Zero Punctuation: Torchlight

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I wondered about this game after I saw it reviewed o "Reviews on the run".

They said "If your hurt'in for a 3rd Diablo; then this is the one for you" (not a direct quote, BUT close).

I think the best thing that's said about it is... For under $10 it's worth picking up.

njsykora:
Also the girl is pretty much useless, as are all bow-wielders without some support which you can't get since this is single player only.

Seriously? It's pretty widely accepted that she's easy mode (although Torchlight is ridiculously easy to begin with, and anyone who's ever used a keyboard and mouse before should probably start on at least hard). You don't need any support once you get up a few levels and get the exploding shot that flattens entire rooms in a few hits. From there on, you just march through the game firing off a bunch of those ahead of you whenever you enter a room/new area, and everything dies, no questions asked. You don't need any other skills or spells or anything, or even your pet.

This review does have some good points about the kinds of things that can get annoying in the game. It's by no means perfect; I'd say good (if you're into that sort of thing), but not great. Oddly enough, I always hated the Diablo games, but I was at least entertained enough by Torchlight to play it through once, and it was worth the sale price. I wouldn't pay the regular price of $20 for it, but that's what Steam weekend/holiday sales are for. Titan Quest is still my favorite hack and slash, though.

I hope so. It seems like the sort of game he might like, since it's Diablo With Guns, but it has so much style, doesnt take itself seriously, and has a decent (if reference-based) level of writing.

Next, week, I hope.

I like your chracter's little HAT

Funny review as usual. Don't agree with his assessment of it. I got it off the Steam sale (sadly at $10 instead of $5) and haven't regretted the purchase. I installed it on my home PC and my work laptop (which, thanks to the pitiful system requirements runs quite well) and thanks to cloud saving I can basically play it wherever I want.

If you haven't played the game, try out the demo. It is worth it, unless you do not like Diablo or Diablo-type games, because at times TL just feels like a very sophisticated Diablo Mod.

I personally liked that the review addressed my own personal relationship with Torchlight. I remember downloading the demo, then saying to myself, "Well, gee, it's a nice enough little game, but do I want to pay 20 bucks for a shinier, fresher incarnation of the exact same game I've played a half-dozen times through?" And then there was the Steam holiday sale, which is the entire reason I own Torchlight. And Audiosurf, Painkiller, and a big bulging pack of adventure games, come to think of it, but now I've strayed off topic.

I'd argue that this game was significantly more rewarding than an ice cream sandwich (for the price), but I also immediately installed a mod that re-skinned the warrior class as a blood-covered Brock Samson, so I suppose the full credit for my enthusiasm must be split among the game proper, the editor tools, and the fan community.

I gotta agree with the review this week completely. Torchlight is really just a copy of Diablo, with all the flaws, but just like Diablo I got four dollars of fun out of it.

coldalarm:

BonsaiK:
It's official, Yahtzee does not like Torchlight, he has no soul.

While most of what he says is just his opinion and therefore neither here nor there (although the fact he didn't find the interface very intuitive amazes me), he actually got one important part of the review drastically, unforgivably wrong - you don't have to click for each attack, you can hold down the mouse button and your character will keep attacking the same enemy until it dies. Even if you're no longer hovering your mouse pointer over it. This is actually one of the most meaningful improvements the game has over Diablo - it's far less of a click-fest in so many ways. He's sure getting sloppy, gone are the days of stuff like the Bioshock review where he actually honed in very precisely on what was really wrong with the game. I guess a couple years' worth of deadlines must finally be getting to him. I think he needs a couple of months off.

Agreed. I have to say I was left unimpressed by that review, and not just because I'm a Torchlight fan.

Compared to current RPGs (that is Dragon Age: Origins, Neverwinter Nights I suppose, Borderlands, Fallout 3, Mass Effect, Drakensang, Oblivion and the swathe of MMORPGs), Torchlight is a standout title. It's got a low selling price, it's got functional graphics that aren't ridiculous, it's easy enough to understand (although I'd say the itemisation is a bit messy), and it's fun.

I have paid more for games I've played for less than Torchlight. There are no Dungeon Running games that I can think of that are as recent or as successful as Torchlight, at least not since the days of Diablo 2. It's a back-to-basics game (as Yahtzee pointed out) that manages to not suck. It's proof that indie games can do extremely well and that you don't need to stay modern to do well.

Torchlight does has flaws, but certainly not any of the flaws that Yahtzee pointed out. The interface is brilliant, the design is amazingly thoughtful (the pet that sells your items for you will be appreciated by any Diablo fan), the game is certainly bloody hard enough on Very Hard Hardcore, and I still can't get over how he missed that whole "hold the button down to continuously attack" thing - you'd think someone who hates clicking as much as he claims to would have found that out almost straight away. It's as if he just wasn't paying attention. One of the game's loading messages even mentions this feature!

I would have liked to see him spending less time making dumb jokes about the economies of small towns over conveniently-placed pits of hell (his point being that the plot is contrived, we get it - but since when are Action RPGs ever about the plot?) and more time actually dissecting the game. It almost feels like he padded the review out with that stuff at the start just to add some fluff so people wouldn't notice that he hadn't actually really analysed the gameplay much.

At least Torchlight doesn't have any multiplayer for him to ignore.

BonsaiK:
It's official, Yahtzee does not like Torchlight, he has no soul.

While most of what he says is just his opinion and therefore neither here nor there (although the fact he didn't find the interface very intuitive amazes me), he actually got one important part of the review drastically, unforgivably wrong - you don't have to click for each attack, you can hold down the mouse button and your character will keep attacking the same enemy until it dies. Even if you're no longer hovering your mouse pointer over it. This is actually one of the most meaningful improvements the game has over Diablo - it's far less of a click-fest in so many ways. He's sure getting sloppy, gone are the days of stuff like the Bioshock review where he actually honed in very precisely on what was really wrong with the game. I guess a couple years' worth of deadlines must finally be getting to him. I think he needs a couple of months off.

I agree completely. This is the 3rd game review, after the DMC4 and GTA4, when i find Yahtzee tearing apart games that I enjoyed. I know his hole jig is to bitch about games and most of the time he is right. But when you see him going on a nerd and swear rage about small stuff, like mouse clicking and the npc not moving around(like that would enhance the experience of a HACK AND SLASH game...), just makes it more sad then funny. Best 3 euros i ever spent on a game ! After Team Fortress 2 ofc.

I dunno... The review was good, but it wasn't as funny as some of the others... It just grinded a lot of the same points Yahtzee complained about in prev games. Raises the question of "why did he need to review it?", especially with games like Bayonetta and Darksiders out. But I guess it will be a while until they get to Australia...

BonsaiK:

coldalarm:

BonsaiK:
It's official, Yahtzee does not like Torchlight, he has no soul.

While most of what he says is just his opinion and therefore neither here nor there (although the fact he didn't find the interface very intuitive amazes me), he actually got one important part of the review drastically, unforgivably wrong - you don't have to click for each attack, you can hold down the mouse button and your character will keep attacking the same enemy until it dies. Even if you're no longer hovering your mouse pointer over it. This is actually one of the most meaningful improvements the game has over Diablo - it's far less of a click-fest in so many ways. He's sure getting sloppy, gone are the days of stuff like the Bioshock review where he actually honed in very precisely on what was really wrong with the game. I guess a couple years' worth of deadlines must finally be getting to him. I think he needs a couple of months off.

Agreed. I have to say I was left unimpressed by that review, and not just because I'm a Torchlight fan.

Compared to current RPGs (that is Dragon Age: Origins, Neverwinter Nights I suppose, Borderlands, Fallout 3, Mass Effect, Drakensang, Oblivion and the swathe of MMORPGs), Torchlight is a standout title. It's got a low selling price, it's got functional graphics that aren't ridiculous, it's easy enough to understand (although I'd say the itemisation is a bit messy), and it's fun.

I have paid more for games I've played for less than Torchlight. There are no Dungeon Running games that I can think of that are as recent or as successful as Torchlight, at least not since the days of Diablo 2. It's a back-to-basics game (as Yahtzee pointed out) that manages to not suck. It's proof that indie games can do extremely well and that you don't need to stay modern to do well.

Torchlight does has flaws, but certainly not any of the flaws that Yahtzee pointed out. The interface is brilliant, the design is amazingly thoughtful (the pet that sells your items for you will be appreciated by any Diablo fan), the game is certainly bloody hard enough on Very Hard Hardcore, and I still can't get over how he missed that whole "hold the button down to continuously attack" thing - you'd think someone who hates clicking as much as he claims to would have found that out almost straight away. It's as if he just wasn't paying attention.

I would have liked to see him spending less time making dumb jokes about the economies of small towns over conveniently-placed pits of hell (his point being that the plot is contrived, we get it - but since when are Action RPGs ever about the plot?) and more time actually dissecting the game. It almost feels like he padded the review out with that stuff at the start just to add some padding so people wouldn't notice that he hadn't actually really analysed the gameplay much.

At least Torchlight doesn't have any multiplayer for him to ignore.

I'd say the reason he "padded" the review was because there wasn't much to review in the first place.

I agree with Yahtzee almost entirely. I played on the hardest difficulty as the woman, which was fun for a while but then it just became so BORING and EASY. I constantly had to sell potions and scrolls because they dropped so frequently, and the vast majority of the items dropped by monsters sucked. Identifying them all was so tedious, and there were so many of them my shitty pet had to take multiple trips. Usually by the time he got back in the midlevels (3 mins?) I had a full inventory of trash AGAIN. Also, aside from the occasional cosmetic changes, the levels were practically the same. I only got to level 16 I believe, then I quit, but I only remember 4 maps: Mines, dungeon, water ruins, the levels after water ruins. Seriously, too repetitive.

The game wasn't bad, in fact It was addictive at first, but it just got boring for me. I did like the feature where you can feed fish to your pet to transform him, but the game was so easy I never actually used it besides seeing what he transformed into. If he got into trouble I just gave him some of my 40+ potions and he continued to tank or whatever.

GrinningManiac:

Spinwhiz:

WestMountain:
Why didnt those first guys get banned for commenting that early?

Patience Grasshopper.

Hee Hee. I know this is completely unrelated, but did anyone ever tell you how funny your avatar is? I dunno, it's the nose poking out, but it makes me giggle. Sorry for the interruption

Thank you very much :)

i might have to use the loot dog as my avatar for a while.

You DO know you can hold the fucking mouse button down and you dont have to click so much?

Fighting against hordes of enemies is the whole point imo.

played as the archer and just aggro'd everything and then explosive shot the whole room to death, fun.

Sure the identifying gets old, but the game throws so much at you that it doesnt matter.

Plus, it looks like wow because *gasp* it was made by creators of Diablo and Fate. GO FIGURE.

The interface is actually quite nice. It's easy to use, and simple containing (wow!) 4 hotkeys plus a changable right click special.

qq more yahtzee

Even though I absolutely loved Torchlight, I still thought this review was funny. Though I'm curious why Yahtzee is reviewing it now as opposed to last year when it was still new.

You think it's easy? Try killing the last boss without dieing with Alchemist.

Trust me, it's bloody hard. Unless you have Uber upgraded gear from that Enchanter guy.

Nice review though.

Yahtzee, I think I can save you a week's worth of work with my current idea.

Simply use this same review next week, but replace every occurrence of the word "torchlight" with the word "diablo" and slightly modify a couple of segments to suit it as a diablo review.

Repetitive hordes? Excessive clicking? Gnats dropping iron helmets? Yeah, I think my idea is valid enough.

snowplow:

I'd say the reason he "padded" the review was because there wasn't much to review in the first place.

I agree with Yahtzee almost entirely. I played on the hardest difficulty as the woman, which was fun for a while but then it just became so BORING and EASY. I constantly had to sell potions and scrolls because they dropped so frequently, and the vast majority of the items dropped by monsters sucked. Identifying them all was so tedious, and there were so many of them my shitty pet had to take multiple trips. Usually by the time he got back in the midlevels (3 mins?) I had a full inventory of trash AGAIN. Also, aside from the occasional cosmetic changes, the levels were practically the same. I only got to level 16 I believe, then I quit, but I only remember 4 maps: Mines, dungeon, water ruins, the levels after water ruins. Seriously, too repetitive.

The game wasn't bad, in fact It was addictive at first, but it just got boring for me. I did like the feature where you can feed fish to your pet to transform him, but the game was so easy I never actually used it besides seeing what he transformed into. If he got into trouble I just gave him some of my 40+ potions and he continued to tank or whatever.

What did you expect? It's a dungeon crawler.

If I could apply tweaks to it, I'd reduce the droprate of potions and possibly town portal scrolls. The Identify Scrolls are incredibly useful but I don't think they should cost an inventory spot. I've only used the Hunter-esque character, so I can't speak for the others however.

Yahtzee didn't even really mention the fishing in his review, which I only just realised. I found it quite a nice change from mass murder.

I completed it on easy as the warrior, which was piss easy then started again on normal as another warrior, which was fine up until the point I discovered that, on normal, the enchanter has a progressively higher chance of cancelling out weapon enchantments completely, the more you attempt to add. This didn't bother you at all? Because that dick move made me abandon the game there and then. That's like adding a random chance of being reset to level 1, sounds mad but it's just another step up that particular ladder.

"identify items then give them to your cat/dog so he can sell them in town"
Fate did that a while ago :o

I suppose this would be a game for John Defoe then, although even he would probably just stab at the keyboard rather than actually consciously play this game.

An interesting review Yahtzee, although this genre of game never really suited my tastes. So I'll give it a miss.

A very true review, Torchlight is pretty crap (after buying it for 15), mindlessly repetitive with no challenge whatsoever.

Although I've got to say I probably enjoyed Torchlight enough and played it long enough to justify the 12 price tag, but my enthusiasm for the game waned before the dungeon slog was over. I'd be more generous to the game - as a unabashed Diablo clone, it promised amusement by upping your stats and murdering tons of dudes and it duly delivered - but the sawdust analogy and the comment about the samey environments did hit home.

silensay:
Yahtzee, I think I can save you a week's worth of work with my current idea.

Simply use this same review next week, but replace every occurrence of the word "torchlight" with the word "diablo" and slightly modify a couple of segments to suit it as a diablo review.

Repetitive hordes? Excessive clicking? Gnats dropping iron helmets? Yeah, I think my idea is valid enough.

Considering the dev team of Torchlight is the Diablo 1/2 dev team, it's not suprising at all that the entire game is the EXACT same with a graphics upgrade (and no mp)

coldalarm:

BonsaiK:
It's official, Yahtzee does not like Torchlight, he has no soul.

While most of what he says is just his opinion and therefore neither here nor there (although the fact he didn't find the interface very intuitive amazes me), he actually got one important part of the review drastically, unforgivably wrong - you don't have to click for each attack, you can hold down the mouse button and your character will keep attacking the same enemy until it dies. Even if you're no longer hovering your mouse pointer over it. This is actually one of the most meaningful improvements the game has over Diablo - it's far less of a click-fest in so many ways. He's sure getting sloppy, gone are the days of stuff like the Bioshock review where he actually honed in very precisely on what was really wrong with the game. I guess a couple years' worth of deadlines must finally be getting to him. I think he needs a couple of months off.

Agreed. I have to say I was left unimpressed by that review, and not just because I'm a Torchlight fan.

Compared to current RPGs (that is Dragon Age: Origins, Neverwinter Nights I suppose, Borderlands, Fallout 3, Mass Effect, Drakensang, Oblivion and the swathe of MMORPGs), Torchlight is a standout title. It's got a low selling price, it's got functional graphics that aren't ridiculous, it's easy enough to understand (although I'd say the itemisation is a bit messy), and it's fun.

I have paid more for games I've played for less than Torchlight. There are no Dungeon Running games that I can think of that are as recent or as successful as Torchlight, at least not since the days of Diablo 2. It's a back-to-basics game (as Yahtzee pointed out) that manages to not suck. It's proof that indie games can do extremely well and that you don't need to stay modern to do well.

The graphics aren't ridiculous? They are a blatant rip from Warcraft (which is ridiculous as well). I'll yield that the game is pretty solid, if not boring after a few hours. Also, a game like this really should have, in my opinion, a decent story (though as this game is basically an updated Diablo, lacking a story is fitting to the design).

As always , simply brilliant.

Y'know Yahtzee, if you're gonna review a game that's on the same level of "safe" as Wolfenstein was, you better be prepared to have another gimmick to work with as well. Otherwise, you're just making filler reviews. Sorry but I have to say this was one of his worser ones this week.

I have to say, this is the first time I disagree with Yahtzee. Well, maybe not entirely, but on the fun aspect definitely. Though, to be fair, I only paid for Torchlight (during a slightly less awesome Steam sale) because I was craving Diablo 2 and had no access to Diablo 2 and the gameplay was pretty much the same. Not surprising since it's made by the same people, but still fun in my opinion.

Of course, what I wanted out of the game was something I could play for an hour or two every now and then so maybe it does get dull if you're marathoning it?

Still no Borderlands? You're behind the curve, Yahtzee!

Anyway, people have already made the important responses, here. His big complaint about the interface is, in fact, completely wrong. No more needs to be said about that. Also, yeah, the game is a copy-paste of the original Diablo with certain of the better elements of Diablo 2 and a few other games thrown in, but so what? That's what it's SUPPOSED to be. They aren't exactly trying to hide it.

I do like the bit about the NPC town. Especially since the vendors in Torchlight cheat you HARDCORE on item prices. Say a weapon costs you 5000 gold to buy. Five minutes later in the dungeon you pick up a better one and go off to sell the first. You'll be lucky to get even 100 gold for it. Maybe 75, if they're feeling generous. I expect the sell prices to be less than the buy prices, but they aren't even TRYING to disguise just how badly they're ripping you off. Someone up there realized they have a monopoly, and they're milking it for all they can get.

I think Yahtzee is getting a little spoiled with getting free games from the Escapist to say Torchlight was not worth $3. While it is defiantly not a genera defining masterpiece and probably deserves the criticism he leveled at it, $3 is a small price to pay for 10+ hours of amusement.

My primary problem with Torchlight is the same one I have with all similar click-to-attack games- the enemy detection with the mouse pointer can be incredibly irritating, meaning that the enemy will move a fraction of an inch, my pointer will no longer be positioned over whatever microscopic hitbox it has, and suddenly my "attack this fool from range" command turns into "go over there and give him a big wet sloppy kiss".

But yeah. It's basically Diablo distilled into its purest form. I'm glad that I got it on sale for five bucks, really. Picked the Vanquisher, got her dual-weilding blunderbusses as soon as possible, then went right up the Arbiter tree, which means my strategy consists of the following:

- Piss off a group of enemies with a fireball shot
- Draw them into my paired Flechette Traps (MAGICAL MACHINEGUN TURRETS)
- Watch everything die

If it's a "boss" monster then I set lightning traps and rain down that arrow-storm spell on them as well, running in circles all the while. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Random Wanderer:
I do like the bit about the NPC town. Especially since the vendors in Torchlight cheat you HARDCORE on item prices. Say a weapon costs you 5000 gold to buy. Five minutes later in the dungeon you pick up a better one and go off to sell the first. You'll be lucky to get even 100 gold for it. Maybe 75, if they're feeling generous. I expect the sell prices to be less than the buy prices, but they aren't even TRYING to disguise just how badly they're ripping you off. Someone up there realized they have a monopoly, and they're milking it for all they can get.

Well, what are you going to do, run over to the next town to sell your stuff for higher prices? OH WAIT, THAT'S RIGHT, THERE ISN'T ANOTHER TOWN.

Ahhh, collusion and artificial monopolies!

i got a free play on my computer for the game called FATE which sounds an awful lot like this one based on the "review."

You can summon minions, your dog takes things for you to the very wealthy shop keepers and you get carpal tunnel before you reach the second level. It also has the idetify objects that he mentions.

The difference is i found the game to be moderate in difficulty though im not sure if you could control the difficulty and it was only a free play.

Rather funny one this week. Nice! Granted, everything he described sounded like enough fun to be worthwhile (ice cream sandwich metaphor aside), so I might look into it.

Is it just me, or did it sound like he had to pause for breath a surprisingly long couple of times?

While Torchlight is an okay game, it's certainly not an RPG.

And I did spend more time identifying and selling loot than anything else.

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