Many gamers have either played or at least heard of the Diablo series of games and have heard of the term “Diablo clone”. There are many games that have adopted the gameplay elements of the Diablo series (Defeat enemies, loot, equip, repeat) to varying degrees of success but seemingly none had managed to achieve the same level of success as the Diablo series until Torchlight was released. While Torchlight was a Diablo clone there was also much more to the game that if not put it on the same level as Diablo, allowed it to come really close. Top on the list of features of Torchlight was that it was simply fun to play. When an enemy was defeated they often burst into fountains of blood and gore and spell effects and skills made the player feel like they were truly powerful. The main problem with Torchlight was that is was too easy. Torchlight 2 achieves the same level of fun and making the player feel powerful (maybe even a bit more than the first game) and attempts to rectify the first games problem by introducing progressive difficulty levels much like the Diablo series. But Torchlight 2 does not stop there when it comes to challenging the player. Like the first game Torchlight 2 allows the player to purchase and attempt to complete very difficult challenge dungeons that give the player various rewards for completion (loot). These dungeons present different challenges to the player that are usually very different from the main game. Like its main competitor Diablo 3, Torchlight 2 allows multiple players to play through the entire game.
Seeing as most of what the player will be doing in Torchlight 2 is defeating piles upon piles of enemies and gathering mountains of loot, said loot must be worth keeping the attention of the player. Which it is, very much so. The huge variety in different statistical possibilities for each piece of equipment makes each piece of loot picked up a possible awesome find. The player can also add stats to the equipment through the use of a enchanter which can further boost the effectiveness of an item. Equipment that is part of a set adds further capabilities depending on how much of the set is equipped. These kinds of games are all about the loot and Torchlight 2 has far more then enough to satisfy just about any player.
When the player is not clicking to destroy everything in the area there is a decent story to keep the player motivated to continue but is overall not on par with many of the other story offerings in similar games. Great, colorful graphics accompany the fantastic gameplay in Torchlight 2. Each character looks distinct and every piece of equipment changes the look of the player character. Different effects are present on equipment depending on the variety of stats on each piece. Spell and ability effects look great and really make them look powerful (which they are). What was a complaint about the first game, many areas looked the same because it was almost completely set in underground dungeons, is no longer an issue because each area looks unique with a variety of different locations to explore including many outdoor areas and different dungeons. Sound design is great as well and also helps make each ability and spell sound powerful.
Overall Torchlight 2 is a fantastic sequel that ultimately manages to hold its own against Diablo 3 as well as other games in the genre. Fantastic gameplay, a huge variety of loot (Hand Held Cannons!!!), great graphics and sound, and a decent story combine to make one of the most enjoyable loot fests of 2012.