Torchlight 2, Brought to you by Runic Games is a Hack and Slash/Dungeon Crawler/RPG more commonly known now days though as an ARPG however this game really brings me back to the roots of where this Genre came from. I would have to say this game just may have been surprise of the year for me as I never did play the first Torchlight game. As someone who has played the most popular games of the genre mainly the Diablo series I expected a $20 dollar game from an indie company to be well just that a $20 game. Boy way I wrong, I would have rather spent the $60 I did on Diablo 3 on Torchlight 2 given the opportunity. Now, generally I do a breakdown of why the game gets the score it does for each section however seeing as there is very little bad we are going to do a “The Good” and “The Bad” section and one is huge compared to the other.
Well, just about everything is great if not amazing. From the start of the game you are given options. First with obvious things like class and small customization of your characters looks (Male, Female, Hair, Face). You also get to pick your pet the choice if I am not mistaken is 100% based on looks that you want and you get a good choice between about 10 different pets who play a good role in your adventure.
From the start of the game you have a choice that really a lot of games don’t fully give you now days especially in the same Genre and that is 100% your choice on difficulty. Easy, Normal, Veteran or, Elite. Your choice 100% it affects only the difficulty of the monsters not the loot you get and I think that is one big thing going for this game, no longer do you need to run through it 3 times just to get to a harder difficulty and getting better loot for doing a harder difficulty. People playing easy get the same loot as Elite. Another great choice is you from the first zone with monsters in it you are given the choice to go off the beaten path and explore side areas for extra experience and of course loot.
Of course as mentioned before is your faithful companion whom is always with you and will fight for you but that is of course not his limit. By opening up the pet tab you are able to equip him with some gear specifically got pets (tags and a collar) as well as he has his own inventory that at any time you can send him to go off to town and sell all that junk you collected for gold. However of course while he goes to town… why not tell him to go pick you up some Potions or scrolls to identify more gear with? There is also a fishing mechanic put in the game where you find fishing holes (rare ones one the wilds or a normal one in town) that have a varied chance of giving you pet related items as well as items you can use but more specifically it can give you fish or eggs you can feed your pet. Each fish that you find can transform your pet into a variety of things from a Jackal to a spider that throws down slowing webs.
The enemies of in Torchlight 2 are varied enough for you to not think your killing the same things for endless hours. What really got me though is the number of bosses in this game be it end of act bosses or sub bosses in some of the dungeons scattered throughout the world for the most part each has at least 1, 2 or sometimes, 3+ unique abilities that it and only it has. I will admit to only playing it on normal but I still died quite a few times with countless close calls with sending off my pet to get more potions. Maybe I’m just bad or as I like to think the game is challenging I don’t know if I would make it through Veteran or worse Elite.
As for the sound in Torchlight 2 you are looking at a nice varied track depending on what zone you are in. Some boss fights have some intense music that really gets you into it or… know that you are walking to your death. Most games I tend to just throw on some music from my PC or some online radio however this game I must have had the sound on the whole time. Not only is the soundtrack to it great… you can download it for FREE link to the download will be at the bottom.
A key point in RPG games of course being the classes you are able to play as. Your choices being the Melee based Berserker, The Ranged focused Outlander, The Magic-wielding Embermage and of course, The Technologically adept Engineer. Each can really fill every role though especially the Engineer having abilities for a giant cannon, sword and board and, giant 2 handed weapons. You are given stat points at 5 per level as well as a skill point per level. Each class has 3 skill trees with 7 active abilities per tree and 3 passive abilities per tree as well to a grand total of 30/class. Each skill also has 15 ranks to it with each point improving but at levels 5, 10 and, 15 gaining special bonuses such as a larger range or lasting longer.
The zones in Torchlight 2 are as much as i hate to compare it to Diablo 3 but the smallest zones in Torchlight are as big as the largest zones in Diablo 3. From Dangerous dungeon to the swamps I found the zones to be very different from each other and yes RANDOMLY generated and yes that made me very happy.
Of course what everyone enjoys is getting loot. There is a very large selection of loot and it comes at a great pace. You generally find upgrades by the time you need them however if you don’t generally the vendors in town will have gear that you can actually use! I did feel that some gear I got at an early level overstayed its welcome as I used it throughout 80% of the game but I believe it might be an isolated case to a few items this one seemed a bit overpowered as it gave +20% ranged damage and to an Outlander that’s invaluable. However I did feel that the loot was perfectly distributed in the fact when you killed something hard you got rewarded.
Also it also features old school features that for some reason games now day don’t have like a real single player with no internet connection needed and LAN
Well, the story. I can’t really tell you much about it because really there wasn’t much to it. It didn’t pull me in and really I didn’t completely understand the story either it wasn’t very well explained. Perhaps if I played the first Torchlight I would have enjoyed it more. With that said, that’s the only thing I could find wrong with this game.
Overall, Torchlight 2 was well what I wanted out of this Genre of game. It was easy to start and was fun throughout the whole story. The only gripe is story based and honestly not a lot of gamers really care about the story over gameplay. Not only is the game nearly perfect when it comes out it will also come out with the ability to be modded with Steam works so I expect great things out of the community that I know will grow with this game. It can only get better from launch. Runic Games did an awesome job with Torchlight 2 and I would completely and 100% say Torchlight 2 is a must buy especially seeing as it costs only $20 USD!
Torchlight 2 Soundtrack (Free)
Buy on Steam HERE