Reader Review: Torchlight

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Nicholas does, as he wanders a dungeon on his hands and knees.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Nicholas Gibbs. If you’ve played Torchlight, or just want to ask Nicholas more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Torchlight (PC)

Torchlight is a hack-and-slash RPG continuing the tradition of Diablo and the numerous imitators that have followed since. The fighter, mage and rogue archetypes are on offer to dungeon crawl through the numerous levels, fighting bosses and collecting loot in a game that provides all the things you have come to expect from the genre.


Streamlined: The interface is simple, clean, and concise while borrowing heavily from industry heavyweights to create an instant familiarity that allows you to jump straight into the action.

It just works: Excellent animation and sound effects makes even the most rudimentary fights of the game satisfying. The strength of the core gameplay makes for a game that is hard to put down.

Like a lucid dream: The cartoony art style looks great and lends the game’s gratuitous violence an element of novelty. Also, it is not very demanding of your system’s resources, allowing Torchlight to run competently on modest gaming rigs.


All Alone: The omission of any form of multiplayer is confounding and hurts the game’s longevity a great deal. Once you have progressed through the hardest of the four difficulty levels there is not much left on offer.

Been there, done that: While Torchlight improves upon established conventions, it does little to drive the genre forward or send it in an interesting new direction. The derivative gameplay can as a result feel tired at times.

This is a game that is remarkably easy to recommend, refining a proven formula to create what is its best example since Diablo II hit the shelves. The lack of multiplayer is disappointing, yet for a budget price point this is a title with a wealth of content. Fans and particularly newcomers to the genre would do well to pick up Torchlight.

Reviewed by: Nicholas Gibbs

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    Nice review Nick.

    Its worth noting that Runic Games (Developers) are basing an MMO off Torchlight, this was just the single player iteration to generate knowledge around the IP and is also being used as a revenue raising project to fund the MMO.

    So you can say this is just a warm up for the Developers actual game and although your complaints about the lack of multiplayer are well founded, the next game will cure that.

      hey glenn, thanks for providing the background info on runic :).
      I wanted to include it, but I didn't have that many words to work with! I do hope that torchlight becomes a more fleshed out experience as time goes by, but at the moment all I can go by is what comes 'out of the box'.
      However, I think that this more narrow approach is part of the reason why torchlight is superior to their previous effort, hellgate london. That game was all over the place with its feature list, despite the fact that it failed to get even the basics done right.

    One thing I keep hearing over and over is the lack of multiplayer on this title. Why do all games need multiplayer? Especially on a budget title, moreso you where aware it's single player experience before you bought it. It's like complaining Counter Strike doesn't have single player... (I'm ranting about all reviews of Torchlight I've read, not just this one)

      You're right, games do not NEED multiplayer to be good, a few pertinent examples being uncharted and bioshock (why they forced MP into their sequels i have no idea).

      However, torchlight is a dungeon crawler that very VERY (very) heavily borrows from Diablo II, and the hands down best feature of D2 was how incredibly fun it was multi-player.

      A game like this not having multi-player is like a PC shooter not having dedicated servers

      oh wait...

    There is also now a level editor and a good fan community, so that should extend longevity further. It's a great buy for the low asking price. It has a nice, pick up and play quality, and suits shorter play sessions which I personally like.

    I've been playing this recently, and while it's good, I can't spend hours on end continually playing it, it seems more like a chore. Doesn't have the same hook that Diablo did, but heck, it's an indie game.

    As for multiplayer, I probably wouldn't have played it anyway.

    found it too easy myself, it ends up just being a spam-fest with a few unique aspects. overall it is pretty addictive, but the combat was far to lame for me (kite, spam, kite, spam), as a caster anyway

    and yes, i played it on the hardest setting

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now