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Torchlight 2 Preview
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Runic Games is attempting to one-up their own game Torchlight with a sequel. The original Torchlight is a Diablo-like game. That means you choose your class and get dropped into a world filled with monsters that you kill in various visually-pleasing ways.

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

If you take a look at the various screenshots and videos currently available for Torchlight 2, you’ll probably get a sense of déjà-vu. That’s because Runic built this sequel on top of the same engine used for the original Torchlight. This is to ensure that a wide range of systems can run it. If your old rig could play the original, it can play this too. That doesn’t mean they haven’t done their best to improve the graphics some.

Essentially, Runic is just trying to tweak the original formula to add more content and fix the few complaints fans and critics had of the original. Possibly the biggest news the followers of the first is the inclusion of a multiplayer mode in Torchlight 2. You’ll now be able to use matchmaking to find games over the internet. If that’s not your style, Runic also promises LAN capabilities for the game. So get those sleeping bags reading for long nights of adventuring.

A Few Changes to Spice Things Up

To change things up a little from the first, the original three classes will no longer be available for play (though you may see them about the game as NPCs). Instead, you choose from one of four brand new classes. These are the Berserker, the Outlander, the Embermage, and the Engineer. You’ll also be able to choose your toon’s gender this time around too.

Seeing as quite a few members of the team also had a hand in developing Diablo 2, it’s not surprising they are mimicking some of the features of Blizzard’s upcoming blockbuster. Just like Diablo 3, Torchlight 2 promises to include instanced loot. What does that mean for you? It means no more bickering over who gets the shiny that just dropped from that boss your group just killed.

A Necessary Comparison

In fact, the team seems well aware of Diablo 3. Some team members have voiced an interest in releasing Torchlight 2 before Diablo 3 can come and steal its thunder. This makes sense, although Torchlight 2 still has a few things going for it over its big brother. For one, Runic has announced they’ll be selling digital copies of Torchlight 2 for a low of $19.99. That’s quite the difference from the premium $59.99 most retailers are demanding for pre-orders of Diablo 3.

So if you had a blast incinerating, shooting, or chopping your enemies into little bits in the first game, keep your eyes open for a firm release date. At $19.99, what excuse do you really have?  

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