Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Can't Wait for Diablo III? Try Torchlight

After the release of Diablo II in 2000, I believe many gamers like me had been eagerly waiting for the release of Diablo III. Blizzard announced it in 2008, but year after year we see the release date being postponed. I had played Titan Quest, another Diablo II-like hack-and-slash, but none is as comparable to the Diablo series.

Not until now...
The release of

Developed by Runic Games, the veteran team who lead the Diablo project, Torchlight is a new action RPG that is bound to quench the thirst of many Diablo fans.

The Story
Set in the mining boomtown of Torchlight, built above a rich vein of Ember, adventurers and miners are drawn here, seeking the magical substance. However, Ember has a corrupting influence that had led to the fall of many past civilizations. Now, the heroes, upon arrive in town, is recruited by Syl, a sage who is searching for her mentor (giving you quests, very much like Deckard Cain in Diablo). And as the hero ventures deeper into the chambers below the mines, he has to face more dangerous monsters, and ultimately uncovers the secret behind this corruption.

The Heroes
Torchlight features three character classes.
  • The Destroyer: a typical barbarian + warrior class, skilled in melee combat
  • The Alchemist: a typical spellcaster, capable of firing blasts of magic and electricity. Most importantly, he can also summon imps and golems to aid in his battle.
  • The Vanquisher: an amazon-like character, specialized in ranged weapons. She can also use traps against her foes.
Gameplay
The interface is almost identical to Diablo. But even if you are new to this kind of games, it is easy to master.
For a game that set such low system requirements (I can even play on my laptop with a integrated graphic card), the graphics is superb. From classic dungeon, to fallen wetland civilisation, to burning lava-flowing cavern, to deep insect-crawling crypt, every single one of the level has its unique background graphic, monsters, BGM, etc..
Furthermore, the levels are generated randomly, thus giving you unlimited replayability.
You also get to choose either a wolf-like dog, or a lynx-like cat at the beginning of the game. And this loyal companion of yours will level up with you, help you in battle, carry items, and perform a variety of helpful services, such as selling your items. (no more traveling back-and-fro the town to sell unwanted items. Woo Hoo!!)
One more thing worth mentioning is the encouragement of modding. The game editor is included in the package, and with it, the modding community can create and design their own content. Download these mods from the Runic Games Forum (http://forums.runicgames.com/). But as with any modificaiton, before you try the mods, make sure to back up your existing game data - just in case anything goes wrong. =)

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