So, what compels us to play games like these? In the case of Torchlight II, it's pretty simpleóthe game looks and sounds splendid, and is a joy to play. Its world is inviting and rich, colors bouncing around the screen in a deadly, candy-colored fireworks show. Ex-Diablo composer Matt Uelmen's soundtrack is the perfect complement to the action, a blend of acoustic guitar arpeggios, industrial-metal dirge and dark fantasy caterwauling that stays out of the way without hiding. The feel of the game is spot-on as well, and it conveys a sense of easy empower-mentóby the end of my first time through, my engineer was a walking bomb, capable of dropping seismic rifts with her boots before slamming her weapon into the earth, igniting all within her sizable reach.
Torchlight II succeeds in being a truly viable alternative to Diablo III. The action is faster and thicker and rewards are set to a quickened treadmill pace, resulting in an experience that is immediately rewarding and increasingly addictive. Its seamless co-op (which includes player trading) openly gives Blizzard the middle finger as it allows players to decide whether to play a solo game offline or open it up for drop-ins. Torchlight II lacks deep character customisation, the dungeons are smaller than Diablo III and you feel very much on the action RPG fast track. However, this is evened out by a deep skill system, helpful pet AI, satisfying weapon and spell effects and the ever-present (and constantly rewarding) rain of loot.