Friday, January 07, 2011
Torchlight developer Runic has detailed what changes its made to the Mac and PC dungeon crawler, with everything from the user interface to the controls being completely redesigned from the ground up for the Xbox Live Arcade version, which is due to release as part of Microsoft's Xbox Live House Party promotion this spring.
Runic has overhauled the user interface with new art and navigation, dispensing with item slots in favour of a limit of 50 items that you can carry, not including stackable items like potions and scrolls that can stack up to 99 each. Potions are also automatically picked for you, so there's no need to assign or map them to a button.
No skills have been cut from the game either and you can map four active skills at a time with the ability to swap between sets using the d-pad for up to 8 mapped skills. Runic also mentions controller feedback for quakes, strikes, fishing line tugs and low health warnings, meaning that the entire experience has been tailored specifically for the console and controller. In fact some of the Runic team prefer the console interface for using skills compared to the PC version.
The control system is more direct than the PC version too with no virtual cursors whatsoever. Combat is also different, so you move forward with melee attacks and there's no need to lock-on to enemies. Anything caught within the cone of damage gets struck, with secondary targets receiving secondary damage. Fights are also pacier and more maneuverable, likened to Dark Alliance or Champions of Norrath without jumping.
And finally, Runic has preserved virtually every feature from the PC version too with the only omission being secondary weapon sets due to complications in making it feel right in the game's inventory selection. The dev has also brought over refinements from Torchlight 2, with improved loading times, better animation for more immediate combat and automap sets with more readable icons, as well as three new armour sets, new random quests and a new pet called the Chakawary.
Look out for Torchlight on the Xbox Live Arcade in spring 2011 when the Xbox Live House Party promotion kicks off.
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