Thursday, May 10, 2012

Torchlight II

Finally, something to be excited about.

Diablo III is releasing next Tuesday and I couldn't care less. Zero interest. I know this is heresy, but I thought both Diablo games lacked personality.

Of course, I did play all the way through the first Diablo, and I didn't really understand that it lacked personality until I played a game called "Fate." It was only then that I realized what I had been missing.

Travis Baldree designed and programmed Fate, and it will always be on my list of all-time favorite games. It's also absolutely my favorite game in the "Diablo" genre.

Well, hold on. It's my favorite game unless the next game Baldree made--Torchlight--is the favorite instead.

I think you're seeing the general trend here. The games Travis makes are jam-packed with personality and humor, in addition to being extremely (and I mean EXTREMELY) well-designed.

I was able to spend a few hours with the Torchlight II beta in the last few days, and it's another terrific game. It's still firmly in the Torchlight canon, but the super-saturated environmental palletes of the first game has given way to a more subtle, slightly pastel look, which is tremendously striking.

Animations are outstanding and combat is incredibly fluid. The design consistently facilitates the player experience, because everything in terms of character management is logically laid out and easy to find. It's just an ultra-slick, ultra-polished piece of work, and it should have absolutely no problems finding a foothold in the market, Diablo III be damned.

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