MacDirectory Magazine

Winter-Spring 2010 (#44)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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MacDirectory 135 GAME REVIEW TORCHLIGHT > SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR DIABLO FANS WORDS BY KEONI CHAVEZ Torchlight is a game created by Runic Games, which boasts in its company the co-designers of Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo, which will come as no surprise to those who have already played it on the PC. Torchlight plays as an extremely well- streamlined Diablo, but it features its own unique flavor that will endear it to fans of Diablo and new players alike. The gameplay centers around the eponymously named town of Torchlight, which sits above a vast dungeon composed of many levels. The town is the focus of mining operations for the ore called Ember, which provides great magical energy that powers items and people, yet also ultimately corrupts all it touches. As the player descends the dungeon, he encounters layer after layer of previous civilizations, each destroyed by the use of Ember. It is up to the player to discover the final source of this corruption and save the town of Torchlight from becoming nothing more than a historical footnote. The player takes control of one of three characters: the Destroyer, a melée combatant; the Vanquisher, a ranged attack specialist; and the Alchemist, a magic user. Each of these characters is stock, and cannot be modified in any way upon their initial choice, which MMO players have become accustomed to doing. As with Diablo, each character bears his own branching set of skills that the player may invest points in, which unlocks special attacks and abilities which will come in handy during gameplay. One of the more interesting features of Torchlight is the character's pet. The pet may be either a dog or a cat, and the player may name it whatever he chooses. This pet accompanies the character throughout the course of the game, fighting alongside as the descent is made. What makes this pet special is the depth of its function. The pet may be equipped with items like necklaces and rings that will affect its stats, to make it more effective in battle. It may also be taught to cast spells, such as the ability to summon creatures that will fight for the character, or to heal the character at need. The pet may carry items as well, and has a number of item slots equal to what the character holds. What's more, the pet may be sent back above to the town of Torchlight, to sell your items for you, which is a huge benefit, obviating the need for the player to truck all the way back himself just to make some money. It should be noted, however, that while the pet is gone, the player loses the benefit of whatever spells the pet might cast during battle, so it's important to choose the pet's departure time wisely. Finally, the pet's actual form may be altered by feeding it different kinds of fish, which the player must fish for in the various pools found throughout the dungeons explored. Each type of fish changes the pet into something different, like a large spider or a fire elemental. This in turn affects how the pet fights, allowing different strategies to be employed. Unlike Diablo, there is no multiplayer component to Torchlight, which might be a factor weighing against it for some people, but the game feels very complete as it stands, especially considering the $19.95 price that the PC version commands, which will likely carry through to the Mac version. Unfortunately, the Mac port was abandoned by its previous developer, forcing Runic Games to look for another. There is no current release date available, but it will likely come out this year. If you are a fan of the original Diablo, or even if you've never played it before, Torchlight is a game to watch out for in 2010. Name Torchlight Developer Runic Games Web Site Price and Release Date To be announced Summary If you loved Diablo, you'll love Torchlight.

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