Somehow this game slipped right past me! I played the first one back in 2009 and liked it quite a lot… But I’m the sort of player who enjoys a good story – I’ll struggle through a game with shitty mechanics provided it has a decent plot – and the original dungeon-crawling Torchlight just didn’t seem to have enough of a story to keep my interest. My focus shifted away from that potential series towards… whatever else was out at the time. And then the Bruddha asked me a few months ago whether I’d played Torchlight or Torchlight II, to which I responded, “Yeah, of course – hang on… did you say Torchlight Two?!”
And here we are. Late… but better than never.
Type: Action RPG
Release Date: September 20, 2012
Developer(s): Runic Games
Publisher(s): Runic Games
Platform(s) Played: PC
The story of Torchlight II is a continuation of that begun with the previous game. The Alchemist (the original game’s protagonist) has destroyed the town of Torchlight after having been corrupted by the evil vanquished in the first game. And your job is to… you guessed it – stop the villain! Players can select one of four classes: Engineer (Torchlight‘s Railman), which is essentially your tank; Outlander, your jack-of-all-trades ranged fighter; Berserker, which is the standard fighter and comes with some fairly nifty animal-themed powers; and the Embermage, which is, of course, your spell-caster.
(1) Unlike Torchlight, this sequel has a co-op multiplayer mode which allows up to six players to tear through the mountains, deserts, and forests. Like Neverwinter, the loot drops are separate for each player, so you don’t have to worry about any of your buddies swooping in and stealing your stuff. Cuz my friends are competitive jackholes. Love you guys… but you know you are.
(2) Along the same vein as above, there is also an offline option that allows you to play solo without being bothered by other players. Or your jackhole friends. 🙂 [Update: This is an even bigger bonus when comparing the game to its similar competitor: Diablo III.]
(3) Dungeons are randomly generated, so no two playthroughs are ever the same. This is a big win for me, since I typically have more than one game going at once: one that I’m playing by myself as one class, and one in another class that I’m playing with at least one other friend.
(4) New skills become available as you level up, allowing for a bit more trial and error and mix-and-match, which is a great improvement from the first game (which required you to waste points on skill trees before being able to access a skill’s full potential later on).
(6) Hardcore mode. Because nothing makes a game worthwhile like knowing that if you don’t play it smart and play it for keeps, your ass is joining the choir celestial.
(7) Your characters are mildly customizable, with at least a few options for each class’s selection of hairstyles and faces. [Update: This is again another bonus it has against Diablo III, where each class has one option for each gender.]
(8) You get pets!!! And you can customize those pets at least a little – specifically their color, but you also get to give them names! And I just don’t know where my Outlander, Fawkes, would be without her trusty headcrab, Anthony! (Why Anthony? Because of this video: Bad LipSync. Solely because I like yelling, “His name is Anthony!” so the Manimal can reply, “He’s mushy!”)
(9) The mod support is insane!!!
The Bantha Poodoo
(1) You have got to take some time with your character selection. Seriously. There are hundreds of levels of game advancement here, so before you commit to one, make sure it’s the One.
(2) Number nine in The Shiny is also quite possibly only necessary because the campaign itself is fairly limited. You’re in a mountain. Then a desert. Then a forest. Without the mods, Torchlight II has the potential to be fairly limited, even with all of the vast scope of possibilities for your character.