Torchlight III received a press copy of Torchlight II last weekend, and even though the week has been utterly crazy (Eli 11.1 was sick for the last two days), I've been able to get in four hours of play.
Up front, let me remind you that I thought Fate was a much better game than Diablo, and also that Torchlight was a much better game than Diablo II. More personality, more color, more fun.
Torchlight II is fun--I'm having a blast--but trying to explain why gets a bit more complicated. Yes, it's beautiful, and the sound and lighting effects are terrific, and it's highly-polished, and the animations are wonderful. That's all true. There something on top of that, though, and it took me several hours to find a way to describe it adequately.
Torchlight II is TiVo.
Remember the original TiVo? Remember how the "peanut" remote fit perfectly into your hand, and all the buttons were in the "right" place? And there were just the right number of buttons, not too many? Every function on the TiVo was easy to use. Everything made sense.
That's how Torchlight II works. I'm not sure I've ever played a game where the interface is so intuitive and easy to use. It's incredibly accommodating, and there are a ton of shortcuts (explained in the loading screens) that make the game even easier to control.
The reason it's so impressive, to me, is that a ton of information is available via the interface. Inventories. Skills. Character ratings. Spells. It's all arranged so cleverly, though, that it quickly becomes second nature to access anything.
This game was designed by people who know how to design games.
On top of that, I have a level 15 Engineer who has a big-ass hammer and a special flame hammer attack, and seeing lines of fire blast out from the hammer in all directions never gets old. Never. And my pet is a hawk named "Kubrick".
That's not me being clever. That was one of the random pet name suggestions.
I'll have much more to write about Torchlight II in a week or so, but in the meantime, you clearly need to be playing this.