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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

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Torchlight Previewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 7 comments

Game Central has posted a new preview of Torchlight, Runic Games' upcoming single player action RPG with colorful cartoon graphics and Diablo inspired gameplay. Torchlight will give players the chance to choose a character and venture from the safety of the town of Torchlight into randomly generated dungeon levels. Once inside they will find a variety of monsters, a large selection of loot to find, and quests to complete.

A big emphasis from Travis about Torchlight was the level design. There are seven distinct tilesets of randomized environments, these include sunken ruins, mines, and crypts. Instead of the carefully mapped out topography of other such titles as Titan Quest and Diablo II, Torchlight features completely randomized levels. You won’t notice this unique characteristic on your first playthrough of this 20-hour game. However, it will be wholly apparent on return visits of the game; excluding the pre-designed “boss” portions, each room will appear to be totally different. It’s understandable why players could potentially be skeptical of this mechanic, as past games have been criticized for lack of depth and personality in the design. With Torchlight, Runic is attempting to combat this plague.

We questioned Travis about the narrative structure of the story progression, specifically how it will be possible in a game where levels are totally randomized. We learned not every single level is randomized, but a vast majority of them are. The story will remain the same, since there will be certain key dungeons that will appear in each playthrough.

The game’s artstyle, as pointed out by Travis, is sort of akin to the film The Incredibles. The “chunky” look of the graphics is reminiscent to past games such as Beyond Good & Evil and Psychonauts. One of the reasons Runic decided to go this route was for performance. A critical goal in developing Torchlight was to get the game playable on all systems, even netbook computers. As of the build at PAX, the game is currently playable on a GeForce 2-era graphics card, and a 1GHz processor system. Another reason for the artstyle is the reasoning that “cartoony” and less realistic graphics makes the game visually relevant years after release. Travis made the point that the Nintendo GameCube Zelda game, Wind Waker, still looks compelling even to this day.
For the rest of the preview click over to the page below.

Game Central: Torchlight Preview
Runic Games
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• Torchlight Previewed6:00 AM
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Archives  News  Torchlight Previewed