After 9 hours of solid game play of TL2 I've come to the conclusion of a certain impression, albeit I haven't reached a full gameplay through yet I've reached Act2 and its first map; Ossean Wastes, that impression is a very positive one.
I've played the beta of Torchlight 2 and it ended at the end of act 1.
The main changes I've noticed from Beta to Release is probably just the skill tree. Everything else looks similar. The only thing that's drastically changed was the skill tree to grid boxes........ ALTHOUGH I'm sure there's a way to switch them back because I just recalled an icon on the top right somewhere that looked like a grid... so there might be a tree switch there. The skills themselves didnt' change or at least I didn't notice any.
All the aforementioned goodies from TL1 are in TL2... except I havent' seen a gambler anywhere yet but I did see a shady character. LOL yes he was named Shady Character had the same voice as the gambler so he's probably there somewhere... out there... in the game.
Edit: Yes I found him! the gambler is in act 2 somewhere happy hunting!
If you don't know what Torchlight 1 had, here's a few things:
Enchanter -> Granted random bonuses to items
Alchemy combiner -> well combine things!
Gem Removal -> Straight forward. (For the cost of losing your gems)
Gem retrieval -> Straightforward. (For the cost of losing your equipment)
Right so later I will get images to show what I'm talking about, which I've already taken I just havent' uploaded them to my laptop... (I play on desktop not laptop). To edit and cross out later.
Pfft TL2 has horrible graphics I'ma stay away from it like a epidemic because its bad on the eyes.
Right so that's the first thing I want to extinguish. If your eyes are too used to seeing mass high-resolution CGI (Computer Generated Images) then you need to know that that's not what the definition of a game is, that's what a film/movie should be if it is not live-action. Not that I'm out to offend anyone or what this article is supposed to be. My message is simply saying don't judge a game by its graphics. It doesn't mean much. It's like sugar on pancakes when you have maple syrup already. In my own experience and many years of gaming, Graphics is simply a bonus to the game.
Getting off topic here just as an example, take minecraft. The graphics aren't "superb" or crazy high-res but its success and fame was due to FUNCTIONALITY. An inverse of the example of minecraft would be FFXIV, we all know FFXIV did poorly due to its gameplay, although their graphics are supremely detailed and high-end that didn't attribute to the game's success even with a big well-known franchise.
Torchlight 2 has colorful graphics to put it one way. The game has a massive contrast in its elements and its use of color. The game isn't bland and the graphics certainly aren't bad. They may be outdated to some, but for me I think its just right. where you don't need an expensive computer to play this with good frame rates and it caters to a large audience even if they don't know very much about it. (Yes, I do believe Torchlight 2 isn't very well known. Only certain audiences know. I will not elaborate on it in this.). It's like a kids game. Something which I've read a lot. A kids game.
Kids play games, they know what fun is, if its not fun they either rage at the people excluding them from it, or they go wreck their fun, or they leave. It is the child's behaviour, don't tell me when you were a kid you liked to be excluded from everyone else playing tag? You simply joined in because kids aren't that mean... are they? or maybe i'm so old i dont know anymore(I'm old enough to be old, but i'm still in the ages where partying is maxed out and heading to the parts where i need to worry about income soon). But my cousins who are kids they certainly tell me if a game they've played was fun or not, and I believe them because they don't have a reason to lie, plus their expression and reaction when describing a boring game is just hilarious, a game that's fun to them they just won't shutup and gets annoying LOL.
Torchlight 2 is fun. You can get it for 20$. or 15$ if you split it between 3 other friends getting 4-pack copy. Not bad. In fact it's a steal.
What's fun about it?
First off if you've played games like Diablo 1, Diablo 2, or Diablo 3 then this game will be familiar to you. It has reminiscent music to that of Diablo 2. The art style is chaotic, it is in no way peaceful. I mentioned this earlier but it's the one point that drove me back, the effects can get OVERWHELMING. Chaotic is the best way I can describe it, mass fluxes between elements. huge contrasts. From a dark brown dirty floor to mixed explosions dark purple from slugs and bright orange-yellow fireball flames on the floor to nuclear green bursts of poison from a wand and a dusty burst earth spike from a monster pounding the floor is one example. (Provide image here later). Nothing in this game is bland, darkshades of graytones and moody. The game is colorful but it's feel is not joyful. The feel of the game actually feels serious.
The monster skills are all different from other genres of this game type; ARPG(Action Role Playing Game). There are some where monsters flee upon their comrades dying or some that throw lousy spider mines at you that blow up on contact (these freaking hurt), some that have chitinous plating armor that blocks all attacks until you shatter it, or simply casts magic like a maniac.
These are just a few, there are way more than what I've described here.
Any way you put it and experience it, there are tons of different monsters and ability types of enemies to face.
The game difficulty -> While some find it faceroll easy others may find it challenging. I started in Elite and its taken me about 9 hours just to get to level 24...? or end of Act 1, moving on to Act 2.
Haha you noob took you so long to get there.
It's okay, not everyone plays the same or even plays this genre to begin with. Torchlight 2 can be easy or super hard depending on what difficulty you play, on elite expect to struggle a lot more, but it's not impossible. It's just hard to the general majority! You look down the internet games list you'll see a lot of Normal and Veteran and maybe a handful of Elite game rooms. I chose Elite because I like the challenge. The challenge is there it's not stupid and there are many moments where I went "whew just made it" not so much "omg I got wrecked so hard this isn't even going to go anywhere". I experience the latter more on Dark Souls/Demon's souls(Platinum trophy yeay).
What I like best is that I have the option to choose right at the very start.
If I did find the game too easy I would move up a level and restart quickly, if I found it was too slow/hard to progress I would pick an easier difficulty. simply put you have the option at the beginning.
Torchlight 2 has some interesting concepts regarding their attributes. I was left with quite an impactful impression on just levelling. Attributes include Strength, Dexterity, Focus and Vitality. None of the attributes are useless to ANY class.
Focus lets you get more mana for skill casting but it also grants a chance to "Execute" basically if you're dual wielding to use both weapons at the same time. Improves chances as you upgrade this stat.
Strength increases weapon damage by a %, and your critical damage so its good to invest too.
Dex is more of a hybrid survive & damage stat, where it grants dodge & crit chance.
Vitality gives you hp! but also increases your armor rating by a % and incraeses your chance to block with shields equipped. A block negates a whole attack there is no limit i think.
A very important aspect of any action RPG. You need items to have action. And that action only intensifies with better items. Torchlight 2 grants items, many of which are a good balance between junk and useful.
Torchlight 2 has ranks in their items that go from:
white -> green -> blue -> orange -> purple*
normal -> uncommon -> magic -> unique -> set*
Set items can also be on any of the previous ranks! It's crazy so you can have unique sets or magic sets or uncommon sets etc.
I may be missing a few but you get the idea.
Now in terms of acquisition you will get ANY or ALL of these from levels 1-100. Yes I have found set items at level 9 and uniques at level 11.
there is still an item that I have to find the "Legendary" type which I have no idea what color it is yet, because upon acquiring and equipping there is an achievement for it. So it must be Legendary.
I also have to say gear is useful in every sense. While not all of them are useful, what I mean is gear isn't just a level requirement it's a level requirement OR stats requirement, if you fill the requirement for either one you can equip it. So if the level req of a weapon was level 31 but you're only 24 and the stat req was 60 Focus and you have 70 focus then yes you can use it! Also previous gear won't succeed future gear. Most of the time when you find gear in higher leveled areas it will be an upgrade, just one you can't use yet but something to look forward to possibly within the next 30min - 2 hrs.
Not good enough for you?
Then go to the enchanter he/she/it can add more special effects on your weapon randomly for a price, some can only place 1 or 2 enchantments on it some can place 3, I've heard some can go crazy and don't know how many they can put on there.
How's the gameplay?
I think the gameplay is fun, I play an Embermage at the moment, the function bar for each class is really cool. when embermages reach their filled function bar they get unlimited casting mana, and +25% skill damage. Pretty good. I love teleporting everywhere with the Ice magic when it's maxed and just dropping fireballs and satellite firebeams on my enemies, as well swinging a massive hammer.
It's addicting, although I'm pretty drained from playing many APRGs already(C9(150somethingh), Vindictus(430somethingh), D3(206h), DNest(68h) torchlight 2 is a nice escape and relaxing in its music in some areas. the art style is very specific, it's cartoony but there's something about it that just isn't too cartoony either... it's like partially cell-shaded? either way I like them, which may make me biased but I like Dark Souls graphics too and C9's graphics and minecraft's graphics. I don't think they suck and it fits their theme which is what is important to me. Torchlight 2 has this theme in their game which is consistent with their art style. It's grim and it's serious but it's presented in an informal matter where it feels like a story being told. Actually the story so far has reminded me a lot of about Secret of Mana I think that's what really got me. I was like hmmm....... CHILDREN OF MANA.... anyways I need to stop talking about other games in this article.
Skills aren't restricted either you can place a point in each and use them all if you want or invest in one. OH I forgot!
Skills - Descriptive and you know exactly what they do and how they operate giving you ways to strategize and think ahead to plan your character's growth.
Skills are interesting in the sense that all the lower leveled ones aren't entirely useless later on. The more you invest in a sklil the more it unlocks bonus effects for it! If you place like say 3 points into Magma Mace for the embermage it'll do it's regular job and what not but if you placed a total of 5 it'll reach it's Tier 1 bonus which grants it a 25% chance to shatter shields/armors on hit. The Tier 2 one will ADD another effect which reduces attack speeds of targets hit by 33% and the last tier is slow their movement by 66%.
Torchlight 2 isn't shy on their values on items so you can expect great amounts of options in terms of customization. Not to mention you can also add more to your items by talking to enchanters, some grant specific effects and some grant random ones and some grant certain categories and randomize from them (like elemental effects). Example a weapon could have like bonus +25% attack speed. Wonderful I love to swing my axe fast and furious.
I'll be doing a review of this later on when I haver more time to get through the game.
Even better is that there's a New Game+ when you're done which opens more content up and different things to explore...
AS IF NIGHT AND DAY WASNT ENOUGH ALREADY. :/
Night & Day
Torchlight 2 has night and day effects where it actually affects what monsters you encounter and what events you come across and how other things are laid out. It's a lot of stuff to go through and it certainly won't end in just 1 play through to find out what's the game got to give.
Non-existant, Weak, Average, Strong, Overwhelming; Fulfilled/ Letdown
Crashbomb bad, Poor, Same old, Good, Excellent, Impressive
Impression - Impressive levels. I'm having fun, it's a good balance of difficulty and reward for me, and addicting. I don't have very much time to play and the short amount I play grants me a good feeling.
Hype: Weak & Overwhelming; Fulfilled. Weak being it's not very well known. Overwhelming to the subjective audience of ARPG gamers who all know about it. It's fulfilled, TL2 isn't a letdown, not to my standards. The game is definitely an upgrade of Diablo 2 and Torchlight 1.
Reasons: For 20$-15$ it's a f***ing lot of content to go through and will have the time filled if you actually like ARPGs. It's good content also. Friends who played D3 D2 all got it. It's a good sign.
Signs of Fail: Don't know haven't seen any I'm so tempted to use the boon scroll to summon a vendor and see what he's got except I'm scared I don't have enough gold to afford something and have that disappear on me making me gripe to find another scroll or quit frustratingly but it's onnly been the first 9 hours.
Top hook for KradisZ: "GOD DAMN ITS COLORFUL, FIREWORKS & DESTRUCTION & ACTION & SERENE MUSIC AT THE RIGHT TIMES, Finding sets this early on is fun. I LOVE THE BOSS INTRODUCTIONS some are ridiculously dumb and some are just like WTF didn't see that coming"
End comments: For 20$ or 15$ there is a plethora of things to discover. There are even puzzles in Torchlight 2, ACTUAL puzzles, you hit a lever and like certain cubes move, turn them on a certain way and you have a path to some treasure; yummy. Playing with friends ramps up the difficulty by quite a bit. If you're too busy being influenced by graphics then too bad you're missing out on a lot of stuff, this isn't here to talk about your artistic tastes. The game has a lot to offer. The cutscenes are 2D animated something that seems to be long forgotten in today's industry. Too much 3D it gets too real. I know for sure because I make 3D. The 2D offers a nice detachment and feels more like a tale being told rather than something like "wow that guy looks so good".
AND I will do a vs. of this... with one other game. Some might already know. BUT I will ensure and force myself to only bring both in a positive manner between the two and what both has to offer.
As always comments are welcome, please keep it civil thanks!