Torchlight (PC) Review

By Ofisil 10.09.2017

Review for Torchlight on PC

Diablo, like many classic video game gems, has had its fair share of copycats/clones/homages, and so forth. Some, like Book of Demons (which is still in development) used the core of Blizzard's marvellous hack 'n' slasher to forge something completely new, while others, like Fate, for instance, tried a more direct approach, and offered what's basically Diablo in a kid-friendly package. Runic Games' Torchlight is like the second example, albeit, much more enjoyable than it… but still, with nothing really new to offer.

Torchlight is basically Diablo with cartoony, Warcraft-like visuals and atmosphere. It's not like it tries to hide that fact, as, even in terms of structure, this is nothing more than a loot-heavy descent into a deep, deep dungeon - which leads to the first problem with this; the severe lack of a "soul." Sure, it doesn't want to be anything more than an ARPG click-fest, where the story and setting is just an excuse for killing mobs, upgrading the hero, and collecting treasure, but, to be honest, this is a genre that's a bit too simplistic, and thus needs something more.

"Oh, it's an action game, it doesn't need a plot." Well, while Contra, for example, is exactly like that, others need some form of plot, or at least, atmosphere, that could get you immersed, and this completely fails at that, with the result being a game that all you do is hack 'n' slash, and collect shiny stuff. At least, is it good at that? Sort of…

Screenshot for Torchlight on PC

As mentioned before, this is a clone of Diablo, but that doesn't mean that it's not better in some ways. Classes are still divided between the typical warrior, mage, and rogue (or Warrior, Alchemist, and Vanquisher as they are called here), but their skill trees go beyond the typical abilities associated with them, enabling the creation of all sorts of hybrids. While these are great and all, however, they are not exactly fine-tuned, as certain builds are far better than others - in other words, this product is unbalanced.

The fights themselves are also far better than in Diablo, in the sense that they are much faster. The problem is that, similar to the story portion of it all, unlike the former which has a strong dungeon crawler charm, and thus felt like an actual adventure, this is more like a hack 'n' slasher at its most basic: click, kill, click, loot, rinse, repeat. Therefore, it won't be long before it all becomes a repetitive chore.

Screenshot for Torchlight on PC

It would be a lie to say that this is a bad experience, though, as it manages to be somewhat addicting like this type of games tend to be. You know; the joy of collecting loot, and finding the best possible combination. It's also very helpful that your pet can actually go back to town and do all the necessary selling business, which helps in never slowing down the pace of this quest. The problem is that, very soon, even the loot starts to lose its fun.

There are tons of socketed items and ember stones to place into those to increase their stats in various ways, but these alone can't keep the fun factor high for long - and, again, it's not the items themselves the ones to blame, but the repetitive nature of it all. Sure, Diablo was repetitive too, yet it had a much better structure, with each new area feeling exactly that; new! Unlike that, Torchlight's levels are almost exactly the same, albeit, with different colours, and stronger foes.

Screenshot for Torchlight on PC

In terms of replay value, and only if you manage to stomach the monotony of it all, this basically offers two options after killing the big hellish cheese: either brave a bottomless dungeon, or retire your hero, and start with his or her "descendant," with more skill points, and one item of your choosing, but slightly enhanced. Oh, by the way, there's nothing else to do besides those, as the developer decided to create a hack 'n' slash ARPG with no friggin multiplayer!

…To be honest, however, it has to be mentioned once more: no matter how silly it may seem, repetition isn't the biggest problem - the lack of incentive is. Simply put, this isn't Pac-Man. It needs a certain level of immersion to be entertaining. Diablo was simple alright, but it actually engrossed the player into it's dark, foreboding world. Torchlight, on the other hand, throws you into a dungeon to kill things, but forgets making you want to.

Screenshot for Torchlight on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 5 out of 10


Torchlight pays homage to Diablo in the most incorrect way possible: by making it even more simple and repetitive, which is a shame as the fights are faster, and the classes more versatile. Even worse? Thinking that plot doesn't really matter here, Runic Games simply didn't put any effort in it, with the end result failing to captivate.


Runic Games


Runic Games


Real Time RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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