Title: Torchlight II
Developer: Runic Games, Panic Button
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Reviewed On: Switch
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Genre: Isometric Action RPG
I have always enjoyed isometric action RPGs akin to those found in the Diablo franchise, and I have played a good variety of them over the years. Something is addicting about games such as Path of Exile, Magicka, and of course, Diablo that always has me losing track of time and playing into the late hours of the night. Now, to both my detriment and enjoyment, Torchlight II has made its way onto the Nintendo Switch. While I am glad that one of my favorite games in the genre now has a solid mobile port, I am worried about the amount of sleep I will be losing as I hunt for loot and fight waves of monsters.
For those unfamiliar with the Torchlight series, Torchlight and Torchlight II are isometric hack and slash RPGs that feature randomly generated dungeons filled with various monsters and bosses. Players must slay enemies as they complete quests, level up their character, and search for copious amounts of epic loot. Torchlight II is a direct sequel to the first Torchlight and keeps many of the same elements of the game while adding some additional features, the main one being multiplayer. The Torchlight series draws heavily from the older and more well-known Diablo series of games, but the difference in tone, art style, and character customization, as well as the addition of mechanics such as pets, is enough to give Torchlight its own identity and make it its own thing.
I found the Nintendo Switch port of Torchlight II to be exactly what I was looking for, as I enjoyed the added portability that the console provided. Since there is a lot of content to be explored in these types of games, I think it is nice that you can pick up and put down the game at your leisure — instead of having to be in front of a PC or TV to play. Playing Torchlight II on the go made the game feel like a new experience and the whole thing is great for those periods where you need to kill some time between other obligations. For those, like myself, who have no self-control, there is also the bonus of being able to play the game for longer periods since you never have to put the game down because you can take the game with you anywhere since it can be played entirely offline.
Torchlight II for the Nintendo Switch plays great for the most part. The UI design for the Switch version of the game is unobtrusive, and everything feels very clean and responsive. I think navigating the item, skills, and stats menu is intuitive and uses the Switch controls well. However, during my time with the game, descriptions for the items and stats had a minor bug where the description sometimes didn’t match the object I was hovering over. For example, when hovering over the strength stat, it would sometimes give me the dexterity description. The dev team is aware of these issues and they will hopefully be patched soon. Other than that, the interface for the Nintendo Switch is very clean, making it easy to dive right into playing the game.
One particular thing that I was surprised and disappointed with, though, was the fact that the game does not offer local co-op play on the same device. While there is a multiplayer for Torchlight II on the Nintendo Switch, you are limited to playing either online or via local multiplayer with each player being required to have their device and copy of the game. I think this was a missed opportunity especially since Diablo III is also on the Nintendo Switch and that allows for you to play on the same device via multiple joy-con controllers. A big draw for me for Torchlight II was that it finally added multiplayer to the series, and it is a shame to see that it wasn’t taken to the next level of having couch co-op for the console.
Overall, Torchlight II is still as fun as ever. The added benefit of the game being on the Nintendo Switch, which lets you play the game on the go, is also a huge win. Torchlight II was already worth checking out before and it is most certainly worth checking out now, especially for console owners who haven’t had the pleasure of playing the game yet. While the game currently has some minor bugs and a lack of local couch co-op, I still highly recommend any Nintendo Switch owner to consider adding this one to their collection.
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