Metroplus

Grab that loot

Torchlight II can be played while running Steam in offline mode — it even supports co-op play over LAN.  

The best of the Diablo clones is back — and it’s brought along a million sacks of shiny objects ranging from impossibly large cudgels to amulets that gleam in the way only amulets in videogames can. Torchlight II, Runic Games’ logically named sequel to 2009’s dungeon-crawling action/RPG, Torchlight, has more loot than you can handle; perhaps a little too much. The game is mostly fantastic, featuring all the best elements of the genre, but one cannot help but feel like Runic have just gone all-out and done a lot of things purely in an effort to make Blizzard and Diablo III look bad. They’ve succeeded in part, but there are areas where their indulgence could have been a little less… indulgent.

“How does Torchlight II make Diablo III look bad,” you ask? Well, to start with, the ridiculous always-on online DRM is nowhere to be found, there’s no region locking plus none of the other nonsense that comes with a Blizzard game. Torchlight II can be played while running Steam in offline mode — it even supports co-op play over LAN. Add to that a robust save system (which literally remembers your position in a dungeon), traditional RPG character progression system that asks the player to make actual choices (i.e. put points into attributes like Strength and Dexterity), neat selection of classes, pets and did I mention there’s a lot of loot?

Runic have literally improved every aspect of the original Torchlight. Needless to say, the basic gameplay remains the same: fight and kill monsters for experience and loot (there’s that word again), while embarking on a series of quests and errands for, umm, experience and loot. There’s a fair bit of clicking involved as well. But what Runic have done is expand the scope of the game — there’s an overarching story (that isn’t much better or worse than Diablo III’s), outdoor environments, hub towns for trading and finding quests, day/night cycles, weather effects and an improved UI that makes inventory management a breeze.

We’ve also got four classes to play with this time around. First, there’s the Engineer, a heavy weapons specialist who prefers the use of hand cannons, big two-handed weapons like hammers while banking on technology to give him the edge in battle. Then there’s the Outlander, the ranged class who prefers to keep her distance from the enemy, using handguns and sly magic tricks to dispatch her foes. Third, there’s the Berserker, whose feral powers and rapid rage-fuelled attacks are a force to reckon with. Finally, we’ve got the Embermage, who uses spells, elemental attacks and mage-staple weapons like staves and wands. It’s also worth mentioning that you can customise your character with choice of gender, hairstyle, colours and more. Each class feels very distinct, with unique abilities that require different strategies to be employed. You can also pick one of several pets that range from the domestic variety (bulldog, cat) to the out-worldly variety (Chakawary). The “fish” system returns, so you’ll still be able to transform your pets into something else entirely.

Torchlight II succeeds (like any good ARPG should) in making you feel immensely powerful every time you upgrade a skill or pick up a better weapon. Of course, that bubble is burst when you run into a creature that’s as big as your screen; but that’s exactly what you want from a game like this. Torchlight II lets you experience joy of an action/RPG without having to worry about anything else. It’s pure, it’s simple, and it’s perfect. Torchlight II is currently available on Steam.



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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 6:01:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/grab-that-loot/article3938597.ece

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