Torchlight Review (XBLA)

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Torchlight was first released in 2009 for Steam, now in 2011 Runic Games has brought this great dungeon crawler experience to the Xbox 360 platform as the fourth title in the House Party promotion.


Story
Set in a fictional fantasy world, in this world magical objects and people make use of mystic ember stones. Our story takes place in the blooming mining town known as Torchlight, settled over vast and rich deposits of the precious ember.
As you arrive you discover there was an attack, you make your way to the mines and meet Syl. Syl has been looking for her mentor, Eldric. You accept to help her and join in the search for Eldric.
Ambushed in the mines by an evil and corrupted Eldric, you discover an evil power has corrupted the ember and it’s going to destroy torchlight if you dont stop it.
In your fight with Eldric, you end up infected by the evil influence of the ember. Now not only is torchlight in peril but your own life is in danger. As you chase Eldric you go deep below the land, from catacombs, ancient prisons and ruins, you will discover the ember is not corrupting just Torchlight, but has corrupted and doomed many civilizations centuries ago.
Will you be able to find and destroy the souce of corruption before it destroys Torchlight and corrupts yourself?


Gameplay
Torchlight is a 3D action RPG with an overhead view in the style of Fate and Diablo. Torchlight features random generated dungeons which is great for replay value. Runic added new things to this version of the game, which include armors, pets and some other new things i will mention later.

The game includes four levels of difficulty ranging from; easy, normal, hard and for those who really want a good challenge, we have Hardcore. In Hardcore death is permanent for your character, do you feel Hardcore enough to play this game mode?

The game has 3 pets, two from the PC version and one more exclusive for the Xbox 360. A wolf, a lynx and the third a Chakawary.
These pets are very useful. They can carry loot and go sell it to the npc without needing you to leave the dungeon. However your pets are not only into sales. Pets can also attack the monsters and learn magic from scrolls. I taught mine to shoot fireballs and summon skeletons to help us fight, how cool is that?


3 different classes to pick from: Vanquisher, Alchemist and Destroyer. Each with different abilities.
Vanquisher: (ranged) a secret agent sent by the government to investigate what’s going on in the town of Torchlight. The ability of the Vanquish is Ricochet, a light beam that destroys everything in its path. If a train of enemies is in front of you, with one shot ricochet kills them all.
If you shoot Ricochet against a wall it will bounce, destroying monsters in its path, very powerful skill.
Alchemist: (magic) they use the power of the ember. They can cast rays that split in different balls of energy that follow and destroy the enemy. This class also has the ability to summon imps and mechanical golems to help them fight, my favorite class!
Destroyer: (melee) A wandering warrior in search of adventure, best class for melee, using Slash Attack all enemies around him are killed. It’s a very powerful skill. This class is a real power horse and can resist a lot of punishment.
I played this class with dual wielding and it can be something else, or as i call it, the pain machine!

All 3 classes can learn magic from scrolls, this includes magical protection, healing, summoning or attack. You can learn 4 different spells, you can only learn 4 at the same time. If you want to learn a new spell you must replace one you already know.
This give the characters variety as you can learn spells according to your gameplay style. Learning a spell does not affect the skills learned in your skill tree, but skills and spells share the same hotkeys in your control pad for a total of four.

The change from mouse to control pad is smooth; not forced at all, as the controls was redone by the developers for the console version, playing with the control pad feels natural.

Weapon and armor enchanter, socket enchanter (to insert ember in your weapons & armors to increase stats), and a lot of side quests are in addition to the main story.
Randomly generated dungeons are a delight, you can playTorchlight a hundred times and explore 100 different dungeons, gives the game awesome replay value.

The music, composed by Matt Uelmen also composed the music of the popular PC game Diablo by Blizzard.



Extras
Torchlight gives 2 avatar rewards including a shirt and a robot knit cap. I was hoping for a sweet armor or my own golem, sigh.
Additionaly 2 more exclusives are included for the release of the game, including a re-spec potion. By sending friends an invitation to get torchlight you get one potion and if your friends get the game they will get another potion.
Second extra is an Ogre Fish Item, it will be available for the first 2 weeks after game is released, this can turn your pet into an ogre for an undefined amount of time (please be permanent!)
There’s rumors about a third surprise based on the gifts send by the Torchlight community but this is all i know at this moment.

Downsides
Torchlight has no co-op or multiplayer of any kind, sadly this disappointed me a lot. I was hoping to jump into a dungeon and rock the house with friends but alas, maybe a patch or Torchlight II?


Overall
Expected something good from Torchlight, glad to say the game exceeded my expectations and became a instant favorite.
You can expect an amazing dungeon crawler; with a good array of quests, lots of dungeons to explore, excellent music to accompany the game, beautifully painted backgrounds and scenery, for the price of 1200 Microsoft Points you can’t go wrong with this RPG.

We give the game a 9 out of 10!

~Mario