John McCarroll
E3 2011: Torchlight II Impressions and Gallery Debut
We berserk the crap out of stuff.
06.10.11 - 2:13 AM

We loved the original Torchlight when it saw release back in 2009; it actually won our PC RPG of E3 award that same year. It was our pleasure to get some hands-on with their sequel to this popular hack-and-slash slated for release in the Summer. The first and most obvious addition to the game is the new playable character classes; we had a chance to play around with two: the Berserker and the Railman. The Berserker's a beast with close-quarters weaponry and has the ability to channel animal spirits, so his abilities will reflect this. There was a range of abilities that could take town a swath of enemies in front of him, and our overpowered character tore through all of the bosses. The railman is a more ranged-focused character with many steampunk-themed abilities. Kimberley was able to take down enemies with quick strikes or powerful blows. The areas that we played were completely random, so we can't talk much about the story for the title, but there will be three different hub cities in the sequel, unlike the original game's single town.

The second big addition, which is less obvious, is the addition of both internet and LAN play. Yes, you'll be able to play locally with your friends without an internet connection; it'll be just like the old Diablo II days. Most of the rest of the game is pretty similar to the first game; the dungeons we went through were fairly straightforward and structured as you'd expect for Torchlight. Runic did promise us a brand new UI for the second title, although it wasn't yet implemented in the test version that we had a chance to play around with. The game's graphically impressive, although it should still run on the same style of setup as the first game did - Runic learned quite a bit about optimization from their port of the Xbox Live version of their first game.

Torchlight II is an impressive-looking upcoming title; even though details are relatively scarce, my hands-on time with the title was quite fun. Runic hasn't set a solid date for the title, but it will be released sometime in the summer, followed by a Mac port, and possibly an Xbox Live Arcade port forthcoming after these are completed. With some spiffy graphics, addictive gameplay, and brand new character classes, Runic should have another winner on their hands. It's not often that games are good, clean fun, but Torchlight II is the type of game that has that and only that - there's no fat on it.

Keep watch here for more information as Torchlight II nears release, and check out the gallery for the title below.