Set in the town of Torchlight a hero controlled by the player must delve down into the mines to cure their own illness and defeat the corruption created by the evil Ordrak and his minions. The game is an action looter set in an isometric perspective.
The combat system is simple, using one button for basic attacks with abilities that can be mapped to the other buttons and triggers, many of the attacks in the game have some AOE and target selection is just whatever is in front of you. I played a dual wielding warrior which offered three skill trees that could be used together or separately to build the character. There are four stats to increase upon level up: Strength, Dexterity, Magic and Defence. The stats all require some investment as equipment usage relies on certain numbers.
Being a looter game we are given loads of random bits of loot in five rarities, most of it proves useless as it won’t be relevant to your character build. You can have randomly selected enchantments placed on weapons to improve them and some items have sockets for more controllable improvement. The loot itself becomes quite annoying as almost all of it is unidentified meaning a scroll must be found to use which just ends up with hoarding scrolls to identify items that’re no good to you.
The game uses the mines as one giant dungeon to explore with portals to get back to the hub town. The mines are filled with creatures that get tougher near the end of the game, they come in a few varieties of melee or ranged creatures with a few tougher monsters that keep things interesting. Everything has a health bar which informs the player of enemy abilities too. The side quests largely rely on enemies as they’re often quests to hunt certain creatures, you should do them as the story goes on as it seems a bit overwhelming doing them after.
What makes this game different from similar games are that you get a pet which can help in combat, even transforming into other creatures when fed fish, and to go with that there’s a simple press-button-when-circles-line-up minigame.
As for replayability, there’s a difficulty select with four difficulties plus a hardcore mode. I played on normal mode and found the game a bit too easy. There’s three classes to try which might make playthroughs feel different as you can also choose different skills each time giving the combat a bit of change. There is a second main dungeon as the endgame content.
Death doesn’t have much consequence in Torchlight as you get a choice of where to respawn at different costs.
I didn’t have many issues with this game which were that big enemies sometimes wouldn’t get hit, a hit box issue which didn’t happen often, and there is also a Fame counter but I never found out what that was for other than an achievement.
Overall, Torchlight is an alright game but honestly best described as the poor man’s Diablo. If you like the genre then go for it. However there was no challenge until later in the game so maybe best for newcomers. It’s also not the best looking game but I can forgive that, maybe the sequels will stand out more.