Not only am I about to review a PC game, I’m going to praise one. Torchlight 2, the sequel to the appropriately named Torchlight, is an action RPG that doesn’t really bring anything new to the dungeon crawling genre, but it perfects almost every aspect.
Torchlight 2 is set years after the original, you are tasked to stop The Alchemist, who was corrupted by the Ember Blight from the Heart of Ordrak. Overall, the story is really weak and it serves no purpose but to continue the game over the three chapters. The characters aren’t flushed out at all and there is essentially no story or character progression. You will most likely skip the rare cutscenes, just to get back into the action.
At the start of the game you are able to choose from four player classes. The Engineer, a melee fighter. The Outlander, a nomad who uses low magic and ranged weapons. The Beserker, this character uses fast attacks with special powers and the Embermage, a spell-casting class with elemental attacks. Each class differs greatly and provides an excellent chance to play through the game many times.
You won’t be dungeon crawling alone however, you are also able to create a pet such as a dog, cat, dragon and more. Your pet is amazing! Not only will he or she attack enemies, they are able to “go to town”. This feature allows you to stock up your pet with loot and they’ll go to town. Leaving you for a few minutes to sell all your unwanted items. It’s an amazing feature that they’ve refined in Torchlight 2. Now, your pet can buy stuff in towns. Minor things such as potions and scrolls. It’s really helpful, especially if you’re playing on harder difficulty.
The action and combat is the core of Torchlight 2, it feels extremely fluid and is refined to perfection. If you’re unaware what the style of Torchlight is, it’s very Diablo like. It takes elements from the Diablo series and perfects them. You’ll be fighting hoards of monsters through dungeons and the open world. To fight the baddies you’ll be using swords, maces, hammers, magic, guns and more. There are so many weapons that you’ll be able to not only pick a weapon system that works, but also experiment easily with different types of weapons and spells. Some weapons and items come with slots, where you can place elements that will do awesome things such as more frost damage, regenerating health and more. You can also enchant weapons, but for a cost. So, where do you get these weapons? You can buy and sell or you can take down everyone in your way and they’ll drop massive stacks of loot.
The lands of Torchlight 2 are littered in loot. Whether it be from monsters, chests or hidden areas. All randomly generated and it’s not shared (thank God) if you’re playing multiplayer. Since it’s random, every battle, big or small can yield amazing items. You’ll be forever picking up and swapping out items. It’s great fun and it almost makes sure you experiment with different weapons and armor.
As you mow down monsters you gain XP. As you gain more and more, you level up. When you level up you get skill points that you can put into skills, that are strength, vitality, focus and dexterity. You also get points to put into your skill trees. You have a plethora of different skills you can invest in, both active and passive . These skills are different for every class you can play as. I played as a beserker, so the skills I invested in were swipe attacks and passive skills that increase my chances of critical hits. Each skill can be leveled up with further points to increase how potent your ability will be.
The presentation of Torchlight 2 is amazing. The colours and graphics are vibrant and immersive. The art-style is beautiful and the monsters look great. The combat is fluid and even on a reasonably low-moderate level computer like mine, I had no slow down or frame rate problems. The sound couples with the look perfectly. Composed by Matt Uelmen from Diablo 1 and 2, the original Torchlight and World of Warcraft’s The Burning Crusade, it sounds amazing and provides that epic fantasy sound.
Torchlight 2 is arguably enjoyed more when playing multiplayer. I played with the synonymous Bane Williams and we had a blast. We burned our way through dungeons and boss battles. The best part about the multiplayer is playing with different classes. Bane plays as a mage and I a warrior. While he was using ranged attacks, I was with arms reach of the monsters. It was great fun and provided a layer of strategy to the game. Luckily for everyone the loot you get isn’t shared, so we had no issue bickering and fighting as to who would get what. It’s also interesting that we never got the same loot from the same battle. It was good because if we picked up items the other wanted we could just easily trade them amongst ourselves.
Torchlight 2 is amazing game. It will provide hours of immense, action packed fun. It’s an extremely fluid game that doesn’t stutter, and has a great online multiplayer component, that is better than playing alone. Not to knock the singleplayer because playing alone is a blast as well. Torchlight 2 is also only $20 on Steam, and for that price this is an offer that shouldn’t be refused.