Torchlight Preview

We see how the XBLA version of the popular PC dungeon crawler is shaping up.

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Torchlight provided PC gamers with an addictive, loot-filled, distinctly Diablo-esque dungeon crawl experience when it was released in 2009. Today at Microsoft's February Games Showcase, we got to trade in the mouse and keyboard for a controller and get a feel for the soon-to-be-released XBLA version of the popular game.

Torchlight's charming, cartoony visuals appear to have made the transition to XBLA unscathed, and just as in the PC version, we were able to zoom the camera out to an overhead view that gave us a good sense of our surroundings or zoom way in for a better look at the action. We played as the destroyer, the game's fighter class, and hacked and slashed our way through swarms of the ratlins and varkolyns that infest the Orden Mines, the earliest section of the Torchlight dungeons. After a brief period of adjustment, using thumbsticks and buttons to decimate creatures of the underworld felt as natural as constant mouse-clicking. The left thumbstick controls your character's movement directly. While the PC version involved clicking on enemies to target and attack them, here, the primary target of your attacks is automatically selected based on your position, but any enemies within the sweep of your attacks are liable to take damage. Button presses let us perform our standard attacks and use our special abilities, like summoning a spectre to attack our enemies. The combat had an immediately gratifying hack-and-slash feel to it, and the left and right bumpers gave us instant access to our health and mana potions. All the controls are mappable, so you can use the configuration that you're most comfortable with.

Many more varkolyns will die come March 9.

The character and inventory screens have been significantly altered from the PC version to make them more controller-friendly, with items appearing in categorized lists for easy sorting, rather than in the slots used in the PC version. The changes seem to be for the best. It's still a breeze to compare and equip items, spend your earned points to enhance your character, or give unwanted items to your pet and send it back to town to sell them off. (Our pet was a cute little dinosaur, exclusive to this version, though the dog and cat will also be available.)

Torchlight seemed uncompromised during our brief time with it. The combination of exploration, combat, and loot should prove to be as addictive on XBLA as it was on the PC. In any case, we won't have to wait long to find out. Torchlight opens its gates to 360 owners on March 9.

Discussion

12 comments
greatwhiteape
greatwhiteape

I played diablo on the original playstation. Baldours gate on the xbox was next. never went back to PC's after packing up my ancient Amiga 500 and before that the CPC464 in favour of consoles so dont know what am missing.... all i know is that this game will get some playtime and looking forward to some old time dungeon crawling and no... i am not talking Roland in the Caves (youtube might help)

RomanKingNYC
RomanKingNYC

Torchlight is fun but then becomes extremely repetitive and gets old quick. The random levels stopped looking random and the same monsters kept rehashing. There story is awful and lame. If you love loot then it may grab your attention for a bit longer as there is no shortage of cool drops. The PC version has a ton of mods that will give it longer life. Would have been awesome if it had Multi-player, something part two will have. Other than the music, this ain't no Diablo!

SnuffDaddyNZ
SnuffDaddyNZ

A bit too similar to Diablo II so I didn't buy the PC version, but I am excited about the 360 release since I don't think there's a game like this for the system yet worth noting.

D3thN1gh7
D3thN1gh7

I played a little bit of Torchlight for the PC and it was alright. I don't really think it is anywhere near the greatness of either Diablo or Diablo II but it does seem like a great game to kill the time away while we all wait for Diablo III.

ThePurpleBubble
ThePurpleBubble

Played the Steam demo for the PC, and had loads of fun with my physical damage/tanky Alchemist... Of course, perhaps such a build wouldn't fair so well in later levels... Only one way to find out, I suppose.

TechnologoDoom
TechnologoDoom

the question is... can i finish this entire game before DA2 is in my hands? problems of the rich!

FonikhSoupia
FonikhSoupia

Looked great on the PC, but I think it's going to be awesome on the 360!!!

YEPEE00
YEPEE00

it looks good. so, i will buy & hope its as fun as it looks.

aermeus
aermeus

Yeah...i have it on PC...but never actually finished it. Maybe ill pick it up for xbox and actually play the thing through to the end lol...i just want to see how ARPGs can translate over to the console.

Blitzkrieg129
Blitzkrieg129

Even though I have it on the PC, I'm gonna get this on the Xbox...will enjoy it more on the big screen.

mdboomer
mdboomer

Can't wait for this one. Then again I couldn't wait for Fable III and that didn't fair all that well!!

spirit_777
spirit_777

Sounds good but the character class I'm interested in is the alchemist.