Review by SnakeCHTW
Torchlight 2 is a top-down ARPG with a great deal to offer. With Moderate graphics, a reliable stable game engine as well as addicting character development, Torchlight 2 can confidently rival others within its genre.
A good reason:
Torchlight 2 stood out very quickly, right from the character creation screen. Every class gets their own customizable pet, but it's what this pet does in game to enhance the game play that stood out. While out killing mobs, completing quests and looting all sorts of goods, it becomes a hassle when your inventory fills up causing you to stop. Not with your new pet you wont. Your pet holds a full sized inventory just like you, so throw all your junk their way. Then when their full you can simply click a little green home button and off they run to vendor all that trash and bring you back the gold. You can even tell them to buy consumables for you while their out. So now it's full steam ahead, you don't have to slow down when you have someone else to run the errands for you.
A bad reason:
Those looking for the multiplayer experience of the game will have a struggle. If you advance too far into the game you'll find it lonely at the top. Multiplayer separates players based off how many times they have beaten the game and moved on to start the new game plus mode. Many others are playing in a separated modded state who can only play with players who have the same mods active as them.
All the reasons:
This game created a number of unique factors that cause the game to feel achieved beyond the standard ARPG. The Pet system as previously mentioned was a very interesting aspect, even though I personally didn't care for having a companion. The ease and quality of the pet's performance made me appreciate having a pet. A simple three point stance setting to passive, defensive or aggressive. Minimal equipment concerns while still being able to gear your pet with two tags and a collar. If the pet ever became stuck they would teleport to you after you wander far enough from them. Your also capable but not required to fish from certain spots that you can find on your adventures. The fish you catch can be fed to your pet to change your pet's form and ability for a short period of time. The abilities granted range greatly which can prove useful. If your concerned about inventory space have no worry. Fish you catch along with potions and scrolls are stored in a separate inventory just a page click away. You also get a final third page inventory for the next topic of the game I discuss, spell scrolls.
Spell scrolls are abilities that no class is assigned but can be applied to any of them as a permanent gain. They vary from casting spells and buffs to passive gains and triggered abilities. Common spells like Fireball or haste can add the edge to your character performance. If you prefer a more passive approach you can use scrolls that are constant effects. They can increase melee damage or exp gain. If your more like me and don't wish to have more spells to cast but like their effects, give them to your pet. Yes your pet can learn these scrolls and will automatically cast them when they should. So have a pet that can group heal and raise skeleton archers. All while throwing frost bolts at your enemies. There is a four slot limitation to how many scrolls you can learn at any one time. They can be removed with a simple X button and replaced with higher ranked scrolls as you level.
The talent tier system allows additional benefits to upgrading talents. Granting you additional power and performance to your abilities. Along with helping level these talents is a secondary leveling system. Natural exp gain to normal levels still apply however you also have a fame leveling system. You gain fame by killing boss and unique named enemies, as well as completing quests. When your fame ranks up you gain a skill point for your talent trees.
The slightly monotonous grind of endless enemies to wade through can be broken up with an interesting injection of odd events. Each major outside area holds a golden chest which is stuffed with random loot and gold, however it requires a golden key often found off a single elusive mob somewhere else on the map. I've found it may not always be worth it to pursue. Secrets are also hidden throughout certain dungeons offering more loot, gold and even a hidden quest line. While out exploring you may also run across a mob called the phase beast. When killed, this mob spawns a portal that will take you to a challenge level. The rewards are well worth the effort if your able to complete all of the trials inside.
The music composition within the game resembles much a Diablo feel. While I find the music well done and enjoyable, its downfall would be a short track that's often repeated in many dungeons.
While every class is capable in their different mixes of talents, you still encounter problematic enemies. Depending on the difficulty level will depend on how much time you will spend back tracking, simply to gain more levels for a one up on tougher bosses. This proves a little challenging with the linear storyline.
Once the game is beaten you have choices of unique maps to challenge, and when you're ready you can restart the storyline from the beginning. You retain all your equipment and character progression, but the enemies you face have their levels increased to be closer to yours. If your going into the second run through the game beware that your friends who are on the first run wont be capable of joining you, nor can you return back to join them either.
As far as the storyline is concerned, you may want to look somewhere else as it lacks much to offer in Torchlight 2. It does have its own rendition of kill the bad guy with little bits in between, however the game doesn't focus dramatically on storyline.
Overall I enjoyed Torchlight 2 greatly though certain points in the game play would rival my resolve. Having my saves corrupted once and character progression lost due to crashing before saving. Both of which were very rare. Although Torchlight 2 was mod friendly with even workbench support in steam, I found using mods greatly declined the stability of the game. Thankfully the game operates it's modded form separate from vanilla, allowing you to mod without worry of causing issues with your saves or the core game itself. While the game is very stable without mods I did run into a few problems. Some visual glitching, knock back pushing entities across uneven terrain and having trouble attacking mobs on ramps. Most not causing much of a game play issue although I did begin to cringe whenever knock back came into play and I was near a ledge.
I've clocked 110 hours of game play and still counting. With a low indie price yet a full priced game quality, I'm very satisfied with Torchlight 2. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the ARPG scene.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 05/28/13
Game Release: Torchlight II (US, 09/20/12)
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