developer: Runic Games
publisher: Runic Games
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: local network / Internet, players: 1-4
Torchlight II is a sequel to a successful and well-received hack-and-slash from 2009. The game builds on the mechanics present in the original production, while the story follows a hero who sets in a journey in search of the source of a greater evil. The game was developed by Runic Games Studios founded by Max Schaefer, Erich Schaefer (who worked on the famous Diablo), and Travis Baldree (the creator of Fate).
Torchlight II story is set a couple of years after the events in the first game. One of the previously met heroes – the Alchemist – was possessed by dark forces, destroyed the mining town of Torchlight, and stole the power essence of the dragon Ordraka, the main antagonist of the first game. Players have to hunt down the villain and prevent the violation of the balance of elements.
Taking the script outside the undergrounds of Torchlight village made it possible for developers to let their imagination run wild and create open worlds characterized by variable weather conditions and day/night cycle. While exploring the world, player often comes across randomly generated events – taking part in them brings significant benefits. This randomness also applies to the dungeons – every time you enter such a location you are surprised by different set of opponents, treasures, as well as level construction.
Just before starting the game, Torchlight II offers you to create your own hero. This can be done using a simple editor, which allows you to select the character’s sex, class (one of four: the Embermage – an equivalent of the Alchemist from first Torchlight – the resourceful Engineer, the savage Barbarian, and the guns-wielding Outlander), and adjust their appearance.
In Torchlight II, there are also a lot of new features directly related to the game mechanics. By far the most interesting ones can be found in the co-op mode, in which you can play with other players via local network or the Internet. In the latter case, players are matched together with an internal system of matchmaking that takes into account such factors as the experience level and players’ preferences. In co-op mode, players explore randomly generated dungeons or other locations, fight dozens of enemies, and develop their characters.
The game uses a redesigned user interface, which is clearer and more intuitive than the one known from the first game. Moreover, in Torchlight II animals make a return (they are helpful in combat or for transporting items), so does fishing as a form of relaxation. After completing the game, you can use the same experienced hero (with all the equipment) and replay the game in New Game Plus mode with re-scaled opponents.
Torchlight II sports similar visual arts as the first game. Although the graphics did improve technically, it still has the eye-pleasing cartoonish vibe of the original.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Pentium 4 1.4 GHz,1 GB RAM (2 GB RAM - Vista/7), graphic card 256 MB (GeForce 7900 GTX or better), 1.2 GB HDD, Windows XP/Vista/7