Runic Games Torchlight II finally makes its way to the Xbox One after being out on PC since 2012. The sequel to a decent isometric dungeon-crawling RPG, it manages to carry on the magic of the first. The hack-n-slash, looting and the wonderful visuals are just as great as before. Unfortunately, the story is just as complex and confusing. It seems like the hero of Torchlight has now been corrupted by the ember, and it’s up to you to stop them in their tracks
The game spoils you with 4 interesting choices of character; an Engineer, an Outlander, a Berserker and an Embermage. They are not your usual types and the variety makes you want to sample each class to see what works best for you. I chose the engineer thinking they would have all kinds of steampunk weaponry or armour and instead, I got a massive wrench to beat enemies with. But I was not disappointed, as the skills made up for it – for example, a robot droid who sends out a healing pulse.
This game also provides you with a pet companion to take along with you on your journey. I found there to be more variation on the pet than there is for your own class. You can have a badger, owl, hawk, panda and couple of breeds of dog to name but a few. Or you can take a monster like pet lsuch as a headcrab, chakawary, molten imp and a yapper. There are many other pets to choose from as well, so the variety is nice and builds on the replay value.
The game offers you a few difficult levels, from casual to elite, as well as an additional hardcore option for those who need that extra challenge. I played on normal – the default setting – and found the challenge not too high. Having played for a fair few hours now, I have only died once and that was down to carelessness rather than great difficulty. The game plays in the same fun style as the first game did. The combat is not over-complicated and can be considered a hack n slash, but this style has not grown stale – there is still a demand for it, and this game is a good entry in to the genre.
The game itself looks great and plays very nicely. The controls follow the standard for this genre, with skills, potions and items assigned to the buttons of your choice, allowing you to tailor this yourself for comfort. With your pet fighting alongside you, it’s nice to know your not tackling enemies alone, even in single-player mode. However, when enemies start to fill the screen it becomes a bit too easy to launch an attack at your pet by accident – it’s hard to distinguish between friend and foe when the carnage hits. But not to worry – you cannot strike your companion.
You’ll visit towns which have the shops to buy items with, storage to store your favourite loot or higher level loot for later and your quest givers. Then, when you venture out to the maps, you will find they are quite large, and they even contain some sub dungeons so there is plenty to explore. You occasionally will find sub-quest givers which will pleasantly keep you busy from the main quest for a while. All through the maps and quests as you give the enemies a good seeing to, they drop loot. Some good, some rubbish, but plenty of it to keep you interested. What more is when you have accrued too much rubbish you can send your pet back to town to sell all the junk, at the cost of your companion being away for a small period.
As you progress through the quests and the defeat your enemies you will level up your character to assign more points to your skills and stats to allow you to equip better gear and explore different skills. If you tire of playing by yourself there is also a multiplayer option to jump in with 3 others and take on the game together with friends or with strangers.
All in all, Torchlight 2 doesn’t explore new territory, but it doesn’t need to. It keeps true to what made the first Torchlight a decent RPG and built on it. Although it has taken a while for it to finally make its way to the Xbox One, fans of the first game or those into isometric RPG’s will be happy to tuck into this game as there is plenty of content and variety to keep things interesting. To also now be able to play this multiplayer as well can only make the game more interesting.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.