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As Soon As The Game Is Loaded Up
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The world of Torchlight has once again fallen into peril and it is up to you to save it. Disease is spreading amongst innocent folk, soldiers are fighting hideous beasts on the battlefront, and an Alchemist – the once valiant hero from the first Torchlight – is at the root of it all. You will take control of an unknown hero and step up to the former protagonist. Once you’ve picked one of four classes, you can also select a trusty companion to fight at your side. Together, you’ll plunge into the deepest and darkest of dungeons, making you progressively more powerful and famous. How will you choose to fight? What skills will you nurture and which ones will you ignore? What sort of hero will you become?
Torchlight 2 is from Runic Games, a development company that boasts some impressive qualifications and employees, such as the co-founders of Blizzard North and the creators of Diablo I and II, Max and Erich Schaefer. The company is headed by Travis Baldree, creator of Fate. In 2009, the first Torchlight came out and was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful game. However, there were nagging flaws in the first game – mainly the loneliness of the single player experience caused by the lack of co-op gameplay, and the very limited amount of customization afforded to players. Despite the issues, Torchlight thrived due to its strengths: great art design and impressive gameplay. Torchlight 2 showcases some of the best strengths of its predecessor, fixes the glaring problems and major complaints in addition to improving other aspects of the rest of the game to a startling degree.
When you begin the game and create your character not only do you choose the class, but you also select a gender and appearance options. The character creation options are surprisingly robust in regards to the face structure, skin color, hair color and haircut. I’ve created several unique-looking and surprisingly attractive characters with very little effort on my part because of the variety of choices. Not only can you customize your character but you can also modify your companion, choosing between eight different species, ranging from the ordinary cats and dogs all the way up to hawks and little dragons. Pets play an important role through helping you in battle, selling your junk in town and returning with consumables, so I was glad I could adjust the way mine looked. The first Torchlight lacked the vast majority of these options, and they are now a welcome addition.
As mentioned, you get to choose your class out of four options: Embermage, Engineer, Beserker and Outlander. The original classes from Torchlight are now powerful NPCs who aid the new protagonists in their quest. The new classes take familiar archetypes and add interesting twists: the Engineer carries a giant clockwork weapon and fights in melee; the Outlander is a wandering nomad who combines guns and small amounts of magic to become a potent fighter; the Beserker has quick flurries of attacks and animal-based powers; and even though the Embermage seems to be like your stereotypical glass cannon elemental mage on the surface, they can fight at close range and don protective armor in a pinch.
As soon as the game is loaded up, anyone who’s played a game will feel right at home. The UI, mini-map and skills bar are arranged so that people who have fifa coins played an MMORPG such as World of Warcraft will also be able to find their way around easily as well. The result of these influences means that Torchlight 2 is very accessible and easy to play. No tutorial is required to get right into the thick of the game. This ease of play continues throughout the game, and there are many small quality of life features scattered throughout the UI; for instance, loading screens will show your unspent resources so you never forget to upgrade.
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