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Torchlight XBLA Review

Torchlight XBLA Review
Game Name: Torchlight
Platforms: PC, Mac, Xbox Live Marketplace
Publisher(s): Perfect World Entertainment, Encore, Inc. Runic Games, JoWood Vienna, Microsoft Game Studios
Developer(s): Runic Games
Genre(s): RPG, Action
Release Date: March 9, 2011
ESRB Rating: T


Torchlight is a dungeon based Action RPG game developed by Runic Games for the Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace. To begin your story, you must pick between 3 characters, the brutish “Destroyer” who is proficient in melee and dual wielded combat, the spell casting magician named “Alchemist”  and the sole female player called “Vanquisher” who specializes in ranged bow & barrel based weapons. You can also pick a sidekick/pet which has its own inventory and can be used as a mode of selling items by sending it to town. You can also assign roles to the pet on-the-go such as passive, aggressive or neutral.



The story revolves around a town named Torchlight built upon a vast cavern of a magical gem called ember and is the central hub of the game. It is the home of many immigrants who came in search of gems and is the home for many miner families. The town also houses the general shop, transmuter, blacksmith, enchanter, gem seller, black market thief and all other side quest NPC’s. However, rogue forces soon erupt and you, the protagonist, are thrust in to save the town from the corruption of the “ember blight”.



The game gives you completely randomly generated dungeons to explore that increase in difficulty as you move deeper below Torchlight. They contain several varieties of bosses that drop a wide array of loot including weapons, armor, rings, necklaces, gems, coins, etc. Once you delve further and further into the mines, you begin encountering bosses that aren’t all too difficult to battle if one keeps cool and uses a health & mana potion once in a while. These bosses also drop unique & usually powerful and rare loot that can be quite valuable.



Each type of character you choose has his/her own skill tree into which one can invest points and learn new skills & abilities. Alternatively, you can also purchase or loot scrolls which give you unique abilities and which can be mapped to the d-pad.


The game has cartoony but excellently designed dungeons that keep you interested and give you the feel of sinking into a figurative well. Also, the RPG mechanics of the game are quite polished with no discernible glitches or bugs. In the town of Torchlight, you are not only given a chest to store any items you choose to save but are also given a “shared chest” which is essentially a communal chest that can be used to store your stash and which can be accessed by any other players you may create in the future. So, if you spot something you really like, you can heirloom it down to another one of your characters.



One of the drawbacks to this game is that although the storyline is the basis of the game, it falls flat when it comes to execution. You feel disconnected from what is going on in the story of the game and begin to focus solely on clearing out dungeons only to be re-awakened to what is going on in the world of Torchlight. It may be a good or bad thing but the game quickly becomes immersive and putting down the controller becomes quite difficult.



Another drawback that I’ve noticed through this game is that when you get down further into the dungeons, specifically down to the level. 25-30+ mark, sometimes there are so many enemies generated on your screen at one time, the frame rate can drop significantly and may lag up the game itself. Once you do manage to clear some of the chaos up however, everything goes back to the regular, smooth gameplay.



The game also has some good replay value in the form of extended dungeon levels and a “neverending” dungeon to keep you busy after you’ve completed the single player. Personally, I’ve invested ~20 hours into the game to complete the single player storyline using the “Destroyer” character. The extras, including all the side quests and fishing posts (yes, you can fish in Torchlight, and the fish you catch can be fed to your pet and acts as a mutation turning them into unique creatures!) give the game quite a good replay value.



A clear Diablo descendant, Torchlight provides excellent value on the XBLA marketplace for $15 and if you’re lucky, Game 2 Gamer may just have a code waiting for you!


The only thing that this game truly left me wanting was some co-op action which would be great to have to play with a friend either locally or over XBL. However, you need not wait any longer, this feature will be included in the sequel, Torchlight II, which is slated to release this summer of 2011. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and buy Torchlight and get prepared for it’s child!!


Game 2 Gamer’s Final Score 4.5 / 5


  1. deibler says:

    Looks like a great game, something i’d like to get sometime. I loved diablo so this looks like something i’d thoroughly enjoy.

  2. CherryRasulka says:

    Awesome review! Something I would for sure play on for days on end. I like the pet feature and how the dungeons are randomly generated so you can’t expect what will happen next. I like surprises!

  3. montow says:

    I agree i really wish this game had co-op it would make going through each dungeon so much more fun

  4. WatchGrassGrow says:

    Hopefully Torchlight II gets a port onto the 360 like this one, I would love the co-op and multiplayer they’re adding.

  5. I played this game’s demo on a Mac, and I thought it was awesome, glad to see you guys give it a review, I’d love to get your code! 🙂

  6. It’s a really great game though guys, well worth it’s value!! Amazing dungeon detail, great RPG mechanics, awesome skill trees, etc…..

    Great game that is like a scaled down Diablo but optimized for XBLA!!

  7. xSciFiCHiCKx says:

    Great review, i have a few friends with the game and they liked it as well. Cant wait for the second one since it will have co-op. Hopefully i will play this one before then though! 😡 lol

  8. ropes says:

    Played it on the PC and loved it with another version on the 360 the fun can only go on.

    I liked the auto gold loot mainly because many games make it tedious and give you the option whether to pick up gold or not. Seriously when is the answer ever no…

  9. Zxpppy says:

    Was meant to play this on a friends pc for a quick session. Turned into me creating a character and not leavIng the screen till I had to leave. A must buy I just need to get a few more Microsoft points

  10. Shin GenX says:

    The review is a bit late but still welcomed ^^ This game deserves the attention.
    Thanks ^^

  11. alee says:

    From this and everything else I’ve read, Torchlight seems like a pretty nice game. Thanks for the review!

  12. DamonAppleby says:

    I might have to look into getting this judging by the review

  13. Ben Sweeney says:

    Still haven’t picked this up, I am awaiting a sale!

  14. Rennie says:

    Ist here a new contest to win a code or is it still the one posted on the 9th ??

  15. Badkarma says:

    Great PC game. So glad it’s on XBLA and Awesome

  16. Rennie says:

    I dont see any actual contest rules so if its just a name out of the hat please enter my name into said hat 🙂 – This game looks like it could be a fun experience.. Love the fact you can fish 🙂 – Any game that has a spot of fishing is good in my books – and that includes sims 😛

  17. dikebog says:

    I might get it… MAYBE…