Hands On: Torchlight 2 - PAX 2010

by: Sean -
More On: PAX 2010
Torchlight 2, the sequel to last year's sleeper hit, expands everything that was good about the original: new character classes, new maps, new enemies, and the sweetest feature of all: online cooperative multiplayer.

Hit the jump to see what Runic has in store.

Following last year's sleeper hit Torchlight, Runic Games is stickin' to that old chestnut: if it ain't broke, continue to exponentially build on your success by improving on virtually every aspect of your game while providing a rock-solid point-and-click experience. What, you've never heard that one? It's a thing, I swear.

Torchlight 2 is a deceptively deep point-and-click adventure, with all the hallmarks of the genre: piles and piles of loot, 4 player classes to choose from, and sprawling maps connected by hub-towns, each with a different theme. But simply describing it doesn't do it justice: this is, in all fairness, a pre-alpha build, with two whole character classes not yet revealed and level designs/numbers not yet finalized, and it is still one of the most fun point-and-click RPGs I've ever played.

There were two playable classes on hand at PAX: the Outlander class, a marksman-style ranged character, and the Railman, a melee character who pounds enemies with a giant hammer; the character designs are heavily steam-punk influenced, and Torchlight 2 will also feature character customization, from gender to hair-style and color. Having tried both, the play styles are different even if the mechanics are the similar: you point and click to attack, right click for a special attack, and there are a variety of other powers and spells that you can bring to the battle. The difference becomes more apparent when you incorporate one of the most important new features: multiplayer.

Multiplayer monster-bashing will support up to 8 players (though that number is not set in stone) via a multiplayer lobby, and joining a game was remarkably intuitive and easy. Once you join a game the other players show up on your radar/map, and you go join the fight; it's just that simple.

Torchlight's mod community is very active, and Runic won't be leaving them out in the cold: yet again Runic will be providing the dev tools necessary to build your own levels.

Torchlight 2 is targeted for a Spring 2011 release for PC, with a Mac release following later in the year.

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