Torchlight II Review

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Torchlight II Review

The lands of Torchlight II cry out to be explored, and you'll be glad you answered.

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It's a damn shame I can't run this game, yet.

I'd hope it, somehow, makes it way to the PSN...but, I'm not holding my breath.

Tanis:
It's a damn shame I can't run this game, yet.

I'd hope it, somehow, makes it way to the PSN...but, I'm not holding my breath.

Torchlight came to the consoles (although I'm not sure specifically if it was PSN) and I heard it got a decent reception. I wouldn't see why they wouldn't put torchlight II there.

Btw great review for T2. I was hoping you would talk about the online play more since it is a new feature from the original torchlight but still great overall.

This could have been a review for Torchlight 1 and I wouldn't have known without having seen TL2 myself.

I think the online play and the soundtrack deserve a mention as being great additions to an already good game.

The co op is really good and I think well balanced, although it's a pain to keep having to log in every time I load up the game just to play an internet session.

And the soundtrack sets a nice tone for the game too, mellow enough to be seamless, but epic enough to bring battles to a higher level.

No mention of the Multiplayer? I have 3 copies of TL2 to play with my kids, but haven't found time to boot it up yet. Am I headed for happiness or disappointment?

This is a fun game.
Its vibrant, animated, and interesting.

I really am enjoying it.
For 20 bucks why not grab it?

This game does everything Diablo 3 tried to do and adds a level of complexity that was stripped a way in favor of mass appeal that did naught but alienate fans of the genre and of Diablo 2. Of course, that's because Runic is built from team members that left Blizzard to make this game in stead.

Torchlight 2's multiplayer is by and far the best multiplayer experience I've had this year. And I actually managed to log into the MP on my first day with no hassles and NO LAG! Even better is that game does not hold your hand and treat you like a brainless moron that can't plan stat and ability choices. Every character is unique and you tailor them to YOUR LIKING! You don't have to play the exact same character everyone else does with nary more than a different coat of paint!

At one fifth of the price of D3, this game is a must buy for any dungeon crawler fans out there. There's also the option to buy a four pack for $40(AUD) and you get to give away three copies to your friends to play with!

It's not often that I love a game from the moment I pick it up but Torchlight was one of them and I look forward to spending many hours sorting through loot and bashing through a huge variety of enemies alongside my friends.

If you find yourself hung up between the choice of D3 and TL2, there's absolutely no reason for you to pass up the latter opportunity to save money AND get yourself and three buddies into a world of adventure, loot and a pretty great story.

P.S. The bosses in this game are GLORIOUS! Definitely play on a higher difficulty setting to get the full experience out of the huge battles!

GAunderrated:

Btw great review for T2. I was hoping you would talk about the online play more since it is a new feature from the original torchlight but still great overall.

Clankenbeard:
No mention of the Multiplayer? I have 3 copies of TL2 to play with my kids, but haven't found time to boot it up yet. Am I headed for happiness or disappointment?

At the moment, there's not a lot to say about the multiplayer other than the fact that it's there. There's no level scaling or quest sharing mechanics at work; it just doesn't affect the experience positively or negatively beyond being Torchlight II, but with another person around. There's certainly nothing wrong with it - and I'm glad they've included it as an option - but it's like any other feature without a whole lot of personality, like the autosave or respawn system.

@Clankenbeard If you play with your kids, and only as that group, you'll all stay close in level and should have a great time with the game.

Grabbed this and BL2, and must admit I been playing this more than BL thus far.

Mike Kayatta:

GAunderrated:

Btw great review for T2. I was hoping you would talk about the online play more since it is a new feature from the original torchlight but still great overall.

Clankenbeard:
No mention of the Multiplayer? I have 3 copies of TL2 to play with my kids, but haven't found time to boot it up yet. Am I headed for happiness or disappointment?

At the moment, there's not a lot to say about the multiplayer other than the fact that it's there. There's no level scaling or quest sharing mechanics at work; it just doesn't affect the experience positively or negatively beyond being Torchlight II, but with another person around. There's certain nothing wrong with it - and I'm glad they've included it as an option - but it's like any other feature without a whole lot of personality, like the autosave or respawn system.

@Clankenbeard If you play with your kids, and only as that group, you'll all stay close in level and should have a great time with the game.

Actually what I was curious about is how the loot worked. Would both players see different loot or share loot (making it a race to grab everything asap)?

Being a game based on loot gear I think it is a pretty vital question to ask with multiplayer.

GAunderrated:

Mike Kayatta:

GAunderrated:

Btw great review for T2. I was hoping you would talk about the online play more since it is a new feature from the original torchlight but still great overall.

Clankenbeard:
No mention of the Multiplayer? I have 3 copies of TL2 to play with my kids, but haven't found time to boot it up yet. Am I headed for happiness or disappointment?

At the moment, there's not a lot to say about the multiplayer other than the fact that it's there. There's no level scaling or quest sharing mechanics at work; it just doesn't affect the experience positively or negatively beyond being Torchlight II, but with another person around. There's certain nothing wrong with it - and I'm glad they've included it as an option - but it's like any other feature without a whole lot of personality, like the autosave or respawn system.

@Clankenbeard If you play with your kids, and only as that group, you'll all stay close in level and should have a great time with the game.

Actually what I was curious about is how the loot worked. Would both players see different loot or share loot (making it a race to grab everything asap)?

Being a game based on loot gear I think it is a pretty vital question to ask with multiplayer.

Loot drops for people individually. The system works rather well IMO and I agree with Mike about the multiplayer. It's really fun, but it doesn't add any more depth or systems to the game that weren't there to begin with.

Whelp I think I've found my distraction for the weekend.

They improved it immensely with small touches.

And even though I don't like Diablo 3 with all the casualisations, their skill runes were a neat idea that would come in handy with Torchlight, could take the edge off for those who can't commit to a build.
Also a minor gripe I would like the options to switch into a WASD - movement control scheme, this ye olde RTS setup leaves my left hand rather bored even in the most exciting fights, I would almost call it silly because we only got one guy to control in a fast paced game yet it puts a layer of path-finding and target marking in between that distances you from the action.

GAunderrated:
Actually what I was curious about is how the loot worked. Would both players see different loot or share loot (making it a race to grab everything asap)?

Being a game based on loot gear I think it is a pretty vital question to ask with multiplayer.

Loot drops are specific to each player, which means no scrambling to grab stuff. Although it does look a little bit odd to watch a fellow player walk around in circles over what is (to you) an empty piece of floor.

There's also a handy trading mechanic. So if you pick up a piece of gear that you know one of your coop partners could make better use of, you can give it to them (or trade for something they've pick up). My partner and I have a deal where I give him all the guns I find, and he gives me all the two-handers he finds.

I must be thinking of a different game because the Torchlight I tried got unbearably boring in under 10min. Boring quests, empty npc's, all skills feel the same, the environments and the monsters and the clicking all blur into one big greyness...

Granted, D3 is way worse but that doesn't mean I'm happy with Torchlight. Both could have been so much more.

Tanis:
It's a damn shame I can't run this game, yet.

I'd hope it, somehow, makes it way to the PSN...but, I'm not holding my breath.

They have already said that Torchlight 1 just barely fit in the memory on the consoles and that Torchlight 2 just would never make it. Maybe on next gen if anyone has an interest.

I played Diablo 3 for a good 60+ hours and had fun with it, but in the end it just felt forced.

Now playing Torchlight 2 I can see some of flaws that bothered me with D3 more. Loot drops are the biggest thing. In TL2 every drop might be something great that you can use, thus it drives you to keep wanting to whack baddies, in D3 the only way to get useful upgrades was the AH. I will say that the story in D3 drove me a little more than TL2, in TL2 I'm pretty much just looking to kill the next big thing and see what I get. And I couldn't help but laugh when I kicked over a skull and had 20 gold piles drop.

The environments in TL2 and the enemies are just more dynamic. The levels have some elevation in them, and don't just feel like a giant rectangle that I have to explore, the paths in TL2 are less structured. Additionally the mobs are a lot better in TL2, each different mob has it's own ability to attack you in different ways, and if you're not paying attention they will destroy you. I liked the champion packs in D3, but I didn't see those battles as actual battles as much as me just running around kiting the mobs as I AoE'd them to death.

So I liked Diablo 3 just fine, but I didn't love it. TL2 is a lot of fun and just feels looser and freer and let's you play the game rather than telling you how to play the game. For $20 it really is a no brainer for anyone that likes ARPG's

I'm playing through the first Torchlight as we speak. Or at least I was. Can't say I like it. I don't normally play arpgs, so I went with what was meant to be one of the better ones - so far though, I'm just finding it repetitive and pointless. I had more enjoyment with Bastion, which was narrative driven. Anyway, that's my two cents.

I may have to grab this. Torchlight 1 was a lot of fun, though, I can't say I remember any of the story, so I laughed when you mentioned the game might try and make you care about the plot and you might kind of just go "yeah, yeah, corrupted thing, gonna go hit it with spells and sticks, now, get out the way, I've got pretty environments to see and monsters to bash." If it invokes that from the original, than this is an easy sale.

Absolutely love it. Playing a cannon-engineer and a shotgun-outlander right now. I just need to really start spending my saved-up skillpoints soon (I'm trying to get to level 35 with my engineer first to test the new skills) because the monsters are really starting to kick my ass with my self-imposed handicap.

Mike Kayatta:

GAunderrated:

Btw great review for T2. I was hoping you would talk about the online play more since it is a new feature from the original torchlight but still great overall.

Clankenbeard:
No mention of the Multiplayer? I have 3 copies of TL2 to play with my kids, but haven't found time to boot it up yet. Am I headed for happiness or disappointment?

At the moment, there's not a lot to say about the multiplayer other than the fact that it's there. There's no level scaling or quest sharing mechanics at work; it just doesn't affect the experience positively or negatively beyond being Torchlight II, but with another person around. There's certainly nothing wrong with it - and I'm glad they've included it as an option - but it's like any other feature without a whole lot of personality, like the autosave or respawn system.

That's not true at all.
I assume that by 'level scaling' you mean scaling of their difficulty. Enemies gets a lot stronger with more people, and there's several abilities that's clearly intended for co-operative play. Like the engineer's healbot and damage shield, the zerker's ability to make enemies more vulnerable, the outlander's charge buff, etc.
On veteran difficulty with 3 or more players around, you will need to co-operate, or you're guaranteed to be smashed into a fine paste.

I'll only play this game if I can have my Carmen Sandiego hat[1] again.

[1] Ok it's not really a Carmen Sandiego hat, but I just call it that because it looks kinda like Carmen Sandiego's hat

This game was an incredible surprise to me. I got into the beta during the summer and it ended up stealing the show. I haven't been this confident for a release since...(can't even remember the last time) and it delivered on all fronts. I've already sunk close to 50 hours since launch and plan on doing way more. It is a true successor to diablo 2 and it helps that it was made by the original team of d1&d2. The only thing it doesn't have that diablo 2 has is the dark theme and that's it (and maybe the necromancer) but luckily there's modding capability.

It's full modding ability allows for community to fill in any holes left and as I type this there are already fans making new classes. You might ask: Won't there be game-breaking content then? Runic implemented a system where only modded characters/content can only be played with other modded characters/content.

Multiplayer is a huge success, after beating veteran with my first characters (already on my third), my friends and I can do pretty much any dungeon run with the map room.

Can't say much more because I want to get back to the action.

It's a definite delivery, highly recommended.

The game is so damn fun, sooo damn fun, getting into the multiplayer for the first time is a bit of a confusing thing since you have to get an account with runic (free) but once you do that you're golden.

6 player monster slaying? Monsters exploding into gibs? Raining ice don on enemies? Sorry to bring up another game but, I uninstalled Diablo 3 and haven't looked back.

Denamic:

Mike Kayatta:

GAunderrated:

Btw great review for T2. I was hoping you would talk about the online play more since it is a new feature from the original torchlight but still great overall.

Clankenbeard:
No mention of the Multiplayer? I have 3 copies of TL2 to play with my kids, but haven't found time to boot it up yet. Am I headed for happiness or disappointment?

At the moment, there's not a lot to say about the multiplayer other than the fact that it's there. There's no level scaling or quest sharing mechanics at work; it just doesn't affect the experience positively or negatively beyond being Torchlight II, but with another person around. There's certainly nothing wrong with it - and I'm glad they've included it as an option - but it's like any other feature without a whole lot of personality, like the autosave or respawn system.

That's not true at all.
I assume that by 'level scaling' you mean scaling of their difficulty. Enemies gets a lot stronger with more people, and there's several abilities that's clearly intended for co-operative play. Like the engineer's healbot and damage shield, the zerker's ability to make enemies more vulnerable, the outlander's charge buff, etc.
On veteran difficulty with 3 or more players around, you will need to co-operate, or you're guaranteed to be smashed into a fine paste.

To be more clear, I meant there's no scaling in regards to others. So, if you're level 30 and I'm level 3, we're probably not going to have a good time together.

I hated diablo 1 never played diablo 2 hated gauntlet, played diablo 3 for like 20 minutes on a friends account and never had any interest to even give that game a second look, oh and did play torchlight 1 about as long as i played d3.

So yea hack and slash games are not really my thing.

But i tried t2 the other day and i could not stop playing....

I had to sit and think about this, back in the day i HATED diablo, partly because i never found the chop chop chop a b aaa b or lllllllllrlrlrlllllllrlrr was pretty mind numbing to me without wasd qe space ctrl etc mixed in there because i like a bit more interaction in my games.

I mostly hated diablo one because so many magazines like pc gamer and etc gave d1 rpg of the year, when diablo was not a rpg. it was a hack n slash game with some rpg elements and a story tacked on.

But why was i liking t2....

I think a few major things that made this particular game work for me;

The exploration is great there are always some mini boss to be found or a chest that might have that drop you want, a side quest to find, exploring feels rewarding and challenging at times, the occasional secret area can be found even.

The level progress is paced nicely i been playing on normal diff and i been hitting the slightly over level areas as i went typically but you explore and etc you can level up once or twice per map, you are always just one more area clear or side quest away from becoming noticably more powerful.

The loot drops are decent, yea the rng gods are cruel that 2 hand sword you really really want never drops and hardly every shows up at the merchants. But armor rings upgrade gems will drop inthe green and blue variety at a fair clip, golds show up on occassion, so your always getting some kind of loot that may boost your character and if not the next pile of loot is not too far away. But it seems your characters will get better via gear at about the same pace as your getting stronger via skills and stats.

The whole pace of the game feels right for this kind of thing, lest sofar for w/e reason this hack n slash is holding my attention way way way more than any other i have played.

I'll just say this:

When the game went live and I was finally able to play, the Runic servers were down due to traffic overload.

Yet, unlike some ARPGs, I was still able to create a character and start playing. And I don't mean I just picked a character, I created a character. Picked his look, his stats, his skills, and even his pet.

Then, within the first few minutes, I found myself wandering beautifully designed environments, bludgeoning undead monsters with a giant wrench and watching their bodies explode into a mess of blood, fire, and gibs. All the while picking up oodles of loot and gold.

The next day, I took that same character into an online game with five of my friends.

The game's violent. It's cathartic. It's "pretty". It's addictive.

And yes, I'm hooked.

Sorry Blizzard. You lost this round.

[edit]
Also wanted to mention that I love the art styles and themes in this game. It's pure opinion of course, and even though I do really like the gothic stylings of Diablo, I'm enjoying the fantasy-mythology-meets-steampunk look of Torchlight more.

Vigormortis:
I'll just say this:

When the game went live and I was finally able to play, the Runic servers were down due to traffic overload.

Yet, unlike some ARPGs, I was still able to create a character and start playing. And I don't mean I just picked a character, I created a character. Picked his look, his stats, his skills, and even his pet.

Then, within the first few minutes, I found myself wandering beautifully designed environments, bludgeoning undead monsters with a giant wrench and watching their bodies explode into a mess of blood, fire, and gibs. All the while picking up oodles of loot and gold.

The next day, I took that same character into an online game with five of my friends.

The game's violent. It's cathartic. It's "pretty". It's addictive.

And yes, I'm hooked.

Sorry Blizzard. You lost this round.

[edit]
Also wanted to mention that I love the art styles and themes in this game. It's pure opinion of course, and even though I do really like the gothic stylings of Diablo, I'm enjoying the fantasy-mythology-meets-steampunk look of Torchlight more.

Exactly this.

It had it's day one teething problems which everyone expected. But that didn't stop me and a few mates starting up a singleplayer each and playing it over skype, a few hours later we even made a Hamachi server so we could play LAN without the need for a runic account.

Good times were had by all. And good times have been had since.

And the aesthetic is amazing, incredibly rich looking low poly environments and characters. So much attention to detail.

Mygaffer:

Tanis:
It's a damn shame I can't run this game, yet.

I'd hope it, somehow, makes it way to the PSN...but, I'm not holding my breath.

They have already said that Torchlight 1 just barely fit in the memory on the consoles and that Torchlight 2 just would never make it. Maybe on next gen if anyone has an interest.

Damn. I really liked the first one but I like to play these types of games with people so I was looking forward to this. Maybe they can release it on disk. I'd pay $30 or so for an Xbox version.

Clankenbeard:
No mention of the Multiplayer? I have 3 copies of TL2 to play with my kids, but haven't found time to boot it up yet. Am I headed for happiness or disappointment?

Just a quick note, you don't actually need the runic account stuff if you play over a LAN, I do that with my kids and wife now, having a lot of fun :)

Tried out 3 of the 4 characters and their individual skills doesn't seem to have much synergy with each other. There really isn't much depth regarding the talents and the mechanics seems really boring.

ExtraDebit:
Tried out 3 of the 4 characters and their individual skills doesn't seem to have much synergy with each other. There really isn't much depth regarding the talents and the mechanics seems really boring.

Not to call you out on this, but.....I'm totally calling you out on this.

No synergy? Did you actually read the skill trees? There are lots of synergistic builds one can follow.

Let's take the Berserker, for example. Or, more to the point, my current build for my Berserker.

At this moment, my character is level 28. Which means I've had well over 28 skill points with which to dump into skills. (counting basic leveling and Fame levels)

And even though I was tempted by several of the skills and skill trees, I ended up just dumping virtually all of my skill points (*) into three skills that work exquisitely together. As in, "synergisticly".

Those are:
Frost Breath
Cold Steel Mastery
Shatter Storm

The first gives me a pseudo-AOE effect that can freeze and/or immobilize enemies. The second increases my effectiveness and damage out put with melee and ice-damage-enhanced weapons and skills. The third causes frozen enemies, that I kill, to explode causing AOE damage and freezing other nearby enemies.

So basically: freeze - punch till dead - explodes - rinse and repeat.

Seems pretty synergistic to me. I've found several setups like this for the Berserker, as well as the other classes.

As such, I'm not quite sure where you're getting the impression that none of the skills are synergistic.

* with exception for a few other passive buffs; like Shred Armor and Rage Retaliation. I'm also considering dumping a few into Raze for increased damage output for boss-fights

Vigormortis:
Snip

Yes passives and actives have synergy, that's what passives are for, but in TL2 none of the active skills seem to work well together, I never found myself doing "combos" so to speak. As an example: (I'm going to assume you have played enough to know what i'm talking about, if not I apologize)

OT: I'm certainly enjoying it for $20 but there are a lot of little annoyances that add up to make the game less than great.
Disclaimer: I freely admit this is all opinion, so the rage that TL fans seem to be showing to people who dare say the game isn't perfect is wasted on me

I want it, but it does not run on a mac

major_chaos:

Vigormortis:
Snip

Yes passives and actives have synergy, that's what passives are for, but in TL2 none of the active skills seem to work well together, I never found myself doing "combos" so to speak. As an example: (I'm going to assume you have played enough to know what i'm talking about, if not I apologize)

OT: I'm certainly enjoying it for $20 but there are a lot of little annoyances that add up to make the game less than great.
Disclaimer: I freely admit this is all opinion, so the rage that TL fans seem to be showing to people who dare say the game isn't perfect is wasted on me

Go read your Engineer skill trees again. He has an active AoE stun, I'm playing through as Embermage and my friend is playing through as Engineer and we have been working very well together BECAUSE his unending stuns keep the pack off me while I shower frost and flames on them from above.

I even put points into a stun to help increase his damage output to keep his aggro high enough to tank for the huge amounts of DPS I can output.

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