Just as the office's Diablo 3 excitement was reaching fever pitch, a beta appears: Torchlight 2! And oh look, it's really, really good. Forget the rivalry, anyone who likes clicking on monsters has two games to buy this year. Let me show you what each of the classes are like to play, and talk a bit about how they work. Above, The Berserker!
You can buy Torchlight 2 now, if you'd like. The Steam product page for the game just went live. $19.99 will reserve your place in the imaginary digital line when the game releases this summer (allegedly about a month after Diablo III), and you'll also receive a copy of Runic's original Torchlight for free immediately.
Runic CEO Max Schaefer reckons that Torchlight 2 has a few key features that'll help it stand against Blizzard's monolithic, mega-budget sequel, Diablo 3. He tells Joystiq that Torchlight 2's offline mode, mod support, LAN support and lower price point are all factors that could tempt action RPG fans over to their side, but the timing of Torchlight 2's release is important.
"Well, I'm sure you've noticed Diablo has announced a date. So, we don't want to fall right on that," Schaefer told Joystiq. "The real answer is when [Torchlight 2] is finished, is Diablo 3 right now? Then we'll wait."
In fact, Schaefer reckons that the ideal time to drop would be one month after Diablo 3, but if the game isn't ready, Runic won't be rushing it out of the door to meet that target.
There were only two official pet options in the original Torchlight: cats and dogs (though modders added more). Torchlight 2 will have many more options, from small domestic cats to flying hawks. The goggled ferret that was exclusive to the boxed version of Torchlight 2 will also make a return, and we'll even be able to recruit odd-but-cute beaked velociraptor creatures called "Chakawarys" to eat enemies and sell off spare treasure to bewildered merchants.
The new pets were revealed on the Torchlight 2 site, along with a series of new screenshots and a video of each pet set to some strangely unsettling music. It's good to see Runic expanding on the pet system, which was one of the standout original features of the first Torchlight, but with Diablo 3 closing in, will Torchlight 2 be able to compete? Ponder that as you look over these moving images of adorable creatures. Which one's your favourite?
It looks like the year of the hack 'n' slash - as foretold in The Prophecy - won't be 2011 after all. First Diablo and his army of the damned tried their damndest to make it our the door at the tail end of 2011, but ultimately failed. And now it seems that Torchlight II has hit a similar snag.
The Embermage is the fourth role to be revealed for Torchlight 2. The magic user joins the Berserker, the Outlander and the Engineer as the final character class, and can wield the power of the elements against Torchlight 2's enemies. The elements of fire, ice and lightning, that is, not Boron, Potassium and Hydrogen and the like, though a mage with mastery over the periodic table is an intriguing idea.
After getting hands-on with Torchlight 2's brawlin', just-announced Berserker class at E3, I had a chat with Runic Games' CEO, Max Schaefer about T2's just-announced LAN support, Runic's refreshing attitude about DRM and piracy (and why "millions," of illegal downloads in China don't bother him) and the the possibility of 50-player multiplayer.
If you're as excited for Torchlight 2 as we are then you'll want to head over to Runic's brand new developer blog. Lead designer Patrick Blank has posted eight brand new screenshots of Torchlight 2 there, along with a detailed explanation of the impressive tech behind the game's randomly generated levels. You'll find the latest info, the eight new screenshots embedded below.
Ever fought a Yakotaur? No? Well you're gonna. Runic Games has put up a page with a teaser concept painting of the half yak, half yeti beast along with five others you'll casually bump into while exploring the depths of Torchlight II's dungeons. The other five (manticore, witch, gargoyle, spectral dragon and Dwarven automata) are a little more conventional, but still cool lookin'. Runic is promising to unveil more every other week leading up to E3, so this page is worth bookmarking. Read on to see'em all here.
Originally scheduled for a Spring release, Torchlight 2 is now due July 2011. Runic Games told Digitial Spy that extra work on the interface for the Xbox port of the original has caused delays, but emphasised that the tweaks will improve the PC experience in the long run: "Having to do the extra work with the [Xbox] interface, has pushed us back a little bit, so we're probably talking July right now for Torchlight II... it's going great, however. We've actually got some optimisations and technical improvements that went into making the Xbox version that we've been able to go back and implement into Torchlight II for PC."
PC Gamer awarded the original Torchlight a whopping 89 percent. Read our extensive making of here.
Every week the PC Gamer Game Club picks a new game to play and discuss. All sorts of games have featured so far, from classic real time strategy games like Age of Empires 2 to the grim survival horror shooter STALKER. This week the brilliant action RPG, Torchlight is under the microscope. All you need to get involved is a copy of the game in question. Read on for details.
Runic Games heard fans of Torchlight complaining about lack of multiplayer, and then went and made Torchlight 2. Check out the trailer below for footage of Torchlight 2's multiplayer in action.
Runic Games have just announced Torchlight 2. Frabjous day! Quick on our feet as always, we went back in time to schedule an interview with Max Schaefer and Travis Baldree, the company's founders and designers. They spoke to us about Torchlight 2's new co-operative multiplayer, classes, character customisation, setting, mods and undead bears.
Runic games has just announced Torchlight 2. It has co-operative multiplayer and undead bears! This much, any gaming website will tell you. What you won't get anywhere else (for about five minutes, at least) is this heapin' helpin' of concept art. We've got new characters with their new gear, new locales, and new, cheery-looking monsters and bad guys. Have a pore over them and then read our exclusive in-depth interview featuring the first information on the game. Remember, you can click to make the screens bigger.
Diablo casts a long shadow over the action-RPG. Few games have been able to dispel Blizzard’s gloomy dominance of the genre, though many have tried. Only Torchlight shines in the dark. A modest game in scale and price, made in a year by a small team, it is as accomplished a resurrection of the genre as anyone could want.
The team behind the fantastic action-RPG Torchlight are making an MMO, an MMO that will be free-to-play, but supported by microtransactions. Although little's known about the MMO, the Torchlight team talk about their plans in the new issue of PC Gamer, on-sale in the UK on Thursday. In the mag, they reveal that they're aiming for an MMO that feels like a single player game, and it'll retain the same fast action. Their president Travis Baldree also shows he has a traditional PC gamer attitude towards microtransactions.