ansonmage's Torchlight - Digital Release (PC) review

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Torchlight (aka Better Than Diablo)

Torchlight, created by Runic Studios, is a dungeon crawling action game much like Diablo (developed by Blizzard). This should come as no surprise to those who have followed the careers of the developers as they moved from Blizzard and created (the inevitably doomed) Flagship Studios, creaters of the also great Hellgate: London game (also for PC). 
The game Torchlight takes place (coincidentally) in the town of Torchlight where the magical "Ember" flowing in the mines below the town has become corrupted and is threatening to destroy not only the town, but possibly everything in the world.
As a player, you choose between 3 classes each with their own abilities, strengths and weaknesses (big surprise, right?). However, it isn't the similarities with other games that make Torchlight standout, but its obvious differences. For example, the pet system is amazing. Each character has a pet, either a dog or a cat, that accompanies them along their journey. The pet can be used as a pack mule, sending them running back to town to sell off your unwanted goods while you continue to crawl through the various randomly created dungeons. The pet attacks your enemies and can be fed fish which will cause all sorts of different effects to occur such as turning the pet into another creature (like a giant spider for example) for a limited amount of time or increasing their abilities for a short duration.
There is also the complete randomization. Everything in the game is randomized from the dungeons that you play in to the equipment that you find and the enhancements that you give to your equipment. This means that no one will play the same game and my experience with the game will be different from yours.
Overall, the game is a little short (certainly no Diablo II) but this is made up for by including a free editor to create custom levels of your own coupled with the presumably infinite gameplay offered by simply randomly generating more dungeons to crawl through. 
I would recommend Torchlight to anyone who enjoyed the Diablo games, fans of dungeon crawling games or anyone who just wants to have a good time freezing, zapping, igniting, or smashing giant spiders, ghosts, ghouls or other fun-to-kill enemies. Try it! The game released at only $20 so there is little excuse about not being able to afford it. You won't regret it.

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