I didn’t know much about Runic Games’ Torchlight at first, but then I saw how many Destructoid readers hold it in high regard, so I recently checked it out. And I like it. I’m not really a Diablo type guy, but I do like a good dungeon crawl. I could easily see why people were getting down with this. I could also see why a console version would be a good idea. It blew up on the PC scene, but now it’ll get some console love and a whole new audience. Everyone wins.
I got a chance to get hands on with the upcoming Xbox Live Arcade version of Torchlight last night at a CES Xbox House Party event. The good news is that it looks great; I don’t think anyone will be disappointed. If you’ve been clicking away all this time, you’ll have to get used to the new console controls, but you’ll be at it in no time, I’m sure. All commands have been re-maped in a smart way. Things like moving and attacking will be instantly obvious. Facing a direction with the analog stick will put a red halo around your target so that you can attack or cast a spell. It’s orientation based, if you will. You’ll find that other commands will be found with some finger flickery. For instance, a map comes when you push the analog stick in. Spells and potions are right under your fingers.
You’ll also have to get used to not having your face right in a screen, but that’s a pleasure when you’re relaxing in your easy chair. The redesigned menus and interface will help you enjoy Torchlight from this new distance. In fact, being able to kick back and play Torchlight on the big screen, with your thumbs, without being hunched over a keyboard, may be a revelation for some PC gamers. I’m just saying.
We were told that the Xbox 360 version will have new content, like quests, items and pets. Microsoft doesn’t have their sh*t together on exactly when Torchlight will drop on XBLA, but know it’s coming soon as part of their House Party series of titles.