Torchlight II – Review
Follow Genre: RPG, Hack 'n Slash, Dungeon crawler
Developer: Runic Games
Publisher: Runic Games
Platform: PC

Torchlight II – Review

Site Score
8.2
Good: Great and smooth gameplay
Bad: Has a decent amount of recycled content
User Score
9.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Torchlight II is the long-awaited sequel of the first installment of the game. The original Torchlight game lacked a multiplayer function which saddened the fans, of a game that turned out to be a great title. Now the developers decided to work their way up to a place which would please fans who love single player or for those who love some multiplayer action. For those new to the world of Torchlight, the developer team of the game consists out of members that worked on the Diablo series. Will the overall gameplay prove to be just as good as this massive franchise, however?

6

Story:

The story revolves around ‘The Alchemist’, who happens to be the hero of the first game. During the game the character you choose will ‘chase’ him through the areas in which the Alchemist is capturing the guardians who stand for all that’s good in that certain area. And it’s pretty much as simple as that. When receiving your main quests you will get treated to some voice acting of the quest NPC but overall the story value isn’t what drives this game for you to keep on playing.

The game consists out of 3 main acts and in between these acts we get treated to some simple, yet fun to watch animated clips that give us more information about the story. These clips were made by Klei Entertainment which will ring a bell if you are used to playing several other indie games. To keep this section rather short the overall story isn’t that impressive but gives that nice extra touch to the world of Torchlight.

4

Graphics:

Graphically Torchlight II is aiming for a more cartoonish tone but still with a dose of darkness added to it. The world looks detailed and the maps are quite vast for a game that only has 3 acts. If the gameplay doesn’t really convince you to explore more the appearance of the world surely will. For a typical ‘dungeon crawler’ game the developers did their best to make each environment or dungeon to have their own style. A thing well appreciated if you’re an explorer like me.

The characters personally reminded me a little bit of Diablo meets World of Warcraft, not the overall appearance per se, but more the colorscheme. When creating a character you will be able to choose the gender and a few customization options for your character. Not that many, but enough to be well appreciated to create ‘your own’ character. This will also include you being able to choose your pet out of 10+ different creatures. Not only the characters look neat, but your enemies also have that cartoonish, yet serious look and give that extra edge to the atmosphere Torchlight II is going for.

The game aims for a simple HUD and you will clearly see the influences of the Diablo games when scrolling through your windows or looking at your overall skills screen, Life bar, mana and so on.

1

Sound:

Again if you’re a fan of the Diablo games you will see the resemblances with Torchlight II. We get treated to a great soundtrack with that typical dark vibe trying to reach out to you. Overall the music sets the right tone and the voice acting isn’t too shabby either. The voice acting might get looked over a little bit more because of the lack of such an interesting story. But simply put, no real complaint on this department.

Gameplay:

Torchlight II is a typical dungeon crawler/hack ‘n slash/RPG that will offer you quite some gameplay time to play through the story. (Yes, I know it doesn’t sound so typical if I actually have to put the game in 3 different categories!) As mentioned earlier, at the beginning of the game you will have to create your own character with a few customization options to give your character that personal touch. You will be able to pick 4 different classes, namely: The engineer, the embermage, the berserker and the outlander. Each of these characters has their own specific sets of abilities yet each can be formed to your own playstyle.

To add some personal experience to the review to point out how you can ‘form’ characters to your own playstyle. I completed my first playthrough with an Engineer who can create a few robots to fight for him or heal him when needed. When going through its main skills it’s clear this character can easily be played as a tank, but because I wanted to play through the game first time on my own I felt like going for a DPS engineer which was pretty easy to reform my engineer to. It took amazingly little effort for me to figure out a build that would let me do so. Then the exact opposite happend to me when picking the berserker when playing with friends for my second playthrough. The Berserker is a typical brawler but when picking the right skills he can be a tank aswell which was needed to keep my friends safe from the endless waves of minions Torchlight II throws at you.

Talking about skills, each character has 3 skills trees with several skills you can choose and level up. Each skill can be leveled up 15 times which means if you want a decent build you will have to max out a few skills to gain the best possible abilities from them. (and each of them gives extra bonuses when investing more points in them) Again this will mean you will have to leave a decent amount of skills unleveled or unused if you want to create an effective build. When trying out new skills that don’t suit you that much you can always go to the right NPC in town to hand you back some invested skill points. Keep in mind this is only possible for the last 3 skill points your character invested. Points invested earlier than this will not be able to be handed back to you, which will make you think about your build more instead of simply picking everything.

Being able to choose a pet in Torchlight II is pretty much one of the best ideas ever in a game like this. The pet will support you in combat and can be learned skills as well which you might forget to activate most of the time. Most importantly however is the fact that your pet has it’s own inventory which can be filled with items you find and which can be sold without you having to go back to town. This means when you cram your pet full of items you don’t need you can let it go back to sell those items for you. Keep in mind you will have to miss your pet for a short period of time.

You will have to play through 3 acts to complete your ‘first playthrough’. I’m calling it the first playthrough because if you want to keep leveling your character or simply max it out, you will have to play through the game several times. If you’re a fan of this genre this means the game will keep you occupied for some quite some time. After your playthrough, you will be able to purchase new zones and so on for you to complete which pretty much have nothing to do with the main storyline, but are a great way of having some new content to plow your way through.

If you’re tired of playing offline/alone you are able to create a game with 5 of your friends (or random people) to play through the game (again) with more people. This will make way for a new way of playing the game because then you can try out new builds which wouldn’t work when playing single player – so grind away!

Conclusion:

Torchlight II is a great game that will surely be one of those ‘must-haves’ when you’re a fan of the genre. The game offers us great and stable content which we can play on our own and share with friends.

There is one remark I have to make about this game and that is the fact we get too much content which is pretty much-recycled content from Diablo I & II and ideas from Diablo III. Don’t get me wrong the gameplay is great but the game would have been pretty much ‘perfect’ in its genre if they inserted more original stuff and less stuff to fall back on to because it was great in those games. I’m hoping to see awesome new ideas in Torchlight III, if we get the honor of ever seeing the developers deciding to create one!

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Torchlight II - Review, 9.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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