As I smashed my hammer through hordes of enemies I sniggered with delight as my trusty pet returned to me with riches from my previous hunt. What game could be filled with so many fun features which removes the frustrations of your usual dungeon crawler. What game could present itself in such a gorgeous and distinctive art style. Well Torchlight 2 can, but can it keep the excitement going or is this a experience which is short lived.
Developer: Runic Games
Score out of 10: 9/10
The story of Torchlight 2 vaguely links onto the previous game. However due to a very sporadic storyline with little input on the game the story of Torchlight 2 takes a massive back seat. Of course key characters and quests push the story forward but with all the carnage and fast past action it never really gets the limelight it deserves. Torchlight 2 is all about the fun dungeon grinding. You have 4 unique characters to choose from. This ranges from the Berserker who deals massive damage at close range, the Outlanders are the kings and queens of ranged damage and speed. While you have the Engineer who uses tech to outwit his enemies and then finally the Embermage which deals deathly magic.
Each and every character class is given their own tree of fantastic skills and customisable attributes. On top of this you are also granted a trusty side kick in the form of a pet. These guys can be as intimidating or as cute as you want but that's not all. Pets not only deal damage and tank for you mid game, but they can also carry equipment, loot and run off back to town to trade certain items for you. This is an incredible feature which reduces the amount of time spent at town to enjoy the game more and more.
Although characters specialise in certain weapons you are allowed to use other classes armour and weapons to a certain degree which definitely mixes up the game play. As fun as it isn't being stuck to a single weapon type all game, Torchlight 2 have given the gamers the beauty of variety which is excellent. Players will also enjoy the generous level cap which is given to you as now you can advance to the level of 100 which improves your characters output damage.
Quests and dungeons are abundant in the lands of Torchlight 2 as they will be scattered throughout the maps. They will also reward you handsomely so it is always worth taking each and every quest you come across. As you defeat enemies and boss monsters you earn fame which improve your fame rank. The enemy ranks span far and wide, with a huge variety of different monsters, beasts, ghosts, un-dead, demons and much more, you will never tire of slaying each and every one of them.
Graphics are crisp and highly detailed. Sure they have some issues here and there with some minor clipping errors. Also the camera can be a little deceiving at times forcing your character to wander the opposite direction you want him to. But these are minor issues when you look at the complete package. Torchlight 2 is brimming with great special effects such as weather effects, strong model textures, unique character and monster design and an endless supply of beautiful particle effects. To add to this the game isn't a powerhouse and can run on full settings on most low to mid range PC's.
Sounds work well with the game as you will maliciously laugh as you hear the splatter of your enemies blood flood the floor. Weapon effects and skills are powerful enough to cut through the ambient soundtrack which fails to become repetitive. Also each unique monster is accompanied by their own sound set. It would have been nice to hear some stronger voice acting and a bit more content to the quest lines. Cut scenes come at you with a strong narration which give you the inside scoop on what's happening in the lands of Torchlight 2.
Co-Op mode is a available and supports up to three other players on both LAN and on-line. The system works well and no issues presented themselves. Be careful though as the more players you have the stronger the monsters become. This becomes an issues when you all split up which is so very easy to do. A co-op mode was the much needed addition that Torchlight 1 needed and they have certainly delivered with this instalment of the game.
Torchlight 2 is a testament to both the developers and the gamers that a game can expand with several fun features and still keep the core game-play running. Torchlight 2 is a fantastic package of fast, intense, explosive action which can be shared with friends and family at a low price. In fact the current price is a quarter of what the likes of Diablo 3 would cost you and in most respects is far superior. With constant support and patches coming out for Torchlight 2 we really cannot wait to see what's next for Runic Games and Torchlight because with their recent games they have made a life long fan.
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