E3 First Impressions: Torchlight II
Posted on Thursday, June 16 @ 17:16:44 Eastern by Eduardo_ReboucasIt's pointless to try to hide my love for the original Torchlight. It's an incredibly addictive game, so much that I even went ahead and played it on more than one platform, which is a rare thing for me.
Torchlight II was hidden away at E3 2011. Runic did not have a booth at the show floor; instead, it was tucked away at the Concourse Hall, under the FreeRealms banner. Luckily for me, I happened to run across them while I was in the area covering something else.
The game plays pretty much the same as the original (awesomely). Why change a winning formula? We aren't, however, getting the same character classes from the original, and talking with Max Schaefer, Runic's CEO, I got the impression that they really wanted to make Torchlight II different from the first game by having new classes instead of reinventing the gameplay. And it's not like they're completely throwing away the old classes—Shaefer went on to say that your old friends from the original game would be making a cameo at some point in the sequel.
I picked the Berserker class, which (surprise surprise) is focused on hand to hand combat and fist weapons. My guy was pretty overpowered, but that didn't make the demo any less fun. The area of the demo that I played was a multi-layered sprawling dungeon. Shaefer and game designer Brock Jones were extremely adamant about the fact that Torchlight II will have much more varied environments and numerous quest hubs.
Perhaps the biggest new feature in Torchlight II is online cooperative play. You can drag a friend along for your dungeon crawling and it worked extremely well for me during the show. I had just met a friend I was meeting at E3 that day, and I brought him along for Torchlight II. We had a blast destroying the forces of evil.
Runic wants to get Torchlight II just right and their crew is relatively small. They promised me that we'll be seeing the game this year and that it'll be worth the wait. From the little that I played, I can easily see myself loving the loot all over again!
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