Must…find…more…loot! So many games have adopted the philosophy of constantly dumping a bunch of loot so players can constantly upgrade their characters. It used to be confined to the RPG genre, but it has infiltrated everything from shooters to racers and even to some sports games! One of the first titles to really drive home how awesome it feels to constantly find new treasure was Diablo. Many years later I’ve played countless variations, some great and some not so good. As many PC gamers out there probably already know, Torchlight II falls into the great category, which is why it’s so awesome to be able to pick up and play it anytime and anywhere on the Switch!
Having never played any of the games in the series, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect to find with Torchlight II. A few years back I played through to the end of Diablo III on the PlayStation 4 and then last year I played a ton of the Switch version. There’s something mindlessly entertaining about hacking and slashing thousands of enemies and constantly upgrading weapons and armor. That same addictive gameplay loop is persistently present here. Don’t get too attached to your gear as you’ll no doubt be changing it out every ten minutes or so. Each item you collect comes with unique stats, including elemental attributes that can aid in certain situations. While you may be tempted to just equip the gear that gives you a higher number, sometimes it’s important to look at the secondary attributes as they can come in handy.
Booting up Torchlight II for the first time I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had heard of the series in passing, but never followed it in any meaningful manner. The first thing that struck me was the game’s graphics, which sort of reminded me of a cartoony Diablo. In some ways it features some of the same stylistic visuals that you might find in a game like World of Warcraft or the more obscure Kingdoms of Amalur. I sort of dig the more fantasy-like setting presented here and there are a vast amount of different environments to explore on your quest. The game runs just fine on the TV and in handheld mode.
In addition to your gear that is constantly changing, you also have access to a pet that can aid you in battle. My little friend was very good at egging on the enemies and putting them down when I needed a little assistance. I didn’t have to give it any orders; it just sort of did its thing. You can even gear him up with different collars and whatnot, which can make him even stronger.
Perhaps the biggest glaring omission in the game is the lack of couch co-op. I realize that this wasn’t present in any of the other version either, but with the Switch I thought it’d make perfect sense to unclick a Joy-Con and hand it to a friend for some co-op fun. Perhaps it would have taken way too much work to get this mode in the game, but it does seem like a big miss for the console that promotes sharing the joy. At least there’s four-player online co-op, which in reality is probably good enough for most people.
I had a fun time with Torchlight II and it feels like a more family friendly version of Diablo III. The game has a more lighthearted atmosphere and the graphics are definitely on the more colorful side. For the amount of content and the low $20 price, this one’s a no-brainer for fans of loot RPGs. It’s also perfect for those just starting out as the game isn’t overly difficult and it won’t break the bank to give it a try. It lacks some of the production value of Blizzard’s established megahit, but don’t let that deter you from giving this one a go.
Torchlight II Review
- Graphics - 8/108/10
- Sound - 7/107/10
- Gameplay - 7.5/107.5/10
- Lasting Appeal - 8/108/10
Final Thoughts: GREAT
Torchlight II is a great alternative to Diablo III on the Switch. It carries a Teen rating, which is more appropriate for younger gamers and a great introduction to the dungeon crawling loot RPG genre. A lack of local co-op on one Switch is a bit disappointing, but the four player online co-op more than makes up for it.