A bit of good news to read over this morning’s Diet Coke: Torchlight 2 has been announced. This time there will be some much needed multiplayer via peer to peer and LAN. I just know there’s probably some comments like “LAN? Already better than Diablo 3!” popping up out there. The first, since it lacked multiplayer, didn’t do too much for me longevity-wise. It’s fun and all smashing skeletons, but it’s infinitely more fun smashing them with a friend.
The first one was a solid game. It was a bit of mindless dungeon crawling like the rest of the games in this genre but there’s really no comparison to the gameplay of Diablo. That’s something I hope the team at Runic is going to address. Repetitive is the name of the game with these hack’n'slash “action rpg’s”, but I believe in order to be called a “action rpg” there needs to be more story. Torchlight is story-lite but embraces that identity with solid gameplay. Torchlight 2 just needs to expound upon their storytelling and give people a reason to want to dungeon crawl and anticipate their future MMO.
Overworld play might be just what the game needs. Randomly generated overworld and dungeons is already 2x the scope of Torchlight. If they can create exciting ‘outside’ areas with the same type of diversity they were capable of achieving with nothing but underground caverns in the original, then this will be a treat.
It’s simply a case of more is better with Torchlight. Diablo 3 is the next big title in this genre and to go against a Juggernaut like that and not be forgotten as a tide-me-over means they’re going to have to wow us. The original was priced at $20 which was generous. I’m hoping that Torchlight 2 is more game and with that I would expect a higher price. I would happily consider the first game a trial run and the second to be the real deal. Personally, I hope that’s their plan. Building a community around an IP — a universe — and then creating a MMO seems like a solid plan and one we’re seeing more of these days. I hope they ramp it up.