Torchlight 2 – A Light in the Dark
Diablo II is one of my most beloved RPGs of all time. I could lose hours on top of hours replaying the same dungeons trying to find better loot. And while Diablo III was fun and I really enjoyed that game, Blizzard changed a lot of the features that I enjoyed about its predecessor. Torchlight 2 ended up being the game I didn’t know I wanted. Seeing that it was made in 2012, I had my concerns about how well the game would hold up on the Switch. Of course, this was before I had even played the game; my concerns were immediately put to rest. It feels great on a Switch. While there are only four classes, there’s a ton of replayability between them. At 20 dollars, the game is a complete steal and any RPG fan needs to give this game a chance.
Diablo’s less popular cousin
Each of the four classes has three skill trees all housing a set of similarly themed abilities. These skills trees differ from the norm; abilities are unlocked by merely leveling up. Nothing requires a prerequisite so every ability point can be utilized efficiently in some way. In contrast to Diablo III, where absolutely every ability for a character is unlocked, I loved the balance of Torchlight’s ability system. It was disappointing to find out that none of the classes resembled the Necromancer or Druid, but you can’t have it all.
But that’s okay! They’re different games. Torchlight 2’s classes still stand out and are all worth giving a try. I stuck with the Berserker for my playthrough, but initially, I tried out all of the classes to see which one stuck with me. If I didn’t accidentally pick hardcore mode, my Engineer might still be alive. And that’s another reason I really like this game. Every dungeon informs you about what level you should be at when before entering. As there are no surprises for the difficulty of an area, it’s on you to decide how hard you want to make the game. Of course, traditional difficulty levels exist and if you’re a risk-taker, try out the hardcore mode I mentioned earlier.
The grind and staleness of combat are nonexistent due to constant level-ups, abilities gained, and loot found.
Skip the first game for the sequel
The story begins a few years after the events of the first Torchlight, but at no point did I feel like I was missing information. One of the playable characters from the first, the Alchemist, has been corrupted and destroyed the town of Torchlight. Your journey in the game is to stop him. I never felt invested in the story, however. It’s not really the games fault, either. My main enjoyment for these types of games the slow, but consistent self-improvement your character achieves. Getting new loot and exploring each and every dungeon is also a plus, so a story really just helps the game flow better. I’d miss it if it was gone, but Torchlight 2 is definitely not story-driven like some RPGs.
For being made in 2012, the graphics really hold up well. The level design at first glance looks intentional and it was only after a few playthroughs that I could confirm it was procedural generation. Small, winding pathways and tight corridors are used instead of giant fields and open areas. At first, this really impressed me, the levels look awesome and intentional! This was until there were a few times where a path was designed and looked like a normal path, but the programming made it partially blocked. This only happened twice and never stopped me from progressing; it was more interesting to see than game-breaking.
Different shrines can aid you on your adventure. Some can give certain bonuses or enable certain events.
What’s new in Torchlight
The loot system is as generated as the levels are. There’s a ton of it and you’re constantly getting new gear for your character. I’ve loved this system for years and it’s hard to fault it. Who doesn’t love getting a constant flow of new stuff? Side quests and bosses give the best equipment, both of which there are plenty of. They often both coincide as most side quests have you travel into a dungeon to save something or someone. Most dungeons have both mini-bosses and a bigger boss. They’re not very tough if you keep up your levels, but if space yourself incorrectly than you’re going to have a bad time.
At the same time as creating your character, you also create a pet to help out. There are a ton of options and I put more time into my pet than I did my character. They help out in battle and boy, do they make a difference. Pets do a ton of damage and may or may not be invincible (did some tests, still inconclusive). They can equip with their own items and can also learn spells, which is useful later in the game. As I mostly played by myself, the pets turned out to be a great companion and a great addition to the game.
Your pet can be equipt with its own items, or you can change what it is temporarily!
Years ago, I played a few minutes of the first Torchlight but I never went back to it. And I’m glad I didn’t. I went into this review completely clear of previous bias and I ended up loving it. This game is a great way for people to experience a titan like Diablo II in a convenient and modern way. And it even has online capabilities, too! It’s a shame that communication is all but impossible, but it’s easy to find a game and I ended up doing a few quests with someone anyway. If you’re looking for a fun and rewarding action RPG on your Switch, I implore you to give Torchlight 2 a try.
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Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch by Taylor. Game provided by Perfect World.