Torchlight 2 - PC

Torchlight 2
Game Description: This sequel to the surprise hit action-dungeon crawler features co-op gameplay and the chance to explore above ground!
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Torchlight 2 E3 2011 Hands-On Preview

Torchlight 2 E3 2011 Hands-On Preview

By Kevin Kelly - Posted Jun 22, 2011

While E3 is synonymous with giant booths, scantily clad women, rattling sound systems, and flashing lights, there are also the other teams who manage to get through the show without all of that glitz and glam. Nestled in betweeen the Los Angeles Convention Center's two massive show floors was a room full of temporary meeting areas, and quietly nestled inside one of them was Runic Games. While the company may not have had the powerhouse of a Vegas cabaret show behind them, they don't really need to. They were showing off Torchlight II, which pretty much spoke for itself. 

For those of you who haven't checked out the original Torchlight, the short version is that it was designed by Travis Baldree (designer of Fate) and Max and Erich Schaefer (co-designers of Diablo and Diablo II), and it arose from the ashes of Flagship Studios as they abandoned work on Mythos, which is now being handled by the South Korean company HanbitSoft. While all three games are action role-playing games, Torchlight had the advantage of being first out of the gate in late 2009 for the PC, in 2010 for the Mac, and was recently ported to Xbox Live.


But the sequel aims to put that game in the rearview mirror as it introduces one important thing that players have been asking for most: multiplayer. You'll finally be able to play in the world of Torchlight with friends, either online or through LAN play, or direct IP connect, and you'll discover how much fun dungeon-looting can be with a buddy. It will have a lobby and matchmaking system, and it won't require a subscription or fees to play. As someone who put a ridiculous amount of hours into Torchlight, adding friends to the mix will make things infinitely more enjoyable. Especially since you'll each see unique loot whenever a chest opens, meaning your newfound buddies can't gank your sweet loot. The LAN play will support "no less than four," but they aren't sure about a player limit yet. The co-op is drop in / drop out, so you'll be able to join games at will and not have to worry about screwing up someone else's experience.

But that's not all the game has to offer. Besides multiplayer, the title has a completely redesigned user interface, new classes, abilities, enemies, an open world outdoor system (the original Torchlight was mostly underground), and more. At E3, they were showing off the newly-announced Berserker class, who joins the Railman and the Outlander. While there's a fourth and final class yet to come, this session was all about tanking with the Berserker. 

The Berserker is all about dealing out damage through fast attacks and using his animal-based magic powers. He's focused on up-close melee attacks, and he uses claw weapons to deal out damage, which designer Travis Baldree says "are the fastest weapons in the game right now. He can also wield a giant two-handed cannon, which does huge amounts of damage, but is slow to reload. Our Berserker was outfitted with both, and while the cannon was a lot of fun to use from a distance, the claws were where it was at. If you're a fan of blood and gore, then you'll love his in-your-face moves and the gouts of gore he can create.

Additionally, he can dual-wield those claws, and occasionally, he'll attack with both of them at once in a move they call "executes." But don't ignore the Berserker's animal powers, which come in extremely handy. I became addicted to his "Spectral Wolves" ability, which sends out a small pack of ghostly beasts to attack the nearest enemies. They don't last very long, but they do a lot of damage and are good when you find yourself stuck in a group. There were different skills ranging from Wolf Slash to Dragon's Breath, and the Berserker has three different animal paths that his skills branch into: Raven, Wolf, and Dragon.

The game features some other leaps and bounds above the original. Sound designer Matt Uelmen is back on this title, having worked on the original Torchlight, as well as Diablo, Diablo 2, StarCraft, and the World of WarCraft expansion, The Burning Crusade. This time, he was able to use a live orchestra to record "hours of music." According to Baldree, "It's an enormous amount of music over the original Torchlight." As you adventure around the realm, you'll definitely hear echoes of Diablo in the game. And that's not a bad thing. In fact, sound effects and musical cues throughout will all point to the roots of this game in Blizzard's darker mouse-clicker.
The scope of the game is larger as well, as it consists of three primary acts plus an endgame act. Each act contains several dungeons and "passes," which are places that bridge the open exploration areas together. There are roughly two large exploration areas in each act, and to put it all into a sense of scale, Baldree pointed out that you can run through the breadth of the original Torchlight's content about two thirds of the way through the first act. That's pretty darn big. The game is not as linear as the original either, and is "randomly assembled," meaning areas won't be the same each time you run through.
Torchlight 2 is set to release later this year for the PC, and Baldree mentioned that there isn't any reason that the game couldn't be ported to Xbox Live, much like the original was. Hopefully, that will happen at some point to bring multiplaying dungeon-crawling to the console, but with LAN play and online multiplayer coming to the PC experience, I couldn't be excited for more Torchlight to head my way. They still have one more class to announce between now and the launch, and we imagine that we'll be hearing a lot more about the game at PAX Prime, since Seattle is Runic's backyard.

Comments are Closed

  • willay757

    BLIZZARD JUST ANNOUNCED YOU CAN PAY REAL MONEY FOR ITEMS IN DIABLO 3........... this means that all the REAL gamers will be playing this game........ this is the game we want blizzard!!!!!! just make it more adult looking with evil and blood please...... i cancelled my wow subscription today because of this horrible move by blizzard

    Posted: August 3, 2011 7:26 PM
  • Cannahuana

    can't beleave how small sara is,the mic is almost as big as her

    Posted: June 23, 2011 5:01 AM
  • hoof_hearted4

    i dont see this being successful for a little while because of D3. if it comes out before D3 (which i think it will) it will be a good game to prepare for D3, if it comes out after, a lot of ppl will still be playing D3. proper planning on release will really help this game! i liked T1, so ill prolly get T2 for sure!

    Posted: June 22, 2011 10:55 PM
  • ComplexedOne

    Ohh, I so can not wait for this. Found the original such a great game when a friend recommended it, and wanted to play with my wife (who loooooooooooooves dungeons crawlers). Was so said that it didn't have multiplayer. Pretty sure I will be hosting a LAN party the day this game drops!

    Posted: June 22, 2011 8:27 PM
  • seanrat

    Morgan showing some cleavage and Sara (Oh Sara baby). Oh there was a video? Actually TL2 looks pretty darn good. Needs to hit prior to D3.

    Posted: June 22, 2011 7:52 PM
  • RPG-fan

    I hope you guys at G4 are going to review the game when it's out on the PC instead of waiting for it to be release on XBLA like with the first Torchlight.

    Posted: June 22, 2011 7:26 PM
  • VonDoom35

    Please Please Please..bring this to xbox live market place..just like you brought the first one...pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeee

    Posted: June 22, 2011 7:14 PM
  • justabum

    ..im really lookin forward to this game..big thanks to kevin kelly for raving about the first torchlight, otherwise i would not have heard about or played it..cant wait..

    Posted: June 22, 2011 2:59 PM
  • justabum

    ..im really lookin forward to this game..big thanks to kevin kelly for raving about the first torchlight, otherwise i would not have heard about or played it..cant wait..

    Posted: June 22, 2011 2:58 PM
  • njdss4

    I am so excited for TL2. The first game was a bit too simplistic, but they got the combat mechanics right so I loved it. With all the improvements they've announced, it will be the best dungeon crawler since Diablo II, and that makes perfect sense since some of those guys helped make that game.

    Posted: June 22, 2011 2:06 PM
  • Zzanzabar

    I thought Torchlight was going to be fun 'throwaway' game from Xbox Live (You know, one of those games you play once and awhile to relieve the boredom), instead I found myself hooked, looking for that one last piece of matching armor. It was (and still is) a great stress reliever and for the price it couldn't be beat. I am looking forward to TL2 even if it means I have to dust off my PC for gaming.

    Posted: June 22, 2011 12:39 PM