Let’s get it out right now, Torchlight 2 is probably the best gaming purchase I’ve made this year.
There’s just something to be said about your screen being filled up by loot. Every corner seems to have a chest and even if it’s only money and 2 items, it showers the screen. The entire point of the genre is the slot machine effect of getting loot. Having this perpetual reward, well spaced mind you, is gratifying.
My first playthrough was with an Outlander. I went pure strength, a few passives, dual pistols and rapid fire for the most part. That got me to level 54 without any problem. I could play again and use a bow, or a shotgun, or a cannon. I could go for summons, or poison, or glaives, or pure defense. All are viable. Combine this with 3 other classes and you finally have true variety between players and actual replayability. The fact that you can take the hardest difficulty from the start (instead of having to spend 40 hours on a character first) is amazing too.
There are 3.5 acts and throughout each you’ll find some rather unique enemies. Some have armor that must be destroyed, some teleport, some set you on fire, some poison, some run away. All bosses have some sort of unique feature that keeps you on your toes. All of a sudden that dragon breath seems simple once he starts throwing giant rocks from the sky and summons 8 enemies to help him. Enemies all look different too. There are very few recycled skins and you never really spend long enough against a type to grow bored of them. The best part though, is that there are no cheap shots. No arcane sentries. No immune to all damage. There’s challenge without walls.
This is where the difference truly lies. I have a smile on my face when I play Torchlight 2. I don’t feel a grind when I’m on a quest or a new dungeon, I feel like I’m a hero. I don’t need to kill 50 enemies on the screen at once to be strong, I can do it by killing 5-10 at a time, back to back to back. I don’t have to worry about numbers so much to progress. Certainly, getting better stats helps but we’re talking about a 5-10 point different in gear, not 100-200 and 5 stats per item.
There’s just so much of it to enjoy.