The action-RPG fans in our office were all really looking forward to Dungeon Siege III. We were looking forward to it right up until Torchlight showed up and shed a whole new flickering, atmospheric perspective on what should be expected from a Diablo-style RPG in this day and age.
It’s not that Torchlight makes Obsidian’s efforts look bad, as such. It’s just that Dungeon Siege III will have to do so much, more than can reasonably be expected, to justify being more than four times the price of Torchlight. It might not quite match the production values you’d expect from a full-priced game, but in every other important respect we expect Torchlight to prove an equal match.
In terms of polish and sheer volume of content, this is easily one of the best ways to spend 1200 Points you’ll find on the entire Arcade Marketplace. The only real downside to it is the absence of any multiplayer modes. It’s still tons of addictive fun on your own, but these kinds of games are always better with at least one buddy in tow.
Torchlight is very similar to Diablo, but can lay claim to being a spiritual successor, as opposed to a mere clone. Runic Entertainment was co-founded by Max and Eric Shaefer, the brothers who created Diablo in the first place, and many of that series’ trademark features have been transplanted into Torchlight with little, if any, alteration.
However, there are differences. Torchlight is, as a whole, a little lighter, more streamlined, more accessible and more action-orientated. But really only a little. There’s still a ton more depth here that you’d rightfully expect from an Arcade game.
The increased focus on action is a definite improvement too. Battles could be a bit of a grind in Diablo and Diablo II, but here enemies are less numerous and more varied, and your attacks tend to have physics effects rather than just making enemies drop dead where they stand.