It is fair to say that one of the games with the highest demand at PAX East was Torchlight 2. There was always a line to get on a machine to give it a try. Thankfully the kind folks at Runic Games (Thank you Wonder!) were able to schedule a media time for me Saturday morning to give it a try and talk to the development staff. Much like the original installment, Torchlight 2 is vibrant, beautiful, and responsive.
The biggest draw for me in Torchlight 2 is the inclusion of multi-player support and a friends list. I quickly lose interest in single player games but if I can hang out with my friends I tend to play well beyond what most people would consider a game’s shelf life. With the new match-making system that Runic has worked out I can see myself spending a lot of time with Klassi and Aure blasting through the various zones of the game with glee. It is something I am looking forward to and I know it will be a lot of fun for us.
Pets are a big part of Torchlight and they will be equally important in the sequel. Not only will they run to town for you and sell your goods, you can give them a shopping list of things to pick up. They have their own gear slots and abilities as well. I was enthralled by my panther who wore a small backpack and spent its time wrecking monsters. Pets can be changed temporarily or permanently when you feed them special fish. Fish that you find yourself by dropping a line in the many fishing holes found throughout the world.
One of the features I found interesting was fishing. In the heat of battle you can take a break, search out a rare fishing hole, and cast your line. Each hole has a limited number of fish and some holes are considered rare. Fishing will lead to all sorts of items that can be used by the character, sold, and given to pets to change them. This is a neat extra feature in an already awesome game.
Community involvement is going to be a big part of Torchlight 2. I was told that the development kit that players will receive is the same one that was used to create the game. It isn’t neutered or half powered. It wasn’t created later. It is so much of a real deal that you’ll be able to create your own game with it! That is extremely interesting to me. It is fun to invest some time on a creative project like this and I’m certain I’ll put together a little something based on my table top roleplaying game. This extreme support of modding will also lead to a lot of replay-ability for the game. Once you complete all of the content that Runic has provided you can check out some of the well crafted mods!
Getting into the game was a pretty straight forward experience. I started it up, created a berserker, and watched the opening cinematic. After that I was right into the action after picking up a quest. Despite being a beta, everything was extremely polished and worked without a hitch. I went after some skeletons and starting beating them senseless with my berserker fury! All of the commands were responsive and I loved all of the little details. Corpses occasionally exploded, the atmosphere was outstanding, and it is clear that Runic has taken the time to layer depth upon depth of gameplay elements for us.
A Must Play
The attention to detail in Torchlight 2 is just exceptional. Runic has done an excellent job in taking their craft to the next level. For me, this is a must buy game. I am waiting impatiently to get my hands on it and the mod tools so that I can spend my time exploring the world. Please consider adding it to your list! Torchlight 2 is going to be worth your dollars, I promise!
One more thing – Check out the wolf inspired armor on the berserker. I’m sold based on that alone!