Torchlight II

Torchlight II is an addictive Action RPG that masters the ancient videogame art of looting, improving its predecessor formula in every way.

By BlackRamza, Posted 31 Jan 2014

Runic Games’ original Torchlight was a valiant effort to fill the void left by the Diablo series and was very well received among the genre’s enthusiasts.

While the first one was a well-designed game that captured the appeal and general feel of Action-RPGs but left out on important features, such as a multiplayer mode or any type of online interactivity, Torchlight II improves on all that and a bit more.Fans of the original will be happy to know that there is indeed a multiplayer mode this time around and still keeps its dynamic and fun flow.

Torchlight II

The story of Torchlight II picks up shortly after where the original ended. The Alchemist presented in the first game has been corrupted and it’s the duty of the four selectable heroes to stop his path of destruction throughout the land.

Along the way, the player will meet an array of different characters, each connected to the plot in one way or another. These characters however, are there only to serve the purpose of handing out quests and driving the campaign forward. It works well enough and manages to give direction to the game, but players will hardly find themselves immersed by the dialogue or story progression.

The Strong points of Torchlight II are stretched out in its gameplay and mechanism; starting from the character design. There are four selectable classes to play with, each unique in their own ways. The rage-fueled melee oriented Berserker that can jump right into action dealing fast punches and skills, the agile gun wielding Outlander, the classic and powerful Embermage blasting with fire neutralizing with ice. And finally my favorite, the two-handed weapon wielder Engineer who can summon small damage dealing and healing robots and turrets. The Engineer feels more inventive and, possibly, the most noteworthy addition to this sequel’s take on the three basic classes; which are usually fighter, mage and rogue. There isn’t, however, any greater differences no matter which class players choose to play with, while they are equally satisfying and suit any style of play. But the differences start to stack from the moment players customize their characters. The skill trees are varied enough to ensure no two characters will have the same skills. Even at low levels, players are presented with a vast array of both active and passive skills, making all the disparities to choose from one set of skills over another, while they determine the whole play style. The Mage, for example, can attack from afar with fire spells or pick the fire hammer, which is a melee attack made of magic, or choose skills from the lightning or ice skill trees. Players are also given attribute points each level to be spent carefully in the character build.

Accompanying the character there is always a pet which you pick from the start; the pet fights for the player, stores loot and can even cast spells taught along the way. It’s a very welcome addition, especially in single player mode, as it is a loyal companion always there to handle the smaller enemies while you obliterate the bigger ones. It is also very useful this time around as it can be sent to town to buy potions, and sell the unwanted loot.

Torchlight II Gameplay

The enemies in Torchlight II are varied and unique, though it can be hard to tell when the action fills up the screen to the point where they are almost indistinguishable from one another.

You can easily traverse one area without knowing there were a new variety of enemies presented. That’s a shame, since it’s evident that a lot of effort was put into developing them.

The bosses however are another deal. You’ll find a climactic end to every quest, big or small, thanks to the huge and tough boss battles at the end of each dungeon, some of them actually present a big challenge even on the normal difficulty and can leave you returning to town until you are ready to face them, most of the times it will all be worth the hassle when they are defeated and you see them drop the rare piece of loot.

Yes, loot is what all is about in Action RPGS, and Torchlight II is no exception, much like in Diablo II, the loot is divided in categories depending on its rarity. While common loot is dropped almost every time you kill a normal enemy, you acquire rare loot from vanquishing hard to reach bosses at the end of the dungeon, which doubles the satisfaction.

Equipment many times comes in sets, with bonuses given to the character that gets 2 or more parts of any given set. This mechanic creates complexity within the character build, as you’ll weigh the advantages of equipping for example a powerful chainmail, against a robe from the same set as your other items (with the added benefit of making your character look fantastic on the battlefield).

Calling Torchlight II addictive would be an understatement. The loot driven craze that characterizes the genre is strong in this game, the loot drops with such pacing that you’ll find yourself wanting to finish just one more sidequest before you quit, in hopes that the next fight will finally drop a unique piece of equipment. This makes the game varied and enticing; the different loot seems almost endless and will keep you playing for days.

The whole scenery is colorful and interesting; the towns are bright and pleasant to the eye while the dungeons are well designed and full of atmosphere. It’s a shame there isn’t more lore behind them as some just beg for a well written story about them.

Torchlight II Screenshot

It may take quite some time even for experienced players to reach the ending, there’s a lot to see and do in Torchlight II main quest. There’s even a new game plus available when the campaign is completed, stretching the level cap beyond 100 with randomly generated dungeons filled with the best loot. There’s also incentive to create a new character from a different class and see what you missed on a first playthrough, while the quest for loot and multiplayer component give this game almost endless replayability.

Torchlight II doesn’t really innovate or bring anything new to the genre, the formula created by predecessors such as Diablo II stays intact; however, what it does, it does best: every mechanic known to Action RPG fans is executed masterfully, the gameplay is fluid and intuitive, the characters all distinct from one another with huge customization and variety in their skills, looting is addictive and questing rewarding.

Where it does excel and differentiate itself is in its colorful environments, heavily contrasting with other similar titles that tend to go for a much darker dungeon crawler approach. Fans of the genre will love what it does with every aspect at every turn, and even if you’re not big on ARPGs this game would be a great chance to start and see what it’s all about.

Daniel Flores, NoobFeed

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General Information

Torchlight II

85/100

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Runic Games
Developer(s): Runic Games
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2012-09-20

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