Review: Torchlight 2
Torchlight 2 sets out to build upon its popularity among fans, following the success of its predecessor Torchlight, released back in 2009 giving fans an alternative to the Diablo-esque genre of gaming. Exploring dungeons for loot and better equipment to kill monsters drive players on in their epic quest for domination. With Diablo 3 launching just a few months before Torchlight 2, the pressure to please fans whilst also gain new ones were high. With Diablo, a hugely successful name with legions of fans, can a young up and comer hold his own in the dungeon crawling world?
- Huge vibrant, colourful worlds created with such detail and atmosphere, exploring a new world has never been so much fun.
- Gameplay is very simple in that you pick a character, name them and your pet, then set out either alone or online with up to 3 friends/randoms and explore the world looking to level up your character, learn new spells, get new weapons and fight monsters.
- Your pet is like your wing man, giving you help in combat and also most importantly have the ability to run to town for you to buy and sell items. This really is a helpful addition and stops needless back tracking.
- Loot is everywhere!, from killing enemies to finding chests. Even the most novice of player will have no problem finding the better loot. Rare and unique drops come and go as quickly as gold passes through your finger tips.
- The interface is clutter free and streamlined for quick access which again will help new players learn the ropes. Menus are straight to the point and have handy little tip pop ups, whilst also make life easier on the player by not having to learn loads of different buttons and presses to navigate around.
- Combat can be as simple or as complicated as you like. Left mouse button moves your character and if an enemy is high lighted you will use your weapon to attack. The right mouse button is your chosen ability which is usually a much more powerful attack. Adding new abilities is easy and can be attached to any of the number keys on your keyboard, whilst W will change your weapons from primary to secondary sets, the tab button will change your right mouse button ability. Setting abilities to new buttons is just a drag and drop away.
- Combat is also different to many other dungeon crawlers in which you can’t really get away with just spamming moves over and over. Sometimes you will get swarmed or your health may run low, for this you may well have to re think your strategy and fight from a distance only going in every now and then. Its combat like this that makes it more interesting. No ones going to want to play a game for ages where combat is just basically who ever blams the mouse button the most wins are they?
- Few comical references from some of the great films over the years but hey you guys wont get any spoilers from this site.
- For the first time in a while, the loading screens actually carry really helpful tips and short cut buttons to use in-game. It will also alert you if you have any unspent upgrade or skill points.
- If the worlds are not big enough for you still, then you will be glad to hear that there are secret rooms scattered all over the place, usually containing bonus loot and gear. To remain secret these rooms and passage ways don’t show up on the map at all, even if your stood in the room!
- When you die and it is a case of when not if, you get given a few options upon death. These are dependent on your game type. If playing solo offline upon death you get 3 options which are: 1.Spawn at town with no money spent. 2.Spawn at the dungeon entrance and lose x amount of money or 3.Spawn right where you died and lose x amount of money. If playing online then you only get 2 options with option number 3 being removed. Even with that known at least you get a choice of where you spawn.
- Keyboard shortcuts are not necessarily essential for survival but to be honest are really easy to learn and use. It’s usually a case of holding a button down then pressing another button to action the command.
- The campaign itself is 3 acts long and can take a few solid nights of play to finish. Side missions are the true bulk of the game and this is where you will spend most of your time. Missions are varied and always carry a unique or rare reward upon completion so doing all that you come across is a good way to play.
- Bonus locked chests are scattered throughout the worlds, unlocking them is done by finding the key which could be a pick up or a mission reward or simply killing the right monster for it. These chests do give you a big reward so always be on the lookout.
- The map is detailed and does a good job of keeping you in the know of your location and destination. You can toggle the map’s position and size at will and even turn it off all together if your feeling hardcore.
- Online play will give you better loot and up the difficulty and frequency of the monsters depending on the player numbers. This keeps it both challenging and entertaining.
- Whilst online you can only see your own loot so don’t worry about thief’s or anything. If you can see it then its yours for the taking. If you wish to trade with a player this is done via the trading option found within the menus.
- The music is good and adds a lot to the overall experience giving you dramatic music as enemies approach or a joyful tune as you pick up your rewards.
- A nice touch is the ability to fish. Yes fish, you can take time out from your monster killing, loot collecting, xp earning ocd ways and fish. You can find items whilst fishing or as obvious as it is fish can be caught. I know crazy right? Anyway these fish grant your pet special abilities such as transforming into a spider or dragon or something else. Usually these transformations will have a time limit but be warned some can be permanent so read the description first! also if you’re not in the mood for all that you can simply sell them.
- I had a few occasions where I would get stuck in the scenery or my character would take the long way around to a position. Whilst roaming this is fine but in combat really does cause an issue.
- Online with friends is a bit of a muddle at first. I would like to see a lobby style system to improve speed and the ability for drop in drop out play would be nice.
- Being a melee character on higher difficulties is really hard to enjoy. You wont last long and will get frustrated very quickly.
- A full respec your points would also be nice as at present you can only undo the last 3 skills/upgrades you done.
- Game play for a new player will seem repetitive after a while. This is the nature of the beast but il put in here that after a while it does feel samey.
- Not a good story and after a few cut scenes you will forget about it anyway.
- The warning your about to die can happen so quickly and so close to death you don’t actually get enough time to react.
In summary I loved this game and I spent just as much time playing it alone as I did online with mates. I found it really easy to get into and learn, the rewards for learning the more complex shortcuts is top-notch. Yes the story may be a bit pants but lets face it we didn’t come here for a story did we?….exactly. For a rewarding well executed dungeon crawler look no further than Torchlight 2. Do not be put off by the dungeon crawler myth that’s it’s all just sweeping corridors and cramped rooms, this game gives you acres of landscape and rich vibrant worlds to explore. Go on treat your self to this little gem and thank me later.