[Review] Torchlight II

Even though it’s been out for a ridiculously long time, I’ve only gotten into Torchlight II a few weeks ago after hearing how much it’s like Diablo.

Source: The Controller Online

It’s a continuation of Torchlight (which I also finished) and is by all means much better than the original. There were a few things I didn’t like, such as the limitation to one pet type instead of three, but some of the things

Reasons

The addition of outdoor maps. In the original, the only outdoor map was the town of Torchlight where the only combat was at the very beginning of the game. The rest of it took place in the mines or in an optional dungeon named “The Shadow Vault.”

Multiple dungeons. In the first game, there were only two dungeons: one storyline dungeon with 35 floors and the other an endless dungeon. The ones in the sequel are shorter, but boast more diversity in background and local monsters. They also make more sense as the storyline dungeon in the first game swapped themes suddenly every 5 floors without any real explanation.

The separation of quest items from the inventory. While it means that you don’t need to worry about saving room for a quest item, it also prevents the strange event in which you cannot discard an unwanted quest item.

More variation in monsters. With different dungeons come different monsters with various abilities, some of which include exploding upon death (causing damage to the player) and pulling the players towards them.

Pet ability to buy things from town while adventuring. Not only can your pet go back into town to sell its inventory, but you can now create a shopping list for your pet to buy consumable items while you’re adventuring. It saves on warping back to town if you ever need more potions.

Automatic identification of items when current player level matches item level. In this sequel, items have their own levels. If your character’s level is below that of the item’s, the item will be automatically identified once your character’s level matches that of the item’s. Of course, identity scrolls are still needed for those unidentified items below your character’s level, so don’t chuck them out of your inventory right away.

Improved plot. As opposed to the original, your character pursues one of the protagonists from the first installment: the Alchemist. It’s also improved by the number of places you go to: each new area you visit will have suffered the Alchemist’s onslaught, instead of having merely journal entries from Alric in the first get the player into the sense of how far his madness has brought him.

Re-allocating skill points. There is now an NPC in towns that can reset the last 3 skill points you have allocated for a fee. There’s not much use behind it unless you’re simply testing out new skills.

Enchanters. Enchantments that enchanters cast are separate from the innate abilities that equipment have and have an “Enchantments” heading. These enchantments are also less random this time around in both type and certainty. Some enchanters (like those in towns) can enchant once or twice with equal chance of bestowing any enchantments, while some in the wild lands have specific types of enchantments (e.g., enchanting equipment with fire attributes). There are a few that can give items 3 or 4 items, but they are far and few in between.
Fees are now paid for adding or removing (all at once) enchantments, so the player does not need to worry about losing all of their enchantments unexpectedly.

I haven’t had the time (or the means) to try out the multiplayer mode, but it sounds like an interesting feature.

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