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What is Torchlight 2

Torchlight 2 is the sequel to a successful entry into the ARPG market epitomized by the
Diablo
series from Blizzard. However, being an indie-level developer (the Runic
Games
development teams has only 30 members), Runic managed to carve out a
niche for
its game by giving it a budget price.  Torchlight 2 takes the original
Torchlight and improves upon its winning formula. You will be able to
purchase
the game for $19.99, a far cry from the $49.99 or $59.99 commanded by
the
supposed premium games.

It follows the simple formula set
down by its forebears. You create a character of a specific class with
its own
unique abilities, and you rampage through the world killing everything
that
gets in your way with a few clicks of the mouse. Like the original,
Torchlight
2
features randomized dungeons so that you never play through the same
level
twice. You also collect loot that augments your abilities and powers. If
you
have ever played an ARPG, you know the loot system. Some items are
basic,
others are magic, and beyond that are unique.  

The game uses the same engine as
the original, although upgraded with some newer graphics. This means
that if
your old computer runs the original, you can run this one too. Runic has
chosen
a cartoonish atmosphere; think
more
World of Warcraft than Diablo. Though Matt Uelmen, the man behind the
music of
Diablo 1 and 2, has lent his musical talent to this game as well, so you
will
get some ominous feelings from the soundtrack if not the visuals.

With a new game comes new
content. For Torchlight 2, this means new character
classes.
Where the first game offered three choices, Torchlight 2 offers four.
However,
you will not see your favorite from the first game, except possibly as
an NPC.
No, all four are brand new. The Embermage offers that classic magic game
play that many love. If you liked the Barbarian in other ARPGs, you will probably
gravitate toward the Berserker. If you like to DPS as an Assassin or
Rogue in
other games, then the Outlander is for you. For anyone who liked the
steampunk
aspects of the first game, you will find those elements in the Engineer.
 

Perhaps the most glaring error
from the first game, as indicated by both reviewers and players alike,
is the
lack of multiplayer. In this age of widely
available
broadband connections and server power, it seemed like Runic made a huge
oversight. They have rectified this in the sequel. Not only will you be
able to
play multiplayer, you will be able to do so over your LAN (a feature not
often
included in many new games for some reason). Loot will be instanced,
just like
Diablo 3 is doing, in order to ensure a more even playing field.

So far, Runic has not offered any
specific release date for Torchlight 2. Some speculate that they will
try to pre-empt
the Diablo 3 release, in order to ensure a greater market. Even if Runic
does
release at the same time or after Diablo 3, its budget price will likely
garner
an audience.

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