Torchlight is another HACK-n-SLASH ACTION rpg game. Here, I’ve feebly attempting to highlight the point of the game by embiggening the correct words in that genre. To call it an RPG is like calling a boxing match a gentlemanly sport. It’s called such just to be appropriate, but we both know that indulging in it is to watch sh*t get beaten and blown off. Satisfying our primal lust to find material wealth in this world is echoed in Torchlight, where playing it is a never-ending cycle of finding loot, use it to kill stuff with, in order to find more loot. All else is secondary: the plot, the quest, the characters, the skills. It offers so little, yet its charm lies in its simplicity. The gameplay is similar to almost every game in this genre: left-click to move and attack, right-click to use skills, keyboard shortcuts use/activate items/skills on an action bar. The nice touch is that clicking is mappable and Tab will rotate between 2 skills mapped to the right-click. You can also use the function keys to create shortcuts to all your skills, but I later found out, to my detriment, that pressing a function key did not use the skill in question, rather it maps the skill to the right-click, which is odd. In the heat of battle, and you will get a spectacular number of enemies for you to kill, having to press two keys to use a skill is a millisecond too slow for my aged brain. I guess I’m not as nimble as I once were. (Almost dead in screenshot below! ) For a game that is trying very hard to super-motivate you to go and find loot, I find the loot system to be a bit broken simply by the addition of a vendor: the enchanter. Once I found a semi-powerful rare item for my character, all other loot I found became vendor trash. Even uniques! All I did was to keep enchanting the item, which grants a bonus or two each time. Sure, the odds seem to taper off after you have that many stats on your item, but enchanting a rare item to gigantulous awesomeness proportions do take the fun out of finding unique items, which to be honest, isn’t that rare at all. Uniques can also be enchanted, but the cost of doing so is dozens of times more expensive than enchanting a rare, so why bother? Comparisons to Diablo 2 is evitable. However, it is nowhere in the same league. Diablo 2 is much more challenging, in terms of loot and enemies. It is somehow this challenge that drives me onwards, to go on boss runs again and again, so that my character will be more prepared to face the next dungeon level. Compared to Torchlight, I never really need to grind for loot or levels. Enemies are quite easy to dispatch, and I was playing on Hard. I probably need to start playing on the most difficult setting then. But then, even so, I don’t think it will ever be as challenging as what I faced in D2, where you can only unlock a harder difficulty setting if you complete the previous one. And completing one is by no means an easy feat. I struggled my ass off to get to Hell difficulty. And once there, I got it handed back to me. Again. And again. Until I was scared I would get into negative experience. (I’m not much of a Titan Quest fan, so I won’t comment against that game. Which I did not really favour anyway.) Torchlight is a nice enough game for me, but it gets old too fast. The initial nostalgia of an action RPG combined with the cool is very, very fun for the first 20 odd levels or so, which lasts the odd 1-2 hours or so, but after that, repetition sets in. Deja vu kicks in and soon, I was asking myself why I am going through this dungeon which I purchased from the vendor. Just to get loot? Just to grind? If I wanted to do both, wouldn’t these two activities be more worth it to my LoTRO character? Of course, I guess all these qualms can be resolved with the promised release of the editor. The community is undoubtedly excellent at providing a fresh playing game. Just like how fans of Oblivion fixed the “auto-leveling world” for me, I expect the Torchlight community will spring up some excellent mods that will fundamentally change the game. Of course, this will take time. I’m just hoping here. This game is a fun diversion if you crave a 15-30 minute rush. But like any other drug, once you get used to it, the initial rush becomes shorter and shorter, and you’ll want something stronger soon.

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