You Should Buy Torchlight 2

Torchlight 2 Engineer

There's nothing like wielding a huge cannon to make me feel like a man

Torchligh 2 is better than Diablo 3. There, I’ve said it. And yes, I know it’s not professional to compared games to each like that but considering I’m just a hobbyist blogger, I figured I can get away with it. So I’ll say this: Torchlight 2 is everything I hoped Diablo 3 was going to be.

This isn’t to say that D3 was a bad game ’cause it wasn’t. It was good, very good in fact, but ultimately, for me at least, it lacked something that Torchlight 2 has in spades – soul. It was like Diablo 3 was so polished, so perfectly inspected, considered, trimmed and balanced that in the process Blizzard forgot to give it any sort of personality or identity. They were so busy trying to force people down their singular vision of gameplay that the game ended up being slightly hollow as an ironic side effect. From its ridiculously easy nature and lack of character customisation to permanent online restriction and game-breaking Auction House, D3 was over-thought and over-worked. Torchlight 2, in comparison, is rough and ready, a by-product of a smaller team and a lower budget and, as a result, it’s a better game for it.

From the minute you load up T2, you’re absorbed and (purposefully) knowing very little about the game, I spent a good 30 minutes on the character creation screen just fiddling around with different customisation options and trying to decide on a class to play. The feral Berserker, the cool and calculating Embermage, the maverick Gunslinger or the steampunk inspired Engineer? I went with the latter and rolled Miles Mayhem (5 geek points to anyone who gets the reference), a Victorian-esque Engineer (I just couldn’t resit that hammer) accompanied by his faithful bulldog, Thompson. Two minutes later I was smashing stuff with a giddy sense of glee that I never got in that other game of a similar nature, a feeling of excitement that built up into a full-blown yell of delight when I realised that I could also wield double-barrel shotguns and massive, devastating hand cannons as well.

And that’s one of the many reasons why T2 is so great. Instead of trying to craft the perfect Skills and Runes system, it sticks to a traditional skill tree approach and gives you novel, fun and unusual combinations instead. The Engineer class is everything from a two-handed melee machine to a sword and board tank to a group support specialist to a huge gun totting Victorian nut job. Likewise, the game doesn’t patronise you and let you endlessly respec on the fly – instead, you can only go back and undo the last three skills chosen so you’d better make those selections count. It’s almost seems brutal in this day-and-age but it creates so many more considered decisions because of it. I miss those in games.

I could also go on about how T2 is actually challenging to play, superbly paced, and beautifully stylised and designed but I won’t. I imagine you can already tell that I think it’s a great game. Of course, it doesn’t redefine the genre or bring anything particularly original to the table but then not many games do these days. Instead, it takes the hack-and-slash action RPG concept that we all know and love and produces one of the finest games the genre has ever seen, a true successor to the Diablo franchise in every sense. Indeed, if there’s anything that makes me feel slightly sad, it’s wondering what the guys at Runic Games could’ve done if they’ve had their hands on that nostalgic IP instead of being forced to invent a new one.

Finally, did I mention that it’s only £14.99/$19.99? Well, it’s only £14.99/$19.99! That’s an entire third of the price I paid for of Diablo 3. A third. But it’s not like I’m the bitter type who would make a big deal about that. That money also buys you LAN support and DRM free offline play. What will they think of next?

So, to summarise, Torchlight 2 is great. Go buy it.

-Gordon

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13 Comments

  1. bhagpuss says:

    I might, but when would I play it?

  2. Carson says:

    Played the demo. Didn’t enjoy the gameplay enough to consider buying it. It’s just got no FEEL to it, no physicality, no visceral impact.

    Diablo 3, on the other hand, I still love the minute-by-minute gameplay of slaughtering enemies, even four months after release, and a couple of hundred hours play time.

    TL2 has some nice ideas, and the art direction is incredibly charming. But if I’m bored of the physical act of clicking on enemies and watching them die in less that a couple of hours play, I’m not buying it. A couple of hours into D3’s closed beta I was already more than willing to whip out my credit card.

  3. I had heard quite a few things about Torchlight II over the past couple of months. No thanks to the fact that Diablo 3 was an epic failure of a Blizzard title with some of the worst decisions I had seen a company like them make in the gaming industry and that Torchlight II was anything but like Diablo 3. I mean, offline and LAN play? What novel concepts. ;)

    I decided to try out the demo before I even saw this post and I have to agree. Combat is visceral and meaty. Things explode and the art style is great. I wish I could buy it right now, but I can’t due to RL reasons. But I do have to agree with the sentiment on TL2.

  4. Leah says:

    I obsessively played Torchlight one, and /hangs head in shame already have about 20 hours in Torchlight 2. this game just… does it for me. (and it was the fastest game I’ve ever played to throw me into fanart mode)

  5. amcl says:

    MASK. Am I right? Do I get my geek points?

  6. Moon Monster says:

    I don’t disagree that it’s a more fun game, but respecs are patronizing? Really? That’s either poor word choice or you consider games being forgiving about making mistakes really personally.

  7. Ardenya says:

    I’ve played TL1 for more hours than it would have been healthy and deeply enjoyed it for what it was – a modern but still classical Diablo. I played TL2 beta a while back and even then it’s been a great game. It still has a rather cartoony art style compared to the much darker setting of the Diablo series but the gameplay is a lot more intriguing – finding gear upgrades for one is as exciting as it should be! The very best feature of TL? Mods! Oh the mods! I had modded TL1 heavily which was very easy to do once the community had launched a mod manager. I understand why Blizzard does not allow mods in D3 but for me it does take a lot of the fun and longevity (sp?) of a game. Soo, imho TL2 > D3? +1!

    Oh and Amcl, almost there it was V.E.N.O.M, although off the top of my head I only remember the part of the acronym Network of Mayhem; still, go Miles! On the other hand, have the cookie =)

  8. Edwin says:

    Already I played this game its so fun to play and everyone like this game.

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