This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on “Western” role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity.
Here’s the moment I realized I loved Torchlight 2: It’s the screenshot right above this. This is an Engineer. He’s actually my second engineer, and probably the sixth or seventh character I made – although most of the others had only been played for a few minutes. In this case, I created him because my previous main character, around level 40, was running into extreme, frustrating difficulty in the third act. He was also intended to be used primarily in multiplayer, built upon the Engineer’s more supportive skill tree (Construction) for which hand cannons are the ideal weapon.
Then I bought him a helmet that looked like a mask, and I realized: I’d just made a Big Daddy from BioShock. And playing my Big Daddy was some of the most fun I’d ever had in an action RPG.
Aesthetically, it’s good to look at. It’s not just the excellent paper doll effects, it’s also the way the Engineer carries the cannon and the recoil when firing. I actually found the original Torchlight‘s aesthetics off-putting, but tweaks in setting, tone, and graphics did just enough that my distaste turned to enjoyment. While that’s a necessary component of what made me enjoy my ‘Construction’ Engineer, it’s not the most important aspect.
Gallery: Torchlight 2
How Torchlight 2 gets character progression so right originally appeared on Joystiq on Fri, 12 Oct 2012 21:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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