Torchlight - All News
Torchlight - XBLA Review @ Evil Avatar
If you're interested in Torchlight on the X360, Evil Avatar has a very positive review:
Let’s go ahead and lay it all out here right now: I’m not going to praise Torchlight because it was made by Runic Games. I’m not going to skirt around any issues the game has because the Evil Avatar mod squad has the “in” with their PR department. No, instead I’m going to praise Torchlight because it is a fantastic action-adventure RPG that has been beautifully ported to the Xbox. If you don’t have a PC or don’t already own the PC version then you need to quit reading this review RIGHT NOW and purchase Torchlight on the Xbox 360.
Torchlight - Interview @ Gamasutra
Gamasutra has an interview with Max Schaefer about porting Torchlight to the X360, Torchlight 2 and their planned MMO:
"In some respects, the Xbox version is a straight port -- and in some respects it's more of a conversion," Schaefer tells Gamasutra. "The interface had to be completely redesigned ... the most work of the whole project was redesigning and redoing the whole interface."
After all, whether or not action RPGs of the Torchlight vein can work well on consoles has been the subject of much discussion, especially among hardcore PC fans -- many of whom helped lead Torchlight to success. And Schaefer says that the task isn't reputed to be difficult for nothing.
"You don't realize how much interface is in your game until you have to go and reinvent it," he says. "It took us a little bit by surprise... once we started digging into it, we realized how completely we had to go through it."
Torchlight - No PS3 Version
Despite having been announced recently for both X360 and PS3, it seems the PS3 version of Torchlight has been dropped. From a site called Tawkn:
"No PS3 version is planned."
Torchlight - Review @ GameBanshee
GameBanshee has a belated review of Torchlight. There's no score as usual for them but they seem pleased for the price, despite some level of repetition:
Unfortunately, there are no choices to be made during the campaign, the main dungeon appears to be relatively fixed, and the optional levels just use random themes and monsters from the main dungeon, and so Torchlight requires a certain amount of forgiveness for repetition. But with a suggested retail price of only $20 (plus frequent 75% off sales), and 40-50 hours of gameplay even if you don't decide to take a character to level 100, Torchlight is a great deal, and it's a nice enough option if you have some free time that you don't know what to do with.
While we're on Torchlight, we've previously revealed plans for PSN and X360 ports but the official press release for the X360 versio reached us today. Read it here.
Torchlight - Heading to PSN and XBL
If you're interested in Torchlight on either the X360 or PS3, head to Joystiq for details.
Torchlight - Complete Re-texture Mod v1.2
If you feel like firing up Torchlight again but would like a different feel, check out the Complete Re-Texture Mod. Screens, a Youtube video and download links in this thread at Runic Games.
Source: Voodoo Extreme
Torchlight - 500k Sales
VoodooExtreme points out Torchlight has sold half a million copies. Not bad for a small project, although it's hard to judge the average selling price with a whole bunch of Steam sales and the like.
Torchlight - 75% Off @ Steam
Steam is offering Torchlight for $5.00 USD. The sale ends Monday.
Torchlight - Wins Industry Award
Omega points out that Torchlight recently won Best Debut Game (I assume that means non-sequel or similar) at the Game Developers Choice Awards.
Torchlight - Console Bound?
DIYgamer has Max Schaefer heavily hinting that a console port of Torchlight is in, or will be in, the works.
In a brief interview with The Rumble Pack, Torchlight CEO Max Schaefer has confirmed a very juicy detail concerning their recently released action RPG, Torchlight (which we were quoted on the retail box, btw). Now I don’t want to go raising any hopes or anything, but in the interview Max has basically confirmed that Torchlight will be coming to consoles in the future. I believe his exact words were: “We are definitely moving in that direction.”
Torchlight - Review @ gameSlave
Torchlight has been reviewed at gameSlave, where it received an 8/10:
In all, Torchlight is a simple, repetitive but fun game that fully embraces its place in the RPG genre. It does not go out of the way to re-invent the wheel. What it does is build on a very well established franchise with some well thought out improvements. For those waiting for Diablo III to surface (or if you can get it in a Steam sale) it's a must purchase. Everyone else may want to consider it for its simple - if lacking - storyline and rewarding gameplay.
Source: Blues News
Torchlight - EU Boxed Edition Announced [Update]
JoWood has announced a March release for an EU boxed copy of Torchlight:
TORCHLIGHT THE NEW HACK'N'SLASH CREATED BY DIABLO DEVELOPERS - BOXED VERSION TO HIT STORE SHELVES IN MARCH!
JoWooD takes over offline distribution of Runic Games' Torchlight
Vienna, Austria, February 4th 2010; The Austrian publisher JoWooD Entertainment has obtained the rights to distribute Runic games’ brand-new Hack and Slash game “Torchlight”, adding another triple-A brand to JoWooD’s distribution titles in the first quarter of 2010. The publisher takes over all Marketing and PR, as well as sales agendas for Torchlight. The game will be available in retail stores by end of March – as demanded by many fans who still prefer to own a physical copy of games they buy.
RPGWatch Feature - Torchlight Review
We look at Runic's popular hack'n'slasher, Torchlight. With a team full of industry vets, does the game deliver enough? Txa1265 tackles the main article with additional comments from woges. Here's a sample:
Reading your class choices might seem disappointing to some - "what ... only three?" - but that belies the depth of character development available through the skill trees. The mage, for example, can be fully developed as a 'pure mage', a summoner, or as a battle mage. As a pure mage, you will be dishing out damage from a distance, keeping yourself protected, and likely using a staff that also provides ranged elemental damage. The summoner will unleash creatures to go forth and take out enemies while your character uses spells or weapons to mop up the remaining foes. A battle mage is capable of both spells or heavily-enhanced melee damage, and is great for those looking to get a taste for both a warrior and mage class simultaneously ... but also somewhat lacking in both of those specialties.
Torchlight - Editor Update
build 126.96.36.199 (01/11/10)
-Fixed unit skill panel always setting skill levels to 1 if they were 0
-Fixed base file and resource dirs not being properly made relative when modding in the unit editors
-Fixed the icon selector when modding
-Fixed [AFFIXES] blocks not appearing on skill level blocks in the skills editor (oops..broke that in the last patch)
-Skill and Quest editors are now sortable by skill/quest name.
-Fixed crash when editing stat watchers on units
-Fixed deleted monsters becoming visible again.
-Animation editor now hows a check list filter for limiting which types of animation keys are displayed.
-Fixed monsters' equipment not being displayed on monster objects in the editor
-Layouts are now auto-backed up at a default interval of every 10 minutes and just before switching to in-game mode.
These get saved to %appdata%\runic games\torchlight\torched
-You can now load the current backup for a scene though the File->Load Backup menu option
-Fixed sound bank file references not being mod friendy
-Added "Collision Radius" control to monster, player, and prop editors
-Added "Collision Mesh" control to monster, player, and prop editors
-Item editor Affix control now lists affixes in mods when modifying the list of affixes
[The following still requires a new game build to work in the actual game but are in the editor]
-Passive skills now pay attention to the skill equipment requirements
-PERCENT BLIND effect added.
Torchlight - Steam Sale
And I thought $10 was good...how about $4.99? 15 hours to go as I type.
Torchlight - Steam Achievements, 50% Off
Steam has announced Torchlight has been updated with Steam Cloud support, 60 Steam achievements and is also on sale for 50% off - $9.95 is pretty hard to argue with:
Runic's critically-acclaimed action RPG, Torchlight, has received a major update to add support for Steam Cloud functionality and Steam Achievements. With Steam Cloud support, Torchlight saved games and characters now follow you to any PC. In addition to adding Cloud support, Torchlight players may now slash their way to over 60 Steam achievements.
In celebration of the update Torchlight is available for 50% off until Monday!
Torchlight - Review @ GIN
What Torchlight’s lacks in story it makes up in environments, gameplay, and fun! It is easy to dismiss the graphics as a World of Warcraft copy but there’s enough of a unique style to give Torchlight a signature look. Even the environments, a dead-ringer of the new 3D-isometrical environment in Diablo 3, has a distinct look. It is fantastic that Torchlight can run well on older computers and newer systems given its incredibly crisp look. There were no performance problems when settings where maximized on my review system. The game is visually solid.
Source: Blues News
Torchlight - Kat's RPG Picks 2009 @ The Grind
Kat Bailey over at 1UP's The Grind has picked Torchlight as one of the best downloadable games this year. Here is a snippet from the article:
It's pretty clear that the guys who designed Torchlight knew exactly what they were doing. Loop drops almost constantly, but the really good stuff doesn't surface until near the end of the game. The game isn't particularly hard, but the monsters of all shapes and sizes are so frequent that it's not exactly boring either (and just try cranking the difficulty up to the highest levels). Most important of all, it almost never feels like you're just left-clicking over and over again. Every weapon is extremely satisfying to use, particularly at the higher levels.
Torchlight - Review @ 2404
2404 has a review of Runic's Torchlight. There's no score but the text is very positive:
In the end, Torchlight hit the jackpot exactly where it counts the most – the gameplay. If you're familiar with the one-more-turn syndrome of addictive turn-based strategy games you'll understand what I mean, except that here it’s all in real-time, it’s fast paced and you're not given a break; you just know you want to go forward and kill one more goblin, or find one more enchanted battle axe. There is so much loot that at times you'll have no clue what to keep and what to sell, which weapon to enchant and in what manner. What makes the choice even more difficult is your limited inventory, which often fills up after every battle. There are of course a couple of chests back in town at your disposal, plus your pet is able to carry some things, but I personally found myself a little overwhelmed at the amount of loot in the game. At one point I actually decided to try and just ignore everything lying on the ground, but I only say try since the curiosity of finding a more powerful weapon or enchantment is just too hard to resist.
Source: Blues News
Torchlight - Review @ Armchair Empire
The dungeons are randomly generated, so every time you take a new character into them, the layout will be different. Better still is that each level is reasonably large, so there is quite a bit of exploring to be done looking for treasure, and minor bosses that not only drop loot, but reward fame when defeated. Going through these labyrinths, it’s difficult to resist checking every nook and cranny to make sure you didn’t miss any goodies, especially loot, which is randomly generated. If there is any one thing that we can learn from games like Diablo and World of Warcraft, it’s that gamers seem to love getting their characters better and better gear with better stats, and also that makes them look more and more bad-assed along the way. Torchlight certainly delivers this in spades...In the end, Torchlight is a very solid dungeon exploring action RPG. It looks good, sounds good, there’s a ton of loot to get, and the different classes are fun to play.
Source: Blues News
Torchlight - Five Things Better Than Diablo 2
Yeah, another list. MTV has Five Things Torchlight Does Better Than Diablo 2. Despite the silly list and title, the intent is to argue this budget-priced game that might fly under the radar does have something to offer:
1) Pets and Loot
You start off your "Torchlight" adventure by choosing your class and your pet, a cat or a dog. Your pet isn't merely cosmetic, though. They'll fight for you, they'll hold loot for you and, best of all, they'll sell stuff for you. One of the most tedious aspects of "Diablo 2" has always been the need to constantly head back into town to sell unneeded loot. Now you can load up your pet with crap, click a button, and they're gone for around a minute. When they come back they'll give you the profits, no questions asked. It's a little dubious (as evidenced in this Penny Arcade comic), but in terms of convenience and cutting down on the tedium, it's genius.
Torchlight - Jan 5th Retail Release, Interview
Encore has announced a January 5th release date for the NA retail edition of Torchlight. This is also the date for the NA version of Divinity II, so despite being an odd date, there's some good gaming to be had in the New Year:
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Encore Software, Inc. and Runic Games announced today that they have entered into an exclusive publishing agreement to release the new single-player RPG game, Torchlight for PC. The product will hit retail shelves on January 5th, 2010.
Torchlight is the widely anticipated role-playing game, from the designers and leads of Diablo®, Diablo® II, Fate™, and Mythos. The game emphasizes a simple and intuitive interface, fast and furious action, and a colorful and compelling game world.
Max Schaefer, CEO of Runic Games, said, “We are very happy to partner with Encore in bringing Torchlight to retail locations. Torchlight is a AAA title for an affordable price, and in concert with the experienced Encore team, we look forward to bringing this game to all fans of the Action RPG genre.”
Torchlight will be available on January 5th, 2010 for Windows XP/Vista/7 with a MSRP of $19.99. A Mac version is also slated for release in 2010.
Encore published the digital download version of Torchlight at http://torchlight.encoreusa.com on October 29, 2009.
I'll add Werit's final Torchlight interview here. Matt Lefferts is a founder and animator and here's a snip:
Werit: What sets Torchlight apart from other Action RPG's, like Diablo II?
About 10 years for one. As kidding as that is, there’s a lot of truth to it. D2 has been around for a while now as one of the most fundamental games in the ARPG genre. It set and reset the bar many times over. Since then, the genre has had time to evolve in different ways but at its heart remains pure kickass fun. When we set out to make TL that was the number 1 thing we tried to keep in mind. Let’s not get bogged down with attempting to create a new innovations, let’s stay true to the roots and make it a badass click fest.
Torchlight - Review @ Gamespy
A review 4/5 of Torchlight has been penned over at Gamespy. A very capable Diablo clone, the reviewer calls it. He talks about how the game is a classic dungeon crawl where you play to experience the story - and to get loot:
As you'd expect from this sort of game, Torchlight is about traversing under-ground maps filled with enemies. Going deeper and deeper into the caverns below, you'll be charmed by the game's varied environments, which capitalize on Torchlight's cartoony, brightly colored visual style. You'll click on enemies to send them to their deaths, and pick up the valuable goods that spurt forth from their corpses.
Torchlight - TorchED Released and Interview
TorchED - the Torchlight editor - has finally been released. The official forum announcement links to Filefront for the download but no doubt you can pick it up from your favourite mirror. Documentation and other helpful posts are available at the Runic modding forum.
While we're talking Torchlight, Werit sends in their second of three interviews. This time, programmer Matt Tanwanteng steps up; let's take a grab on modding, since that is topical:
Werit: Torchlight is mod-able by the players. How much can a player add to the game? Is it just text files or can they also add art?
Torchlight is heavily moddable. Basic modding is incredibly easy, and you can definitely add in your own art, sound, and skills without a problem. There are definitely a few things that you won't be able to change (with a caveat that motivated, savvy modders will find a way to do it), but by and large you can do an incredible amount with the tools we give you.
Torchlight - Review @ Gametrailers
Another high scoring review of Torchlight at Gametrailers.
There's a lot to be gained from going at it in Torchlight's dungeons.
Torchlight - 10 Helpful Editor Hints
Popping in to the Torchlight forums, I find the editor is almost ready and they have posted Runic's Top 10 Helpful Hints for Torched. I won't paste a quote but head over if you plan to play with this.
Torchlight - Interview @ Werit's Blog
Werit writes in to let us know he interviewed Wonder Russel, the Minister of Culture at Runic Games, about Torchlight. This is the first interview of three that he will be doing with people from Runic. Here is a snippet from the interview:
Werit: What sets Torchlight apart from other Action RPG's, like Diablo II?
Torchlight has a very different look and feel, the art style is entirely different and very much our own thing. We also have an Enchanter, pets, fishing, save anywhere, an item inventory that does NOT use the Tetris style, and lots of little details like those that to us, make gameplaying more fun!
Werit: The infinite dungeon sounds interesting, how does it work?
It goes on and on, unending! Well it’s infinite in the sense that it will never stop randomly generating tilesets – muahahahaha. We included it for more playability once you finish the storyline quest but still want to gain fame and essentially finish the game at its level cap, which is 100.
Werit: Torchlight is mod-able by the players. How much can a player add to the game? Is it just text files or can they also add art?
They can add literally anything they can think of. Ogre is a graphics engine, and supports 3DMax so they can add their own artwork, and we are providing an incredible amount of raw files. The tools for the mods are literally the tools we wrote to make the game. Nothing is dumbed down, you get it all. Check out these forum posts to stay tuned:
Torchlight - First Impressions @ The Grind
There is a positive first impressions article up at The Grind titled 'Left Clicking for Loot'. It's a positive look at what Torchlight has to offer:
More importantly, it feels good using all that loot. The weapons crackle with every shot thanks to the powerful sound effects, and the bad guys drop in a hurry. It's not hard, but it is satisfying, which is all I ask for my $20.00. If I want a real challenge, I can always crank it up to Very Hard mode for another playthrough.
Like Trine, Torchlight fills a nice little niche populated primarily by downloadable games, in this case as a pleasant diversion for Diablo fans that does not suck up a ton of computer processing power. That last point is particularly important for me, as my poor laptop has basically crapped out after 70 hours of Dragon Age, and it simply refuses to run it at anything resembling a playable framerate. Either that or it always ran that poorly, and I've just been spoiled by Torchlight's ridiculously smooth animation (it even has a netbook mode!)
Consider this post a public service message -- even with only four hours under my belt, I can tell that Torchlight is a fine little game that's bursting with personality. If you doubt me, you can check out the demo, which is reasonably how little I've actually played. But so far, my feeling is that this is the best $20 you'll spend all year.
Torchlight - v1.12 Patch Released
Runic Games has released the expected v1.12 patch for Torchlight (although Blue's notes they forgot to update the title screen, which will still read "v1.11"). This thread at the official forum has all the details, including the status of various vendors - it gets a bit complicated with the different distribution systems, such as Steam, D2D and so on. You must use the correct patch for your vendor.
The patch is actually a full re-install, so save-game backups are recommended.
Source: Blues News
Torchlight - Reviews @ GameOver, The Hachiko
Another pair of Torchlight reviews courtesy of Blue's. GameOver scores 80% and here's a snip on improvements:
So what exactly did they change from way back in the Diablo days? Not a great deal, but on the whole I do like the little changes that they have made. You now have a permanent companion (either a dog or cat) who attacks with you and gives you more inventory slots. Companions can wear rings and necklaces and cast some spells that you give to them. Oddly you can feed fish that you catch in the dungeon to your companion to give them special skills that last for a short time. Breaking from the action to sit at a fishing hole is peculiar and I don’t understand the motivation for including it. Most conveniently you can send your companion laden with stuff to town to sell it all and return with the money. That is clearly a modification created by someone who, like anyone who had played Diablo, found themselves deep in an interesting piece of dungeon and would have liked to keep exploring but had a full inventory. That’s just a great solution. There are little chips of enchanted gems around that can be set into pieces of weaponry and armor to enhance their skills. I don’t recall Diablo doing that, though Titan Quest did, and it was definitely present in the ill-fated Hellgate: London. Given the large assortment of weapons, both melee and ranged, and the sort of mixing and matching you can do with the gem chips, the overall collection of weapons is truly vast. Finally there is a slight change to the control scheme in that the right mouse button can be reassigned easily to activate many different skills using the F1-F12 keys and that works very well.
Though there is a story to complete, the main reason you'll find yourself constantly playing the game is to get one step further in the dungeon, kill one more monster, and hopefully find a sweet piece of loot to really deck your character out with and make them ultra powerful. The idea of loot whoring really is the driving force of the game and makes me realize just how shallow I must really be. The desire to find an orange or purple piece of loot is like a drug – you'll constantly kill and crawl, hoping to finally get that drop to happen and equip your sweet new item, whether it's a helm, some gloves, or a new weapon. One of the big pastimes on the game's forums is gathering the best items, taking a screenshot of your character wearing everything you've earned, and then posting them for bragging rights.
Source: Blues News
Torchlight - Retail Release in January
For those wanting to avoid online distribution, Big Download has learned Torchlight will get a retail release (presumably in NA) through Encore in January:
Big Download confirmed with Runic Games' PR head that Torchlight will be ship to stores as a boxed retail release in early January via publisher Encore Software. In the meantime the development team is working on the game's first patch and the mod tools for Torchlight should finally be released in the very near future.
Torchlight - Reviews
Positive review of Torchlight from Alec Meer at Eurogamer.
So, it's the best Diablolike since Diablo II, and a very real rival to the upcoming (at an unspecified point, God-blinking-dammit) Diablo III. Even though there is nothing new or truly unique about Torchlight, nothing at all, that it so confidently and prettily takes the fight to Blizzard is an enormous compliment about how well put-together this is. Yeah, it gets old pretty fast - but it's also only £15. You'll definitely get your money's worth. And that's even before the MMO stuff turns up. But, by Christ, my hands hurt, and my brain is squealing for stimulation. I've had a whale of a time, largely - but I desperately would not want to put my body through these few days of unblinking kill'n'collect again any time soon.
Another review has surfaced at Incgamers that scores the game a higher 9/10.
While the lack of multiplayer may be a disappointment, Runic has a trick up its sleeve. The developer will soon release editing tools for the game which will mean fans will be able to create their own levels, thus increasing the game’s lifespan, assuming the editor is both accessible and versatile. Torchlight modding may just catch on and keep the game at the forefront of action RPG fan’s minds until the next game in the franchise is released.
Torchlight - Patch and Post Release Plans
Travis Baldree has posted on the Runic Games forums about patch plan for Torchlight:
I want this to be a quick way for us to tell you what our current bug priorities are, where we're at with them, and how it's going. I'm hoping that this will make it easier for everyone to understand what's going on with bugs they experience without having to trawl one of the many threads -
We are assembling a patch plan - not all fixes may go out in the same patch, but the more we can lump together ( and the faster we can do it ), the better it will be. We have to patch across multiple partners, and each one has to have a slightly different patch-
We'll announce the status of the patch as soon as we've got a few more of these nailed down.
This list does not include every issue, but I will add more of them as I go. Trying to spend most of my time on fixing the bugs by priority -
Read on for the lengthy list.
On a related subject, Ten Ton Hammer has a post-release interview with Max Schaefer, Travis Baldree and more with emphasis on what comes next. Apparently the first patch, then the editor:
Ten Ton Hammer: A number of fans and modders anxiously await Preditor. Any idea when we might see Torchlight’s incredibly robust level editor?
Travis Baldree, President, Torchlight Project Lead: We’re hoping this week [the week of November 1st]. Basically, what we’re doing right now is taking a lot of assets – the 3D Studio Max files, the characters, the wardrobes, the tilesets, monsters - from the game and give them out with the editor. The editor’s ready to go, it’s just a matter of packing it up with a little bit more documentation. We’re getting one patch out the door first, and that’s the plan. It should be real soon.
Source: Blues News
Torchlight - Review @ Bit-Tech
Bit-Tech brings us their review of the game. The reviewer was very impressed with the game giving it a 9/10. He felt that the simplicity and beauty of the game made up for this shortcoming such as the story and no co-op or multiplayer options. Here is a snippet from the review:
The beauty of Torchlight is that there isn't really much more to it than that simple addiction and that all the chaff which would usually get in the way of that need to grab every loot drop has been swept away with a simple flourish. Torchlight is mechanical gameplay as it's mostly distilled and pure.
There are faults obviously, the biggest of which is the lack of any co-op or multiplayer option, but there are extra tweaks that give it an edge too - the random waves of spiders and enemies that crawl out of the walls and the simplicity of the interface.
The most important boon that Torchlight has over Diablo though is simply the graphics; they aren't brown, dull and gritty in the most immature interpretation of the word. They are fresh, colourful and fitting with the simple joy the game provides, with a carefully chosen palette and array of settings which means the game can even run on most netbooks.
Torchlight - Opinion @ RPS
John Walker gives his opinion on Torchlight. He questions the longevity of the game but is still positive about it.
Torchlight’s gorgeous design (a more fun, more sleek WoW-style, emphasising on colour) and constant explosive detail ensures it’s always interesting to look at, even if it’s not always interesting to play. Three or four levels into a sequence of dragons and demons I’m finding myself a little fed up of fighting the same enemies still, and looking forward to the next shift in environment. The only problem is, I do at this point, 12 hours in, start to wonder if there’s enough incentive to keep going. I think it’s here that the dismissive narrative reveals its failing – I’ve been teased with fighting Alric so many times now than I’ve given up on it happening, and it’s been a while since any drops have competed with my own augmented equipment. Without a sense of purpose the otherwise very entertaining, if somewhat mindless, game might be running out of steam.
Torchlight - Review @ Gamespot
Although Gamespots' review of Torchlight has a score of 8/10, the article doesn't seem to be up yet.
Torchlight is a great dungeon crawler with enjoyable combat and an excellent loot system.
Edit: Ok, the review is up now and it's by Brett Todd.
Torchlight - Video Review @ Werit's Blog
Werit let's us know that he has posted a video review. There is no rating, but it is a postitve review. He plays the game while he gives his impression of it. He talks about the graphics, environments, quests, gameplay, character customization and more. Here is the summary of the game:
To summarize the video, if you liked Diablo I/II then you should probably buy this game right now. Even if you only sorta liked them, at $20 you will easily get your monies worth. I was not a big Diablo guy, but I am enjoying Torchlight. It is very easy to get into and play, even if you only have 10 minutes.
Torchlight - Reviews @ RPGamer, Cheat Code Central
Two reviews for Torchlight can be found at Metacritc. The first is from RPGamer. They give it a 4.5/5. The reviewer loved the game, but thought the story was lacking. The first paragraph sums up the general theme of the review:
A Phoenix rises from its own ashes and lives another life cycle. Though Flagship Studios crashed and burned, a new studio sprung up from Flagship Seattle, called Runic Games, and put out a title Torchlight. Though Action RPGs are common on the PC, most are compared to Diablo and found wanting for it. Torchlight manages to overcome the Diablo expectations by being a game that can stand on its own merits. With phenomenal music and great art direction, combined with an addictive combat system, it's hard to step away from the keyboard and mouse after the first floor.
The second review comes from Cheat Code Central. They give it 4.4/5 and feel that it is a fine addition to the action RPG genre:
Torchlight is part of a growing market of PC games finding success with budget prices. Runic hasn't dumbed down the experience, they've removed the fluff and distilled it down to the truly fun parts. Add in a few innovations and what you've got is Torchlight; a game that raises the expectations for dungeon-crawling action RPGs by being not just fine-tuned but affordable as well.
Torchlight - Review @ The Escapist
Positive review of Torchlight from John Funk.
Bottom Line: Torchlight absolutely nails the formula that made Diablo so addictive. The combat feels satisfying, your pet companion is a welcome addition to the genre, and there are plenty of randomized dungeons to explore in the search of the rarest treasure there is. It might not have the depth (or variety of content) of a larger game, but $20 is more than a fair price - and it'll help soothe your twitchy index finger that longs for adventure, with Diablo III so far away. It's addictive and superbly well-made, and well worth the price. Recommendation: $20 is a steal for this game. Get it.
Bottom Line: Torchlight absolutely nails the formula that made Diablo so addictive. The combat feels satisfying, your pet companion is a welcome addition to the genre, and there are plenty of randomized dungeons to explore in the search of the rarest treasure there is. It might not have the depth (or variety of content) of a larger game, but $20 is more than a fair price - and it'll help soothe your twitchy index finger that longs for adventure, with Diablo III so far away. It's addictive and superbly well-made, and well worth the price.
Recommendation: $20 is a steal for this game. Get it.
Torchlight - Now Available, Demo on Steam
The hack'n'slash Torchlight from Runic Games is now available and can be grabbed from Steam, GamersGate and Runic Games themselves. There's a demo on Steam, which according to Blue's is not available elsewhere because of some problems, but I can't see the source for that.
The full Steam download is 840Mb and as previously indicated, the toolset will be released separately at the end of the week.
Torchlight - Reviews @ Hellforge, WarCry
Hellforge's Sol Invictus said he might write his Torchlight review in a first-person perspective on a forum a day or two back and he's done exactly that. This means it doesn't follow the usual formula and has no score but it looks like he is enjoying it:
Back in the city, there were rumors abound that some miners in a town called Torchlight had struck it rich by tapping into a newly discovered deposit of Ember. A rumor had spread that the cache of those miners discovered was unlike any other strain of the valuable mineral. I had to see it for myself; I knew right then that their discovery, if true, would prove invaluable to my research into the alchemical arts.
I’d spent much of my life chasing ghosts and I thought that this would be no different. The risk of returning empty handed was one I was willing to take, but what I discovered in that little town changed my life forever. At least I wasn’t alone, for my faithful hound Hunter was with me. Imbued with the various essences of magic and infused with the spirit of an ancient mage, Hunter was far from ordinary.
...and a more traditional review from WarCry (thanks GameBanshee). No score again. so here's the conclusion:
Torchlight is a LOT of fun for those who adore ACTION RPGs and/or shooters. Torchlight has brought the best of Diablo, Mythos, Hellgate and Fate to bear and it shows. I couldn't get enough of Torchlight and can't wait to see what the community creates using the level editor. Similarly, I am already eagerly anticipating the Torchlight MMO. At any price, Torchlight is a bargain and you will squeeze every dollar and more out of it. The action RPG market has been missing a big hit for a long time and it's a good bet that Torchlight is going to be a hit. Torchlight brought a smile to my face and will undoubtedly bring a lot of smiles to others as well. Torchlight is a surefire winner in its niche and a good bet to make hefty inroads into the MMO market in the future.
Torchlight is a LOT of fun for those who adore ACTION RPGs and/or shooters. Torchlight has brought the best of Diablo, Mythos, Hellgate and Fate to bear and it shows. I couldn't get enough of Torchlight and can't wait to see what the community creates using the level editor. Similarly, I am already eagerly anticipating the Torchlight MMO.
At any price, Torchlight is a bargain and you will squeeze every dollar and more out of it. The action RPG market has been missing a big hit for a long time and it's a good bet that Torchlight is going to be a hit. Torchlight brought a smile to my face and will undoubtedly bring a lot of smiles to others as well. Torchlight is a surefire winner in its niche and a good bet to make hefty inroads into the MMO market in the future.
Torchlight - Level Editor and Videos
Runic Games announced that the level editor for Torchlight will not come with the game. Instead, it will be available as a free download from Torchlight's homepage and various other sites. They state that to include the level editor it would make the download too laborious, especially for people who just want the game.
In addition, you can view 23 minutes of spoiler free videos at Runic Games Fansite. The videos are from the Endless Dungeon where everything is random and has nothing to do with the actual plot of the game. You'll see random enemies, traps, loot and more.
Torchlight - Review @ Torchlight Insider
Torchlight Insider has written a review of Torchlight giving it 9.5/10. They were very impressed with the overall game and the modding tools available for it:
Overall, the game is simply amazing. If you enjoy Diablo, Diablo 2, Fate, or Mythos, you will love Torchlight. If you’ve never played the games, Torchlight is worth a try. The game is the most involving, immersive Action/RPG of its kind that I’ve played, and I HIGHLY recommend you at least pick it up. If not, you’re missing out.
Mega thumbs up to the Runic Games team for developing this game in a year and making such a polished game. There have been a few reports of crashes, but one crash in 12 hours of gaming with no breaks for your computer isn’t always the game’s fault. Sometimes bosses will try to hide in corners or escape their main chambers to cause some problems, but again, this is a minor/non-issue.
And final note, I did not get to do any playing with TorchED, the editor being released shortly after the game (formerly known as PrEditor, but that’s changed due to copyright issues). If you’re a modder, or a mod-player, Torchlight is going to be VERY mod-friendly to give it even more replayability down the road as players add more content, more quests, more items, more classes, or more monsters. So another boon to an already great game.
Torchlight - First Review @ RunicGamesFansite
Torchlight has been reviewed by The Original Runic Games Fansite. They have given the game a 97% rating, not surprisingly, given the site's focal point. Here's a bit about loot:
What else is left for me to talk about? Right, LOOT! This is a loot game. Max said it in interviews, the devs have said it all over the place, and now I am telling you. Without ruining anything vital, I can tell you that there are multiple secret areas in various dungeons that are fills with gold and chests. There are mysterious secret dungeons that appear temporarily, sometimes even in the middle of a battle, and lead you to more gold, chests, and powerful monsters.
Torchlight - Matt Uelmen Interview
Shack News interviews Matt Uelmen, Torchlight's composer.
Matt Uelmen is a product of that era. Rather than attempting to mimic a marketable Hollywood ideal, his music is trademarked by live recordings and eclectic instrumentation. He's a humble, multi-talented guy, who can both conjure sound effects out of thin digital air and compose symphonic scores by hand.
I originally set out to run a tribute to the Diablo scores in 2007, a little over a decade since the release of the first game. However, after contacting Blizzard that summer, they told me that Uelmen had recently left the company, and I feared that he'd permanently moved on to other endeavors.
But after a short break from game development, Uelmen and many of the key figures once involved in the Diablo franchise have come full circle. The team at Runic Games--a start-up founded by former Blizzard North icons Max and Erich Schaefer, Peter Hu, and Fate designer Travis Baldree--is currently readying to release a new action-RPG, Torchlight, on Tuesday.
A budget-priced game in the style of Diablo, Torchlight is the first step toward a full online effort for Runic; a bold new venture, and a perfect opportunity for an interview.
In this lengthy ten-page conversation, we cover Uelmen's entire career: the early days at Blizzard North--a company first known as Condor--to the tragic 2003 breakup of the studio; his years at Blizzard Irvine spent contributing to the music of World of Warcraft; and his exciting new gig at Runic Games.
Torchlight - Interview @ Gamasutra
At Gamasutra there is an interview called Working by Torchlight. In it the president and project director Travis Baldree and CEO Max Schaefer discuss how their past experience has helped them create Torchlight, digital distribution, plans for the MMO, keeping in touch with the community, the modding tools, the PC market and more.
Your mod tool looks like a full-fledged level editor.
MS: It's even more than a level editor.
TB: It's an everything editor.
MS: You can adjust the stats globally and the balance of the game globally or item. You can do particle systems. You can do scripting for quests for events. You can do level layout.
TB: You can build your own skills. You can rebalance all the existing skills. You can change their names, their icons, their particles, and their animations. If you wanted to raise their level cap, it's about five seconds. Pretty much everything we used to build the game is available. You can add new sets of items. You can add new uniques. You can rebalance all the existing ones. It's pretty full featured. It's actually pretty fun to play with.
MS: This is the actual tool that we're using to make the game. We're not dumbing it down for the consumer or anything. This is the real deal what we use every day to make the game. We fully expect our modding community to do even cooler things than we've done with it because there are thousands of [potential modders].
Source: Blues News
Torchlight - Interview @ Shacknews
Omega writes in to mention that Runic Games' Peter Hu is interviewed by Shacknews to talk about Torchlight, discussing the way quests function, mod tool support, and future multiplayer plans.
Shack: How is the game structured? I saw the town hub a minute ago. Are there several? How do you progress through the game?
Peter Hu: For the singleplayer game, there is one city. You progress through quests, but it's not completely linear. It'll send you to different dungeon areas that are not necessarily one dungeon after another. There'll be branches in the dungeon and things like that.
But the concept is, the city is sitting on top of a mountain where they've discovered veins of a mineral called Ember, which provides people with magical powers. So all these civilizations come to this mountain, start mining the Ember, and gain this power, but then it corrupts them, and they wall themselves off within the mountain.
So as you go through the mountain and explore these areas, you'll find different pockets of civilizations, that are like undead dwarves, or whatever. You'll encounter them, you'll probably kill a lot of them, and slowly reveal the story of what's going on with the mountain.
Torchlight - Pre-orders are Go
Perfect World Entertainment announces that pre-orders for the action rpg are now available.
“Torchlight” Preorders Now Available from Perfect World Entertainment
Preorder to Enter to Win a Limited Edition Signed Poster
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Perfect World Entertainment, Inc, a wholly owned US subsidiary of Perfect World Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ:PWRD), today announced that it will be distributing Runic Games’ upcoming single-player version of its action-RPG, Torchlight for PC. Preorders will be available on the Perfect World Entertainment portal at http://torchlight.perfectworld.com/.
Along with being one of the first to download the game for US$19.99 on October 27, preorders will be entered to win limited edition Torchlight posters signed by Runic Games’ CEO, Max Schaefer and co-founder, Erich Schaefer. The Schaefer brothers are best known for co-founding Blizzard North and for their work on bringing Diablo and Diablo II to life.
“Runic Games has always been about delivering quality action-RPG entertainment to gamers and by offering Torchlight preorders, gamers can look forward to being one of the first to enjoy the game,” said Max Schaefer, CEO of Runic Games. “For less than a pair of movie tickets, Torchlight offers nearly limitless replayability, as well as our full development tool suite.”
“Torchlight is a phenomenal game coming from the industry’s top talent and we are very pleased to be able to offer preorders to players on our portal,” said Dr. Alan Chen, CEO of Perfect World Entertainment. “For us, Torchlight bridges the gap between Eastern and Western players and we look forward to working closely with Runic Games on the upcoming, free-to-play MMO version of Torchlight.”
About Runic Games, Inc.
Runic Games is a developer of PC-based entertainment software, designing games that focus on quality, approachability, and fun. Runic Games is staffed by a team with experienced members, including leads on "Diablo," "Diablo II," "Diablo II: Lord of Destruction," "Fate," "Hellgate: London" and "Mythos." Runic Games is located in Seattle, Washington, United States.
About Perfect World Entertainment
Perfect World Entertainment, a subsidiary of Perfect World Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ:PWRD), publishes free-to-play, online games and provides online services in North America. The Company primarily publishes three-dimensional, or 3D, online games based on the Perfect World proprietary Angelica 3D game engine and game development platform. Perfect World Entertainment’s goal is to provide North American users with perfectly polished gameplay, exceptional localization, the highest quality customer service, and an unparalleled online community experience.
For more information on Perfect World Entertainment visit http://www.perfectworld.com/about/aboutus.
Source: Blues News
Torchlight - Video Interview @ Gamespot
Gamespot interviews Runic Games' Max Schaefer who talks about Torchlight while showing a lot of in-game footage.
Thanks Omega for sending the link.
Torchlight - Interview @ Crispy Gamer
There's a two-part interview with Runic's Travis Baldree, Max Schaefer and Jason Beck at Crispy Gamer, discussing the imminent Torchlight. Here's a sample from Part 1:
Crispy Gamer: Why did you decide to do an Alchemist class as opposed to a straight magic user like a Mage?
Travis: Well we really like guns. One of the abilities we liked in Mythos was using rifles and pistols and some of the summons that we ended up doing for the Alchemist ended up having kind of a steampunk flavor. We just wanted to do something slightly different. The gameplay we want to be familiar.. you can play fairly Mage-y with an Alchemist, but it’s fun to do things slightly different.
Max: We wanted to make charcters that weren’t totally typecasts in their roles. So the Alchemist can be played as magic user or as a combat focused type character if you want to. So we wanted to create character classes that don’t imply a direct and simple specialization. Because they have strengths and emphasis but you kind of want people to do whatever they want. So if you find a really cool bow and you’re a Destroyer, you should be able to use it.
And a link to Part 2.
Torchlight - Dev Diary Video 2
The second behind the scenes Torchlight developers diary is now available.
Torchlight - Interview @ G4TV
G4TV interviews Max Schaefer and lead artist Jason Beck about Torchlight:
G4: The art style for Torchlight is definitely unique -- very stylized. Can you tell me a little about where that was born out of?
Jason Beck: It was building off of what we thought we were honing in on with Mythos and definitely analyzing what we thought worked, what didn't work, getting around the pipeline that we had for Mythos. It's definitely a lot more efficient and effective for the tools we have now for Torchlight. The biggest thing was, we tried to experiment with a few things out [and] by a tiny coincidence, the D3 [Diablo III] stuff came out and we said "well, we can't go that route." We'd already built on the somewhat casual look, so it just pushed us more towards the classic animation-type setup where you've got these painterly backgrounds and really crisp, stylized, almost comic book-style characters on the top of it. Again, our art team shares a certain sensibility about what we link and it did seem like a pretty natural fit for us.
Torchlight - Dev Diary Video
In their first developer diary, the team responsible for Torchlight is interviewed on location at Runic Games. Get a view of the studio and learn more about the vision for Torchlight in this video.
Torchlight - Alchemist Trailer
There's a new trailer for Torchlight showing off the Alchemist class - check it out at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
Torchlight - Vanquisher Trailer
Here's a new trailer for Torchlight, titled the Valiant Vanuisher, courtesy of Shacknews.
Torchlight - Hands-on @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer is next with Torchlight impressions from PAX, with additional input from Max Shaefer and Travis Baldree:
There's the depth here that you might expect - the inventory and character pages are bafflingly, temptingly vast - but it's a game that's been designed to fit in around your life, too. "One of the focuses for the game has been to be really respectful of people's time," says Travis Baldree, Torchlight's lead designer. "I've got a four-year-old, and I don't have time for all the usual nonsense. So when you save, Torchlight saves exactly where you stand, and on top of that, we give players a pet, which will level with you and has its own inventory. That means you can get it to go back to town and sell items for you while you stay in the dungeons. We've tried to remove all the obstructions that could make a game annoying. I want to make a game I can just sit down and play."
Torchlight - PAX Hands-on @ Joystiq
Joystiq has some hands-on impressions of Travis Baldree's Torchlight from PAX that also includes a trailer and some concept art. Here's a snip:
Initially, you enter dungeons near the town of Torchlight and quickly pick up different quests. We were set off in search of someone who had wandered into the dungeons -- how foolish! Controls are simple to grasp, making it easy to engage foes, blast off spells, gather loot and explore the dungeon. What makes it so much fun is the whimsical design. The cartoon style really doesn't seem like an art direction you'd choose for a hack 'n' slash RPG, but the entire world has a fantastic look and feel. At one point, our Alchemist went to open a chest, and it tried to bite him. It then sprouted legs and ran around before we finally took it out with a spell. Apparently, those are called "Mimics" and will appear throughout the game.
Thanks leth and ActionTrip.
Torchlight - Screens & Artwork
A set of screenshot and artwork from the dungeon crawler Torchlight can be found at Ten Ton Hammer
Torchlight - Website Live
Hi, I’m Erich Schaefer, one of the co-founders of Runic and a designer of Torchlight. This is the first time I haven’t been the lead on a game. I’m taking more of a support and mentor role and it feels great; passing the baton on to a younger and smarter team.
Torchlight - Interview @ PC Games
Runic Games' PR guy "Wonder Russel" fronts up for an interview with German site PC Games.de, though fortunately, an English version is on offer. If you recall, this is lead by Travis Baldree of FATE and Mythos fame. Since "dark and gritty" has been a topic of conversation, here's a suitable quote:
pcgames.de: You're using a very unique graphics style in this game. Why didn't you pick a dark, sinister setting?
Russel: Thanks! Hopefully by "unique” you mean "brilliant”. We do get this question a lot and I think it's really simple. We're not making a dark, sinister, oppressive game...it's a fun, fast-paced adventure. We want to make this new Torchlight universe one that people want to spend some time in and explore. Color isn't something to be afraid of...nor does grey, grit, and semi-realism make something "better”. Ultimately, you have to go with the visual look that best suits the game. And for us it meant working in a style that appeals to us, suits the tone of the world we're creating, and is inviting and accessible for players. Now, it's not to say that we aren't going for dark and sinister in certain areas, creatures, or with gear...we've hit those marks...we just do it with a bit of color and exaggeration!
Source: Blues News
Torchlight - Video Interview @ MMORPG
MMORPG has a video interview of the Hack & Slash RPG Torchlight that will be turned in an MMO after the release of the single player version this fall. The single player version is however the main focus of the interview.
Torchlight - Interview @ Gamebunny
In a chat with various developers of action-RPG Torchlight, Gamebunny tries to shed some more light on things, while adding a few exclusive screens as well.
gamebunny:Can you describe Torchlight’s plot to us in a nice, wee paragraph?
Runic (John Dunbar):
Sure! Torchlight is a boomtown built on top of a rich deposit of a magic stone called Ember. Ember is the keystone of alchemy and quite valuable, and all sorts of people came to Torchlight to make their fortunes. Unfortunately for the miners, they weren’t the first to discover this particular vein of Ember- the mountain is in fact a layer cake of ruined civilizations, growing more ancient the deeper one descends. The inhabitants are, of course, not entirely dead. Through exploring this labyrinth of caverns and ruins, the player uncovers a plot that threatens much more than just the small mining town.
gamebunny: About how many hours are you expecting a single play-through to take?
Runic (Erich Schaefer):
We are estimating about 10-20 hours to play through the storyline. On the longer side if it’s your first time, and quicker if you’re experienced and just plow through. After the storyline quests are complete, however, you still delve deeper and deeper, fighting tougher monsters and finding more loot.
Torchlight - Preview video @ Ten Ton Hammer
Torchlight is a single player action RPG that will be transformed after the release in the fall into an MMORPG (although that will take a few years) also named Torchlight. Torchlight will be released with a modding set that allows the modder to change a lot of the game.
Ten Ton Hammer had an interview with Travis Baldree from Runic Games, the company that was formed by Travis (creator of Fate), Max Schaefer and Erich Schaefer (co-founders of Blizzard North), and the Flagship Studios Seattle team responsible for Mythos. The interview is recorded and you can check it out together with some ingame content and the modding tools right here.