Torchlight 2 Review with Synergies (2014)

Sections: HomeContent, Economy, Mechanics, Gameplay, Community & Support, Technical, Conclusion, Resources


Graphics, Sound & Music, Interface, Connectivity & Security, Mod Subscription, Patches and Bugs

The cartoony visuals paired with lively sounds and a simple yet useful interface provides a gaming experience any player can quickly immerse themselves in and experience on nearly any type of computer. There really are no technical issues with the game itself other than the multi-player synchronization problems, but there are problems with the subscription to and synchronization of mods. Overall, the game is smooth and solid.

Powered by a custom version of the Ogre 3D engine, the graphics of TL2 blend well together in a pastel style of artwork which includes the blood splats and exploding bodies. The Enhanced Texture custom mod refines all of the textures in-game, creating a better visual presentation throughout the world. The configurable settings for TL2 are very basic, focusing on anti-aliasing, vsynch, lighting, skinning and bloom. For players who have older machines, they can disable and lower the detail of certain features in order to speed things up.

The sound is very well done, representing the carnage of weapons in a symphony of fun and exciting combat noise. The music is nostalgic of Diablo 2 (which I think has one of the best sound tracks of any game) and blends well with a player’s adventuring.

The interface is very basic and features only six main panels: the Character (C) Panel, the Pet (P) Panel and the Arcane Statistics (J) panels, which appear on the left. The Skills (S), Inventory (I) and Quests (Q) panels appear on the right. The interface is very easy to use and understand, and clicking on the little ? to right right of the 0 buffer will bring up a quick guide to the UI for new players.

The built-in help screen, keeping things simple.
The built-in help screen, keeping things simple.

Connectivity can be an issue with multi-player synchronization and security really has no place since there are no secure servers, but there is a mechanism in the game where characters that have been modified with the console or appear to be “illegally tweaked” are marked with a red ! by the client.

Unfortunately, there are numerous problems with the mod subscription system from Steam where some of the larger mods will hang and never complete installation. What often happens is the download does complete to a temp location, but the TL2 launcher doesn’t copy the file. This is a fairly trivial problem that could easily be fixed, but as mentioned, the devs appear to be MIA. The way around this is to manually copy the files from the temp directory into the mods directory or manually install the files from the mod source (outside of the Steam mod subscription).

Want to install the mods mentioned herein, and also browse additional top rated mods? You can browse the Top Rated All Time mods. Note links to the mods recommended in this review are found at the end under Additional Resources.

It’s been almost 9 months since the last patch, but aside from the above multi-player and mod subscription problems, the product is essentially bug free.

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