User review spotlight: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (DOS)

Torchlight (Windows)

82
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.7
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  agamer (75)
Written on  :  Jan 26, 2010
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars3.86 Stars

12 out of 15 people found this review helpful

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Summary

Diablight!

The Good

Very little thought is required to play this game, and there's not a thing wrong with that. Torchlight follows the conventions of the genre set forth by its illustrious predecessors with basically no deviation. Red and blue potions for health and mana, copious amounts of loot with an almost neverending variety of enchantment combinations, constant action and movement, and a completely irrelevant plot.

For some strange reason I enjoy tracking statistics. Torchlight is kind enough to include a journal that tracks a variety of things including number of steps taken, total quantity of gold collected, potions used, spells/skills used, monsters beaten, etc. etc. While this doesn't contribute in any meaningful way to the game, it is mildly interesting to see.

Upon completing the main quest a new area of exploration, The Shadow Vault, is opened. This is from all reports an infinitely deep dungeon. So if you are so inclined you can continue to play and explore this endless and completely randomized dungeon. (The main dungeon is randomized too.)

While I haven't actually done this, you can "gift" selected items to your characters' heirs (new characters). I think this does lend a little towards the replay value, though not much.

This game ran quite well on a two year old system (Core 2 Duo E6850 with a pair of 8800GTS cards). Sound quality was adequate as far as I could tell (I am unfortunately playing with a very substandard set of speakers at present).

The Bad

I did experience a couple of random crash to desktop events, but even these had no real impact as the game saves in realtime. Which ultimately was my only, albeit minor, complaint. There isn't a way to save the game manually. I've long been a firm believer in the theory of "save early, save often" and while I didn't have to worry about it here, I was unable to save, test equipment changes, and reload if I didn't like it. As I said though, that's a minor complaint as there's always better loot and lots of it.

The Bottom Line

Just like the other games I've played in this genre (Titan Quest, Sacred, Dungeon Siege) this game is both narrow and shallow. I played the demo a few weeks ago and it intrigued me enough to be worth dropping a 20$ on it. And I have no real complaints with it. The developers did a good job of creating something new enough to intrigue, but not so new as to require anything even resembling a learning curve to play. I played the heck out of it for about two weeks (as much heck as I can spare anyway, with real-life in the mix) but I don't see much longevity in it. There is an editor included with the game, and I've seen that there are already a few mods either released or in the works. But even still.... this is the gaming equivalent of a summer action flick; great fun while you're playing but who's going to remember it next year?