Update: Our review of Torchlight II is now ready for you to peruse at your leisure.
I finally forced myself to stop and share with you my initial thoughts on the gameplay and mechanics of Runic Games’ action RPG Torchlight II. This is not due to procrastination or lack of enthusiasm to discuss the game, I honestly have been so sucked in that I don’t want to put down the controls. Below I will highlight some key areas that are standing out to me and how each will make Torchlight II one of the most satisfying experiences with an RPG I have had to date.
Smooth as Silk, Sweet as Honey
It warms the cockles of my heart to see a game run like a cheetah right out of the gate. The moment I began Torchlight II, my hero took off without a hitch and ran around her world like a speed demon. The frame rates are lovely and you will not see stuttering enemies or NPCs amongst your travels. When you whip out your weapons, you actually see them make full arcs rather than arms popping at different locations one moment or the next. The screen even naturally rattles upon the impact of lethal blows. Even with massive sized dungeons, you will hardly see the game struggle to power on. Did I mention all of this goodness was experienced in online mode? More on that later.
Yummy Loot and Great Quest Rewards
Are you fond of loot? I’m not sure you are ready for all the loot headed your way. Since I started, I have not had one junk drop and have already run into several dilemmas about whether I should continue on or take my time to pick up loot and send my pet to town to make a profit. To be frank, “take my time” is not exactly the right choice of words when referring to loot collecting in Torchlight II. With very few clicks, your hero eats up loot piles like the winners of pie eating contests. For the truly lazy out there, you can send your pet to clean up the piles for you. Interestingly, most of my favorite items have come from quest rewards. No, you will not receive 10 gold coins and a crumbling axe for saving a random Jimmy from a den filled with wall-to-wall spiders. You know what’s the best part? You get to make your personal pick amongst the goodies.
Online Done Right
The big question I know you all are asking is, “Did Runic Games tell the truth? Can you play this game without the ‘you must be connected right now’ nag message?” The answer is…YES, YES, YES! You will not under any circumstances be nagged to maintain a constant internet connection. It really is a matter of drop in and drop out – DONE – no questions asked. To switch to online play you merely go back to the title screen and choose between Internet or LAN. From there you can create a server in a snap or join another server that interests you. Do you avoid co-op because you want to have your big old share of the loot? HA – that’s pointless in Torchlight II – as the drops are instanced to each player and you can greedily horde as much as you want. The only thing to be wary of when entering online play is that monsters and mob sizes get a little too hot to handle. I bet that makes you insanity mode players satisfied, doesn’t it?
This longwinded post is only a small sample of what I have been digging so far. Your appetite still not satiated? Check out our second installment of this preview Torchlight II Early Impressions: Graphics and World. You will also see a video review stuffed with glorious gameplay a couple days before launch as well. See you around folks, unless of course I have completely sold my soul to Torchlight II, in which case goodbye world and thanks for the fish!