Tobold's Blog
Thursday, October 29, 2009
 
Good times for budget gaming

I had a short look at Torchlight yesterday, and it was a pleasant surprise. I could get it via Steam the day it came out (initial plans had been a Steam release 30 days later), and for once as a European I didn't have to overpay much: 15 Euro, which today is equivalent to $22.50, and thus not all that far from the $20 the US players pay. Torchlight is very much cloning the gameplay of Diablo 1:1, with a village and quest givers upstairs, and a random dungeon downstairs. Graphics are modern, and cartoonish, which I personally like very much. The big advantage of cartoonish graphics is that they run better than any attempts of photorealistic even on low spec machines, and they age a lot better too. Torchlight has system specs so low, it actually has a button for netbook settings in the graphical options.

Lots of other games have tried to clone Diablo, but none has come so close to the fun of the original than Torchlight. And they added some new features, like you having a pet which fights, helps to carry your inventory, and can even be sent to sell your loot and come back with the cash. There are three classes, with three talent trees each. And Runic plans to expand Torchlight into a Free2Play MMO in 18 months, although I'm not sure if that is just a fancy way of announcing the equivalent of Battle.net. Not bad for a budget game for 20 bucks.

If you can't even afford that, I'd recommend you to check out Dragon Age Journeys, a free browser RPG EA set up to promote Dragon Age Origins. For a Flash game it is surprisingly well done, nice combat system, and giving player a glimpse into the world of Dragon Age Origins. Which happens to be all I got right now, because after EA first asking me where to send a review copy and could I please write a review of Dragon Age Origins before release on November 3rd, the word now is "we should be getting word on review copies shortly. I’ll let you know asap when I hear if I’m able to reserve a copy for your site and when I anticipate it will be shipped." Dear EA, I'm happy to hear you haven't totally given up on me yet, but if you haven't even shipped your review copies on October 29th, you won't get your reviews before launch.
Comments:
I'm sitting at work just waiting to go home and get Torchlight. I love everything I've heard about it.

It also promises to be a game my wife and I can play together, since it won't have issues with her laptop. Plus like.. girls love cute graphics. Fact.

I loved Diablo 1 and 2. They're awesome as group games and single player. Plus I really love Runic's level of customer support and interaction. The fact that they priced it lower AND put out a demo is awesome.

People need to buy this game even if it's just to encourage this kind of behavior in game companies.

I really, really hope this game has an extremely low piracy rate as well.
 
"Lots of other games have tried to clone Diablo, but none has come so close to the fun of the original than Torchlight."


There's a good reason for that: Torchlight was created by many of the same people who made Diablo 1 & 2. =)
 
I just heard about torchlight on a Podcast yesterday, and now I'm seeing it everywhere. I haven't been this excited about a game in a looong time. When I get done with work today it is mine! The only problem is no multiplayer, even local. Beltayn my wife loved D2 as well, thats my only :( We won't be playing torchlight together.
 
So how good is it compared to Titan Quest? I need to complete that still...
 
I really hope Torchlight is as awesome as it looks. Can't wait to try it, and hopefully it's going to keep me entertained until Diablo 3 is released. Or perhaps even longer, maybe they did a better job than Blizzard since I understand this is from the same people who did D1 and D2!
Too bad it doesn't come with a multiplayer mode right from the start though. I really enjoyed hopping into random games with random people in D2 :)
 
I'm exited about Torchlight since I first heard about it (I think it was around PAX ). My husband seems to interested in it and is going to buy it from Steam, so hopefully I'll be playing it in a couple of days, tops. :) we're also tempted by the Witcher promotion so maybe we'll get that ond also. I'd prefer a physical copy but it's always out of stock when I look.
 
Its the best game that i have played since World of Goo and it only costs 20 bucks :)

The game has some minor flaws (shooting with a weapon may miss the target for example - even if you hover your mouse over the target to select it for an attack) but it was made with love.

I realy hope they get the MMO part right - thats all i need.

Imagine: No more mats farming - no more pugs. Just log in and have some fun with your friends! Bye bye WoW/Aion/whatever!

I realy hope they get it right *prays*
 
I have been playing torchlight on very hard difficulty setting and hardcore mode for the past two days. The game is well designed and a lot of fun. The three classes allow for different styles of play and I highly recommend trying out all three.

Everyone seems to compare it to D1&2 but graphically and gameplay wise it reminds me a lot of Fate as well. I believe the development team was comprised of people from both D1 and Fate, and the mesh has worked well. Amazing value at $20.
 
Don't forget DDO!

I'm playing that since it went F2P and it's really good fun.
 
@Faemir: I bought Titan Quest when it was on sale on Steam a few weeks ago, and it didn't grab me as much as Torchlight has.

I was up until 7am on Torchlight's release day playing it, knowing that it was a bad idea. :P

Very good game.
 
I want to point out that you can also buy Torchlight directly per credit card, no need for Steam.

The demo is Steam exclusive, on the other hand.

Some Antivirus software reports Torchlight.exe as a Trojan. The Steam version apparently does not get reported as malware.
 
I've been having a go at it. Quite a bit of fun. Stomp stomp stomp stomp. I enjoy these kind of games from time to time. I do miss the outside fighting. I always long to get outside in games like Titan Quest or Diablo when I'm clearing a cave.

Also of note: gog.com has released Divine Divinity for $5.99 (~€4). Dirt cheap but amazing game. Well worth playing for any hack & slash lover.
 
@Jasi

NO MULTIPLAYER?! Wait ...WHAT?

That was the whole freaking point that made Diablo and everything like it so cool...

Ah geez, seriously? How did I miss that? I just kind of assumed that it would have co-op multiplayer, I mean it makes SENSE right?

Gah, this changes pretty much everything.
 
Let me say thanks for the Dragon Age Journey tip - it is, as you say, both entertaining and well-made. Quite looking forward to next Tuesday now.
 
Don't freak out about the lack of multiplayer. Would it be better with it? Sure, but I think we under estimate just how complex adding multiplayer is to a game.

And Torchlight is an excellent excellent game. If you're trying to compare it to Titan's Quest, don't. Titan's Quest was a good Diablo2 clone, Torchlight may lack in storytelling but more than makes up for it in gameplay. My first hour in Torchlight was more fun than completing my first complete game in titan Quest. (And prior to this I thought TQ was good).

I can't explain it except to say that the developers obviously made Torchlight with "love"/passion while other games like Titan's Quest while good were just created by people doing a job. (If that makes sense).
 
Torchlight is a brilliant budget game ;-) I can't wait for the MMO.
 
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