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Torchlight II Beta Preview at Gamebanshee

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Torchlight II Beta Preview at Gamebanshee

Preview - posted by Crooked Bee on Mon 14 May 2012, 21:39:44

Tags: Eric Schwarz; Runic Games; Torchlight II

In today's other hack'n'slash news, Gamebanshee's Eric Schwarz has done a three-page preview of Torchlight II based on his hands-on experience with the game's beta. Have a snippet:

As much as I enjoyed the varied classes, I also had to say that the balance on a lot skills and even entire character types needs some work. I started out with an Outlander, a gunslinger character who can cast spells, and found that the low damage output from dual pistols simply didn't compete with two-handed bows, for example, and my basic starter skill, Throw Glaive, was far more useful at first level than some of my other skills and spells even when they had multiple points put into them. Meanwhile, my Engineer's Gun Bot, a summon-able robot with a machine gun attached, was so powerful that it could easily dispatch bosses in seconds without me ever having to take a swing myself. The Embermage, meanwhile, had some fun spells, but they were a bit too expensive to cast without chugging down Mana Potions constantly, and there was no way to boost Mana regeneration that I came across.

Last, while the basic combat was a ton of fun and well balanced on Veteran difficulty, the boss fights I played were a pain despite being well designed, due to excessive HP bloat. I am not exaggerating when I say that the first major boss took me about ten minutes of kiting and potion-quaffing, as well as multiple deaths and resurrections to beat, despite me being at the recommended level and having reasonably good equipment. That same boss, however, was a complete joke when played in multiplayer with other people, or when played on the Normal difficulty setting. In fact, Normal as a whole was a complete cakewalk, and at one point I had over 100 unused Health Potions sitting in my toolbelt - while it's recommended for new players, the game was positively boring on that setting and posed no challenge. A lot of tweaking needs to be done to ensure that all difficulty settings are both fun and challenging for different players, and in both solo and multiplayer contexts.

Closing Thoughts

Overall, despite those balance problems, I had a blast with the time I spent playing the Torchlight II beta. Runic have shown they're hard at work tweaking the game and collecting bug reports, so I expect things to improve that way once the game hits store shelves and digital distribution platforms in (hopefully) a few months. The improvements to the game world, character system and combat as a whole are very substantial, and despite being a budget-priced title, Torchlight II is set to pack a serious amount of gameplay, as well as a great deal more variety and more features than the original game ever did.​

Torchlight II, Diablo III, Path of Exile, Grim Dawn. I guess you hack'n'slash fans must be happy.

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