previews\ Sep 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm

PAX Prime 2012: Torchlight 2 hands-on preview


To say Torchlight was a love letter to Diablo fans would have been an understatement. While its constantly descending dungeons harkened more back to Diablo, everything else just screamed Diablo II. However, Torchlight was able to make a name for itself as an extremely enjoyable Action RPG that took a lot of people initally by surprise. Even after its release on the XBLA, fans wanted one thing, and one thing only: Co-op. The team at Runic Games heard you, and Torchlight II is not only much bigger than its predecessor, it will allow you and five other friends take up arms and adventure together.

Torchlight II definitely had to time their release right. Diablo III has not only hogged a lot of the spotlight when it released, it also gave the team at Runic some insight into their competition. After my brief hands-on time with the game, I can say the wait has been worth the time.

torchlight 2

Aside from having more classes to choose from, they're all customizable and have male and female counterparts. Skill trees have also undergone a major overhaul. A major critique of the skills in Torchlight were that players could exploit it and basically build up a single OP spell and constantly put points into while ignoring the rest. There is more emphasis on skill tiers where every five skill points will add some sort of powerful enhancement to that given spell. This will allow for some specialization, while also allowing players to experiment with various tiers to see how it caters to their gameplay style.

The pets also make a return but this time there are eight to choose from. I was assured that they'll still run back to town and sell all your junk, but they'll also be able to make purchases from vendors, you know, just in case you're running low on potions and want to stock up on some more.

torchlight 2

You'll be leveling up to level 100 in Torchlight II, and I was told the first playthrough will most likely get you to around level 50, which means multiple playthroughs are definitely going to be required to reach that level cap.

It's worth noting that Torchlight II looks great. It runs on the same engine as Torchlight but seems to have greater graphical detail.

It was unveiled that Torchlight II is coming September 20th, which I was told still technically counts as a Summer release. While no console ports have been announced, assuming the game sells well as the first, I don't see why Runic wouldn't make another port. September 20th can't come soon enough.

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Mike Splechta GameZone's review copy hoarding D-bag extraordinaire! Follow me @MichaelSplechta
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