This is a simple review to write, but still rough to nail down how I completely feel about this action RPG. Torchlight II still hasn’t changed too much from when it was in beta, but since it’s released I got to play quite a bit more with it. This time has helped shine some lights onto some aspects that didn’t get fleshed out before. Let’s break it down some more.
The action is simple enough. Left click to melee/shoot and right uses your mana moves. There are other moves that can compliment or complicate your gaming experience. I only say complicate because you have the ability to go back on what choices you make, but only the last three choices. At least there’s that. However, if you choose something and don’t really get to use it to much and then four levels later you get to try it out for real and it sucks or doesn’t work for your build… what then? Well then you live with it.
Let’s say, like me, you decided to go for shotgonnes only and chose to spec yourself by putting points into that talent. Well, as cool as making yourself so much better with them is, it wears on you when upgrades don’t come. Let’s say you get a great shotgonne at level seven and when you hit level 30, one still hasn’t dropped or the store doesn’t have one for sell that is better enough to make it viable (due to stats and bonuses). I like and dislike this at the same time since it does add some form of consequences for your actions. I think consequences are something that is missing from a lot of games now a days. You can get a respec potion later on near the end or after you’ve beaten the game(so I’ve been told), but isn’t that a bit late? This may not be right settings for consequences, but it’s nice to have it back… sort of.
I like that TL2 isn’t an mmo with a limited amount of character slots. This makes it a bit easier to be able to play a class the way you want without too much worry. I’ve got three different Engineers (five now with two I play with friends), a sword and board, two-handed specialist, and one that uses a portable canon(basically). These is an element of freedom in that. It’s the same with the Outlander class, I’ve got one that is failing at shotgonnes and one that is duel wielding pistols.
The gear is a mixed bag. There is plenty of drops to be had in this game, you won’t have to worry about that. There isn’t enough super upgrades though. I haven’t had an easy time switching gear out. This gets kind of frustrating with all the random stats that appear on the gear. Even the specific gear sets have random stats. You could have two pieces of gear for a tank character, health/armor/dps, and then get another of the set that has only two mana per second regen. It get annoying when you just want to build a set to get the bonuses, but the higher level gear isn’t better even if it is twenty levels higher. I’ve seen it in other games where you have to give and take this for that, but it seems to be a bit more in the extreme. As a side-note though, the gear is random, so another person playing this could have all the luck in the world. Also, if you play on a hard enough setting, no set of gear will let you walk through without worries. That doesn’t stop me from wanting it.
Side Note: I’m beginning to wonder if the % chance to get magic items actually increase the non-suck of some of the gear’s stats. However, I have a friend who plays with a higher percentage of money and magic luck finding and he seems to complain as much as I do soooo… who knows? I would like to state that this isn’t a game breaker for me. It’s more like an inconvenience.
In all, I’d say this is a great game. It delivers what it sought out to do. With the level cap up at 100 and the ability to mod the game for additional content (thank you internetz), there is plenty to be had in Torchlight II. Did I mention it’s still only $20? If your a vet or new to the ARPG genre, this is a good game to pick up and I suggest doing so. I guess there is only one warning to group with that “everyone should buy it” suggestion. If you want photo-realistic graphics and can’t play without them, then keep on waiting; this isn’t the game for you. This game is more fun to play than it is realistic, which is more than fine with me.