Torchlight: Imagine if Diablo had fishing


I mentioned Torchlight in dispatches last week, and the game was released yesterday to a flurry of excitement and acclaim.

If you liked Diablo, this game is going to feel like coming home. The devs (who include some of the Diablo II team) have captured perfectly the visceral feel of the old game. It even uses many of the same keybinds – alt to look for items on the floor, shift to stand and shoot, mouse clicks to move. Even down to the music, it’s obvious where the inspiration for Torchlight is coming from (the composer had also worked on Diablo).

But influences aside, from what I’ve seen so far it’s a darned good game. It’s fast paced, pretty, adds functionality that people would have LOVED if it had been in Diablo 2, has good voicework for a little game and I’m already pondering how I can keep this post short so that I can sneak in another half hour of play before heading off out today.

Torchlight is currently a single player  game with no multi-player features. The team are currently working on using it as the basis for a future F2P MMO.

If you are intrigued and want to try it, there is a demo available on Steam. The full game costs $20/£15 and there’s a free level editor included, so expect to see a lot of player generated content coming down the wires.

Some of the extra features:

  1. The pet. Roguelikes (the big influence for Diablo) come in two types, those with pets (nethack) and those without (angband). Torchlight lets you have a lynx or a dog. You can equip it with items, teach it spells, send it off to town to sell unwanted items, and feed it fish to give it a temporary shapeshift. You can change the pet’s stance to aggressive, defensive, or passive but other than that, it does its own thing and fights alongside you. I’m glad my RL cat can’t cast fireballs is all I’m saying.
  2. Fishing! While wandering the depths you may come across a fishing hole, and like any self respecting adventurer you naturally carry a fishing rod (10’ pole?) wherever you go, just in case. Fishing in this game is a simple minigame which is more fun than in any MMO I’ve ever fished. It’s hard to explain why, because you’re still sitting and waiting for your character to hook something and then clicking to pull the line at the right moment. I have some screenies below.
  3. Shared bank vault. You have two bank vaults, one for your character and one which is shared between all of your alts so you can save those awesome items for a future character.
  4. Diablo had a slightly awkward control mechanism where everything was controlled by mouse clicks and you swapped which abilities were accessed by the mouse via number keys. Torchlight is smoother, you do bind abilities to the left and right mouse button (attack seems a good one for the left click) but you can also bind abilities to number keys and use those alongside.
  5. TNT barrels. Everyone always liked destroying barrels, right? Well now you can take a few mobs out at the same time. This is particularly good fun with the Vanquisher who is a bow/gun user so can destroy the barrels from a safe distance.

(Edited to add: Because someone asked, it’s shift+F9 to take screenshots, and they are stored at C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\runic games\torchlight\)

More on Fishing

fishing hole

First, find your fishing hole.


When you click on the fishing hole, your character gets the fishing rod out and settles down to wait.

The fishing icon comes up and the two blue circles around it pulsate slowly. When they converge to make a single blue circle, you click on the hook icon….

caught one



And the fish is reeled in so that you can find out what you’ve caught.

Fish are placed directly into the fish slot in your bags, where you can mouse over to find the different buffs  your pet receives when  you feed it the fish.

17 thoughts on “Torchlight: Imagine if Diablo had fishing

  1. see also:

    Titan Quest (100% diablo clone, also had Diablo devs working on it I’m not mistaken) and there’s one that’s making me crazy because I can’t think of the name, but it came free on my Toshiba Laptop, and had a dog companion, but the UI and feel was a Diablo CLone through and through.

  2. Sounds familar: “Fate” is the Name of the game coming into my mind. Featuring pets, stash, fishing, shapeshifting, single-player-only. Followed by Mythos, disbanded MMO-project, which featured most of the look-n-feel of Fate and great new archetypes.

    Looks, like I got to grab my own torch and descent into this one.

  3. @ixobelle – You may be thinking about Fate (the game that came on your laptop).

    FWIW I played Titan Quest and Fate and somehow Torchlight feels better to me, though maybe that’s just the initial rush of enthusiasm for a new game.

  4. The devs for Torchlight also worked on Fate and Mythos, so those players getting a similar feel to those games… well, it makes sense 😉

    I’m enjoying the game so far as well. It’s not deep, but it is a blast. I’m working on an Alchemist and going down the tree with all the Summons.

  5. Titan Quest was a bit ‘meh’. looked fantastic, played nicely but lacked replay value. Lapped it once and then sort of bogged down. Fun for a bargin basement buy now I guess though.

    Sacred II has a few people in my office raving about it and its another cheap buy right now. Its meant to have a huge scope and supports multiplayer but I cant say I’ve tried it as yet.

    So hands up who’s bored waiting for Dragon Age and/or DIII besides me.

  6. It’s all about the 10′ pole. Though, everytime I hear that now it makes me think of Boondock Saints…

    “Fine, take your ****ing rope. Go on.”

    I’m sure the actual lines are far more vulgar, but still – hilarious.

  7. I am addicted! Torchlight reminds me of my first few months playing Diablo. I haven’t even wanted to sit in front of my desk for a couple of years, and now, I’m drawn back into it!

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  10. A bank? Whatever happened to the days where you dumped all your money on the ground in the village square?

    Next you will be telling me that there is a Wirt-like character that actually sells you stuff that is worth buying!

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