Thursday, December 17, 2009

Come on baby, light my fire

You need to come light it, because Torchlight certainly didn't.

Ok - in defense of this game I am writing this review after spending only about an hour in play. So I can't exactly review it 100% accurately, but I'll go off of my 2 levels of experience in the Torchlight dungeons. There is a free demo, so if you are interested I encourage you to download and play it.

Story: 6/10 ZOMG There is evil afoot! As far as I can tell, there are bad guys overrunning the dungeons/mines/caves which hold a magical element that the people of the town of Torchlight make their living off of. This story has definitely never been done in an RPG. It's a good story line, just way...WAY...way over done. "Evil bubbles up from the depths and threatens to overrun this town as it has so many others. The heart of a villain has infused the Ember, and his darkness seeps through the veins. To survive, the townspeople must break the cycle of destruction; they need a champion who can destroy the evil at its root." (from the "About" section of the Torchlight website)

Graphics: 6/10 Again I feel like I keep having to defend this game because of my own faults, but I am not sure that my computer is up to speed? Maybe the graphics really just weren't that great. They seemed really blocky to me.One kind of neat thing was that you can see the outline of bad guys through walls, and they have kind of a 3D-outline-esque look to them. This is a much appreciated addition to the game because of the stuck camera angle and the many, many walls of the dungeons (all basically linked hallways). If it weren't for this feature, I assume you would be getting constantly pwned by baddies you didn't even know existed.
The settings are really well executed. The mines have great textural elements, and the pathways are clearly marked. There's not much getting lost in this game. The map overlays on the center of your screen but it is not distracting. The photo above shows your key items menu and HP/MP meters. It's all very clear. Good thing - because there's basically zilch as far as tutorial. "Click to move. Hit tab to change your spell. Good luck!"

Sound: uhhh/10 I honestly can't remember if there's music. Obviously it's not annoying enough that it stuck with me, just pleasant background noise. The bad guys yell and make a general ruckus when you're slicing through them. There's voice acting for the spoken parts (which you can still click through if you read faster than they say it - love that!)

Gameplay: 4/10 I despised the controls for this game. It's click to move, click to pick up items, click to talk to on Amazon to buy a new mouse when you've played this game for more than 2 hours and your buttons are worn off. I desperately wanted to move my character with the keyboard and click to attack. The attacks are ridiculous though -- you just click click click. I felt like I was going insane. If a horde of baddies attacks it's just madness, and then I kept missing loot because you have to click on each item. Even when you open trunks. Very strange, if you ask me. I prefer the method where you click on the fallen enemy/trunk and a window pops up with the inventory.
Also character creation is extremely lacking. There are 3 classes: warrior, mage, archer. You do not get to customize your character in any way, other than to choose the class & if they have a dog or a cat as a pet. Sad! If you want to play as a girl, you're stuck as an archer. I played as a warrior. He was ok. I named him "Inigo."
When I was done playing through the dungeons I could not for the life of me figure out how to save and quit, so I just quit. I'm not sure if I log back in if I'll have to go back and replay everything I already did or if it auto-saves or what. Like I said, there is nothing as far as tutorial other than little quips on the loading screens. The help screen wasn't even very helpful. Oh well -- If I log back on and I have to replay what I've already done then I'll probably just uninstall.

Overall: 5/10 This is just an average game for me. It's got some high points, it's got some low. I am having the world's biggest brain fart, because I can't remember what game I used to play on console that this is exactly a rip of off (but the one I played was multiplayer..) but I'd just rather play that, to be honest. Admittedly I'm not much of a PC gamer, but it's all that darn clicking.

Buy/Rent: Download the demo if you're into the RPG Dungeon style games. It's definitely a game you could lose a lot of hours in. I recommended it to my husband, as he enjoys these type of games. If you like the demo, $20 for a game isn't much money at all. I wish I could tell you how many hours of gameplay you'll get out of your money, but I just didn't get that far. It was about an hour or so for me to start up and get through two levels of dungeon, so I would assume that it's going to offer quite a bit of gameplay. Also replayability as you can have a character of each class. Try it for yourself - let me know what you think!

And many thanks to my friend Jer for sending me the download of Torchlight. When I am hopelessly addicted to this game, despite my finding it sub-par, I will blame you.


Wonder Russell said...

Sorry it wasn't your cup of tea, maybe after another hour of playing! ;)

Linz said...

I definitely think the game has potential...if nothing else as one of those games you end up playing for hours and hours on end before you think, "Wow and I didn't even like this game.."

Debbie said...

good review, thanks to you, i will not buy it.

Ebel said...

Dude this game looks like the the ginger midget bastard man-child of a game series call Fate. Although, Fate was the ginger midget bastard man-child of a game called Diablo. Rorschach was a ginger midget bastard man-child, so, by default, i like it.

Anonymous said...