Runic Games’ highly-anticipated sequel to 2009′s fantastic dungeon-crawler now has an official date of release, as announced by Torchlight II’s game designer Travis Baldree on the game’s official forum. It is battling its way to PC’s on September 20th, with a current Steam price of $20.
The game has encountered many delays, presumably to avoid clashing with the (arguably) bigger Blizzard title Diablo III back in May, preventing a split in sales. While similarities between the two games will inevitably continue to be alluded to amongst gaming communities (what with Runic Games being comprised of previous Blizzard co-founders), both stand alone as excellent titles in their own right.
For those not up-to-speed on the Torchlight series, the original game consists of the famous Diablo-style gameplay – but is far from a simple clone. It’s a much more colourful, light-hearted take on the isometric action-RPG genre with a unique style and quirky characters. The sequel adds four new character classes (Outlander, Embermage, Berserker and Engineer); online and local co-op play; as well as an improved character customisation, user interface and moddability with the returning “TorchED”. Also making their return are pets and fishing in “improved form” (as the website promises), as well as new environments further out from the humble town of Torchlight. After the defeat of villain Ordrak in the original, an unknown entity is now attempting to ressurrect his power. Its up to the playing to choose their hero and defeat this evil once again.
The original game was fantastically addicting and absorbing, and the fact that a bigger and better instalment is arriving within a mere three weeks is very exciting. This announcement is bittersweet, however, as there is unfortunately still no word on a console release. While the success of the first game likely means that XBLA and PSN versions of the sequel are inevitable, its a longer wait for console players such as myself. In the meantime though, its a time to rejoice for dungeon-hunting mouse-clickers!