|Dev: Runic Games|
|Pub: Runic Games|
|Release: September 20, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
Another thing I need to give Runic props for is the sound design. The sound effects are excellent, with quite a few of the monster sounds actually surprising me by being so unexpected yet so completely fitting for the creatures that make them. Also, the sound of advancing your stats after each level-up is loud and satisfying, making you feel immensely powerful with each click. In fact, even the narrator—who notifies you whenever you level up or send a pet off to sell your discarded items—eventually grew on me, even though he was admittedly a little annoying at first.
And the music is great as well, with some electric guitar peppered into the orchestral tracks. It sounds great, and never feels inappropriate in Torchlight II's almost steampunkish setting.
Of course, one of the coolest features of the first game has returned: Pets are back! Yes, they still fight alongside you and can still be sent back to town to sell off your loot so you don't have to head back to a vendor in the middle of an intense dungeon run. Also, you can once again fish at specially marked locations in order to catch fish that can be consumed by your pets for a variety of effects. And to top it all off, there are more pets to choose from now. I chose a ferret who was wearing goggles.
Additionally, the developers have promised to continue to support the game without making people pay. It sounds like this means there will be free DLC at some point, which is very appreciated in an era of microtransaction stores. On top of that, the game is very open to modding, with its TorchEd mod tools being offered shortly after launch. Needless to say, the play value of this game is insane for a $20 download.
If you had even the slightest interest in the original Torchlight, or if you're tired of Diablo III but are still itching for some more loot-grabbing RPG action, Torchlight II is well worth the asking price. In fact, you should probably feel guilty for only paying $20 for this game.
Editor / News Director
Date: September 24, 2012