Published on May 1st, 2011 | by Greg0
Must-Play for XBLA: Torchlight
Action RPGs are easy for even non-gamers to like. Diablo and the ocean of clones, sequels, and similar titles work consistently because the formula makes sense. Endless dungeons, plenty of room for character growth, tons of loot and equipment to discover, skill trees and magical spells to unlock- even if a game offers only a thin wisp of plot, it can still be fun.
Torchlight, available now for the PC, Mac and fairly recently to the XBox Live Arcade version we’ve been playing, doesn’t bring much new to the table with one significant exception. But the parts work so well that you’re too busy having fun to notice, playing through yet one more area in search of the next upgraded weapon. Three classes are pretty standard, as is the story, which concerns a mysterious magical material called Ember, mined from the area below the town. The nifty new feature is the addition of a pet, sort of a companion that follows you around and draws off enemies as well as attacks them. Your pet can even use magic spells, though training them in one means that you can’t learn it (from that particular ‘scroll’ at least). There are quests, but rarely too much that draws you off the fairly linear path. And the difficulty scales enough that even beginners to video games can hop in and have fun pretty quickly.
It’s a beautiful game, set to a lovely score, that suffers from only one major downfall- no co-operative multiplayer. The best part of games like Baldur’s Gate is playing with a friend, and it feels like a natural fit to the game. Luckily, we hear that Torchlight II will be coming around in not so long, offering multi-player. In the meantime, Runic Games have created a fun, pretty, and easy to pickup title, a nice common ground for both hardcore and casual gamers. At $15 and downloadable through your Xbox 360, the price is definitely right for admission to the world of Torchlight.