Torchlight 2 has left behind the single town and infinite feeling dungeon for an expansive world that is quite undefined. The reason is because Torchlight 2 is unique and it doesn’t just randomize dungeon maps but randomizes the entire overworld. Only city maps remain the same, the rest is completely random down to the quests. It is mind boggling that Torchlight 2 manages to offer a unique experience every new game you start regardless of the character. No two playthroughs will be the same or even look the same, find another loot driven game that is doing this.
Speaking of loot, Torchlight 2 has mastered it. While copying Diablo in the first game it has evolved past Diablo and Borderlands, The variety of equipment you can find with different traits, equipping requirements, equipping effects, battle effects, and weapon variations is astounding. You also tend to find loot all over the spectrum, not just picking a great gun or sword out of a mountain of terrible loot. Everything is so varied you’ll be trying new equipment throughout the game instead of being uneasy about whether that new weapon is really worth switching to.
The three characters from the last game are now NPCs in the storyline. The alchemist most people played as in the first game is now the game’s villain having become power hungry and evil. This time, Torchlight’s playable characters include The Engineer (melee/robot summoner), Outlander (long range/glaive user), Beserker (ice lit/spirit wielder), and the Embermage (ice/fire/wind). Each of these characters have three different builds you can solely focus on or mix and match.
Pets return and serve the same function of being a mule you can send back to town to sell items. If you feed your pet fish it will mutate for a short time and become a fighter. Pets can also still equip items to boost their stats as they do not level. Nothing new with them otherwise.
The soundtrack expanded a lot but I’m not entirely satisfied with it. Gone is the awesome Tristan Village (Diablo) knockoff that was in the first Torchlight. In its place is a rather pretty but forgettable soundtrack. The sound effects, however, are oddly more memorable.
Torchlight 2 simply offers what the Western RPG focused on loot and dungeons is trying to accomplish. The addition of multiplayer, the expansive randomized world, and the very tightly made characters make this a steal at $20. If any one thing about Torchlight 2 could be said to turn away any players in favor of Borderlands 2 it would be that this game isn’t aiming to be funny, but actually very serious. If you want the laughs play Borderlands 2, if you want better game play and loot, play Torchlight 2.
- Loot done right
- A randomized world provides a ton of replay value
- Multiplayer was missing from the first and is delivered here
- Soundtracks not very memorable
- Pets still just serve as pack mules, combat not even worth it