Type of app: Action-RPG
Platform/where to buy: PC (Mac coming); available on Steam
Developer: Runic Games
The award-winning action RPG is back, bigger and better than ever! Torchlight II takes you back into the quirky, fast-paced world of bloodthirsty monsters, bountiful treasures, and sinister secrets – and, once again, the fate of the world is in your hands!
Torchlight II captures all the flavor and excitement of the original game – while expanding the world and adding the features players wanted most, including online and LAN co-op multiplayer. Torchlight II is fast, fun, and filled to the brim with action and loot. Adventure solo or online with your friends!
Major features: Despite initially claiming a ‘spring 2011’ release, Torchlight II arrived just last week. But … it was worth the wait! I reviewed the original Torchlight here, stating that it was one of the best ‘Diablo clones’, and that I wasn’t surprised since Runic is composed of many original Diablo developers and Travis Baldree who created the fun game action-RPG Fate. And Torchlight II is pretty much the realization of the Bop-It Extreme mantra ‘do it the same … but BETTER’!
You choose from one of four characters classes (one more than the original), two genders, and eight different choices for your ‘pet’. There are a few customizations for your appearance, then you are off! A cutscene sets the scene, and then you are in town and need to hop right into the action. This contrasts with more hand-holding early on in the first game, and I think it works very well – you are in combat within seconds, and since THAT is the main focus of the game, it is a great choice. Combat is basically the same as before, but seems to have learned from enemy-focus issues with the original.
In fact, EVERYTHING seems to have improved: there is now multiplayer, the TorchED editor system has vastly improved, the abilities of the already stellar pet system are improved, and on and on. The amazing thing is the aftermath of the release – Diablo III was supposed to take over lives for all of 2012, and yet this week I keep hearing people doing side-by-side comparisons and stating how Torchlight offers more than the $60 Diablo III. What was once supposed to be ‘filler while we waited’ has now become the main course. As noted in my review of the original, I adored Fate and I adored Torchlight. But after putting several hours into a couple of different characters this weekend I love Torchlight II best of all. No longer a ‘junior’ action-RPG, it is the best genre game I have played since … well, in a very long time, perhaps since Titan Quest in 2006.
Ease of use/Overall performance: Every convention of the action-RPG genre is used, from left-click to move or weapon attack, right-click for magic attack, loot labels, instant reward systems, directly accessible quests, ‘elite’ loot tiers, and so on.
Would use again/recommend?: I am not sure if I can recommend Torchlight II strongly enough! It is a budget priced game that will run on pretty much every reasonably recent computer (even with integrated graphics), offers a top-notch fun action-RPG experience that has enough difficulty levels and options to keep pretty much any gamer happy!
Suggested changes/wish list for updates: Nothing.
Here is the hands-on gameplay review: