STAFF REVIEW of Torchlight (Xbox 360 Arcade)

Thursday, March 24, 2011.
by Brent Roberts

Torchlight Box art Welcome young adventurer, you are chosen to be the salvation of a town and its people. You are chosen to be the vanquisher of evil throughout the depths below. You are chosen to aid those throughout your quest. You are the chosen savior of the town of Torchlight. Here in Torchlight you will find many things to aid your quest from different swords, staffs, bows, to magical items such as different embers and rings. Take heed though young adventurer, the depths of Torchlight are not to be taken lightly. Grab your weapon of choice, stock up on your potions, and say a prayer as we delve head first into the XboxAddict review of Torchlight.

Torchlight is made by the team at Runic Games and brings a very deep and advanced dungeon crawling experience to the Xbox Live Arcade. Originally released back in October 2009, Torchlight has put Runic Games on the map due to the high quality title developed seemingly out of nowhere from a company no one really heard of. Now almost a year and a half later, Microsoft decided to grant the wishes of many gamers and release as part of their house party promotion this fantastic arcade title. The big question when it comes to arcade games is: "Is this worth my money/Microsoft points?" Throughout your reading you will see why not only is the answer yes, but you will also see why this could easily be the best arcade title we see this year.

You will start Torchlight by selecting your character from one of the three available and each specializing in either melee attacks, ranged attacks, or magic attacks. All the characters have their own special abilities that they can learn and develop which gives Torchlight amazing character depth. After your character is created you are ready to start your quests from the villagers of Torchlight. There is a main quest you can follow which will lead you throughout the depths of the dungeons ahead, however, there are other villagers who require your assistance in completing missions of their own and in doing so will reward you with fame, gold, items, and xp. There are shops that are scattered around the town that offer various services and goods, but one that stands out is the Transmuter. The service that the Transmuter offers is the ability to combine items and embers to create new magical objects which can drastically change the tides of war in your favor. Now that you have your character all prepared it's time we venture down into the depths and explore some more of the crypts of Torchlight!

Torchlight offers a very simplistic, yet complex gameplay experience. Sure you can just walk around and press one button to attack, but Torchlight offers so much more in the range of magic and abilities. You can have multiple ability menus that you can cycle between with the push of a button which means that your gameplay experience will be incredibly unique to how you want to play.

A nice innovative touch is the addition of a pet that offers gamers a wealth of new options. For starters your pet can learn spells such as fire, ice, and more, and all of which will aid in your battles. Another role your pet can be used for is storage. This will prove invaluable throughout your quests as you can send your pet back to town to sell the goods it carries and bring back the value in gold. Another one of Torchlight's great gameplay additions is retirement. Once your character has leveled up sufficiently, you can choose to retire your character and in doing so grant specific perks and benefits to a newly created character. What this essentially means is that you can play through this game for many months and still be working towards perfection.

The graphics in Torchlight are a multi-colored treat to behold. Each level offers an environment that is simplistic, beautiful, and deadly. You will traverse environments such as rocky dark crypts, fiery lava pits, murky deep swamps, and more as you push through the 30+ levels of Torchlight. The combat sequences are beautiful and when the action gets frantic and epic you will see some vibrant colored explosions engulfing your screen. The overall graphics are smooth and the character models are very detailed for an arcade game, however with almost two years since its original launch, you get the feeling that they could have done more with the graphics.

The sound of Torchlight is truly a diamond in the rough. Runic did a brilliant move in gaining the assistance of Matt Uelmen who is the composer and sound designer for iconic game Diablo. The score of Torchlight itself is a masterpiece and it is complimented beautifully by amazing sound effects. Everything from spells being casted and swords clashing, to guns shooting wildly and bombs exploding combine with the music to produce one amazing auditory experi you have to ask yourself: "Is this game worth my money/Microsoft points?" The answer is undoubtedly yes. Rarely will we see an arcade game that can keep you playing for well over double the amount of hours as some retail titles. Rarer still to see an arcade game that can do all of this with such amazing quality and innovation. By offering up one of the best dungeon crawlers since Diablo, you already know that Torchlight is a must have for your arcade library.

1. Bring Torchlight 2 to the Xbox 360 platform with multiplayer.
2. Update the graphics

Overall: 8.2 / 10
Gameplay: 8.5 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


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