Torchlight II (PC) Review

By Ofisil 12.09.2017

Review for Torchlight II on PC

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery… as long as it's done right, and, more importantly, when the whole thing tries to be something more than just a clone. Runic Games' Torchlight, for instance, was, in all honesty, a watered down version of Diablo. It sure did some things much better, like in terms of class variety, and smoother gameplay mechanics, but the end product just wasn't as memorable. Sadly, it seems that history has repeated itself with Torchlight II, the equally non-impressive copycat of Diablo II.

Similar to how Torchlight was basically Diablo, Runic's second foray into the world of ARPGs is Diablo II, only way more colourful. As such, instead of a deep labyrinth underneath a small village, it all takes place across various large regions that must be traversed before reaching the end. Unfortunately, like with the first one, the lack of an interesting plot, or, at least, any interesting lore, make this feel like a watered down version of the title it pays homage too - in other words, don't expect to get immersed.

In many ways, this actually feels even duller than the first, as Torchlight's simplicity worked on its favour, whereas, the more ambitious sequel feels like butter stretched over a loaf of bread that's way too large… and not even the tastiest of butter available. What this tries to say is that, while this tries to be a much more epic adventure, it ends up being a long, boring chore, as the placeholder plot, the world that's into, and the few bits of lore, just fail to make you care.

Screenshot for Torchlight II on PC

So, strike one - Torchlight II is not immersive. What about all the fighting that will ensue? Well, Torchlight had to compare with Diablo; a game that was far better, but whose battle mechanics felt somewhat dated. This, on the other hand, has much stronger competition, and, as a result, just fails to impress. So, is fighting here bad? No, not at all. It's easy, fast-paced, and most skills do AoE damage and kill multiple foes, unlike, for example, in Titan Quest… but the world have seen better that this.

For starters, the targeting system is slightly unpolished, leading to "frequent" accidents in crowded places, where, instead of running away, the player character keeps on fighting a monster, even though the cursor was clearly somewhere else. Secondly, the mobs, just like in the original, have little differences between them, as do the areas these live in; thus, this becomes very repetitive way too soon, as it all feels the same from beginning to end.

Screenshot for Torchlight II on PC

The classes have undergone a major overhaul, although they remain nothing more than a slightly altered version of the typical warrior, mage, ranger, and rogue ones of almost every ARPG ever. So, there's a battlemage kind of heavy-hitter, a fast assassin who can summon beasts, the typical wizard/witch type of warrior, and, finally, the ranged fellow who can use bows, pistols, and so on. As a whole, they are… okay, but, similar to Torchlight, balance has been thrown out of the window, as some skills (and, maybe, even classes) are better left untouched.

The "big" addition at hand is the charge bar; a gauge that fills up while one fights, and can then be used in a certain way, depending on the class used. As an example, when full, the magician of the bunch can keep on casting spells for a few seconds without any energy cost, while the Berserker (the rogue class) goes into a… berserk mode that increases attack speed and critical hit rate. It's a nice system that pushes the action forward, but, to be honest, and, again, like with almost everything in the game, it's quite unbalanced, and is not used as much as it could.

Screenshot for Torchlight II on PC

So, strike two - the fighting is good and all, but nothing to write home about. What's strike three? Well, like with the original, the biggest issue is the severe lack of a decent replay value. Sure, this time it's possible to play with your buddies as the developer hasn't left out the online component, and fans of the whole find-the-best-loot business will have a blast here for a couple of hours, but…

…Make no mistake, this is nothing more than Diablo II lite. It feels, looks, and even sounds like its brother, albeit, it's more cartoony one, but it just doesn't have the same depth, even though it is a far younger title. Well, maybe this is a perfect example of "you get what you pay for." Oh, yeah. If you haven't heard already, the series is super cheap - probably the only really good thing that can be said about it.

Screenshot for Torchlight II on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Just like Runic's first Diablo-clone, Torchlight II is better than the titles that have inspired it in some areas, but it should be more than that - it should be remembered for what it is, and not for what it pays homage to. Long story short: this is a poor gamer's version of Blizzard's classic franchise, so approach only if short on cash.

Developer

Runic Games

Publisher

Runic Games

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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