bad-ass war-monster dashes forward and damages all foes in its path. Slash Attack skill, that consumes little amount of mana, is my attack instead of regular weapon attack. Dual Wielding is maxed of course, then Adventurer and Critical Strikes. On level 25 I started maxing Treasure Hunter, which boosts Magic Find.

Skill points mostly went to Strength and Defense. Few to Magic (must dash all the time :)) and wasted few points on Dexterity too. I just tried ranged fighting in a while, but it is not really worth it. So do not waste points on Dex. Well, when you have magically enchanted weapons, then adding points to Magic will increase the elemental damage.

Meet the vanquisher

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Vanquisher is pretty lady, who has expertised on ranged fighting. Bows, pistols etc are her main weapons. You may want to install the naked vanquisher mod, if you’re really twisted ;) I will post more info about her when I start playing with vanquisher. I already have nice equipment for her :)

Meet the alchemist

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Alchemist is a geek-type magic speller. Magic wands and staffs are his weaponry including spells. Mage has also mixup style of attacking. Like now, my char has 2 wands equipped, one shoots fire, another ice plus I can cast autotracking spell! As my destroyer has magic find items + skill boost, so I have lots of good junk for him too :)

Cool features

* Pretty 3D environment

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* Cinematic view as pause. Very innovative way to pause a game :D And so can be done beautiful screenshots (with SHIFT+F9) also. Most of my screenshots are done so…

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* Pretty girls! :D But not enough of them! :P

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* Side Quests – Besides main quest there are various side quests also, wizard wants various ember samples, mechanoid (bard) is creating a warsong about killed boss monsters, one rich guy wants you to recover various treasures from dungeons. And when you finish Ember Mines chapter, then will be more side quests available :)

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* Fame – additionally to experience points, you can gather fame points for killing boss monsters and completing quests. Max level: 55

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And when gaining a new fame level, then you’ll receive one skillpoint – see the plus sign at the right side of the screen.

* Various ways of transportation (some of reminds me Stargate)

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* Shrines and in dungeons. Remember those stuff from Diablo 1/2? They’re here too! :) Enchanting shrines act like Enchanter in town and they can create sockets or add enchantments. (Doesn’t work on unique items).

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* Armor/Weapon stands, just like in old good Diablo :) And also Dead Adventurers dropping loot

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* Small puzzles. Solve small puzzles to get the goods

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* Autopickup gold! Every time you get near to money, it is automatically picked up. Cool! No need to click to gather those pennies :)

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* Pets!

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Select a dog or kittycat as your loyal companion.

Pet can go and sell your useless junk while you are hacking in dungeon.

Don’t forget to equip them with good necklaces and rings! You can teach pet to use 2 spells by dragging spell scrolls into 2 spell slots. And when you shift+click on loot item on the ground, pet will pick it up.

 

* Fishing. You can play “minigame” to catch the fish and feed to your pet

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* Vendors in dungeons. Actually this is little bit strange :) Vendors are selling their junk in the middle of the battlefield. Anyway when you got lots of loot carried on and too lazy to go to town, you can sell the junk on shopkeepers that are found sometimes in dungeons. Just like in Nethack :)

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* Chests – good and bad. Also beware of trapped chests

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* Maps – Maps to extra dungeons are sold inside common stores. And sometimes in dungeons :)

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* Transmute weak gems/potions to better ones like in Diablo 2 with Horadric Cube

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Recipes are listed here, in Runic Games forum.

Transmute 2 gems to 1 better one. Also mind, that when transmuting 4 green or blue items give dull gem, 4 gold (unique) items give nameless gems. And when transmuting 3 potions, you will get one better potion.

Gem transmutation list: Cracked –> Dull –> Discolored –> <noprefix> –> Cut –> Polished –> Star -> Flawless
(sample: Cracked Life Ember –> Dull Life Ember –> Discolored Life Ember –> Life Ember –> Cut Life Ember –> Polished Life Ember –> Star Life Ember –> Flawless Life Ember)

* Mods. Lots of mods are here http://www.runicgamesfansite.com/torchlightmods/

From developers: Bees: http://www.runicgamesfansite.com/torchlightmods/node/34,
Respec potion: http://www.runicgamesfansite.com/torchlightmods/node/32

There is also TorchED, Torchlight editor, available, and it weights 2gb according to Steam properties – 4x more than Torchlight itself :D But real directory size is 1.2gb, which is 2x bigger than game itself. PS. It has “hidden” minigame also ;) Find it!

* Cool soundtrack by Matt Uelmen, who created OST for Diablo 1, Starcraft, Diablo 2, Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction and World of Warcraft.

* Developers are very active in Runic Games forums and they are very friendly and responsive. I wish that there are more guys like them :) I am really fan of those people :)

Sample: Maybe I turned it accidentally on, but this what happened. Dropped items were always shown, so when fighting with horde I didn’t see whom I should kill or is there even anyone left to slay. Fortunately that can be turned off by clicking magnifying glass in hotbar! This hint was given 15 minutes later (!!) of posting this into forum by Runic Games staff!! Isn’t that  awesome?! Check the thread out here!

Gameplay screenshots

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Here ends Ember Mines chapter and begins next one…

Scores

Publication

Score

Eurogamer 8/10
Game Informer 8.75/10
GameSpot 8.0/10
GamesRadar 9/10
RPGamer 4.5/5
Metacritic 83
 

Creation trivia: original PNG version: Live Writer draft: 550mb, uploading to server: 1 hour, screenshots in post: 82, screenshot weight in post: 132mb; final JPG version: Live Writer draft: 85mb, uploading to server: 10 minutes, screenshots in post: 93, screenshots weight in post: 17mb; first screenshot on 29th Oct, last screenshot on 15th Nov, screenshot size: 1680×1050, total screenshots made: 802, total screenshots weight: 1.36gb; playing time to make this post: destroyer – 21 hours 8 minutes 34 seconds, vanquisher – 52 minutes 56 seconds & alchemist – 41 minutes 14 seconds; total bugs found: 1; mods applied (but never used): 2 (official bee + respec).

PS. Sorry for this HUGE post :) I hope that you still like it.
PS2. Read the manual! I found some interesting things in there after 24 hours of game play :D
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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. netlork

    Great post Slay, thanks for the info :)

    If this game will include multiplayer in the near future, i probably buy it :)

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  2. stranded

    Wow, if they are going to include some sort of multiplayer patch to this game I am going to buy it 100%

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  3. Kossak

    I read they work on MMO Torchlight, which i think is separete game isn’t it? It won’t be added into this game you bought already.

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  4. XanderCz

    It will be multiplayer in time. They are working on it

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  5. Kossak

    hmm you made me intrested in this game. I wish it had multiplayer.

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  6. fix-cz

    Stunning review. Well done!

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