They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and in the dungeon-crawler genre, Diablo is one heck of a flattered demoness. There’ve been plenty of games in recent years which have adopted a model similar to the style of play of Diablo, but few of them have managed to capture that charm and addictiveness. Torchlight is one of the exceptions to the rule, and after a successful debut a few years ago, the sequel launches tomorrow. And according to it’s developers, Torchlight 2 will offer more than Diablo 3.
Speaking to IGN, Runic CEO Max Schaefer said that while Diablo 3 was a good product, in comparison, Torchlight 2 would offer players a better offline single-player and replayability experience.
“First of all, I think [Blizzard’s] geting a bad rap. Meeting the expectations of the Diablo community is going to be impossible,” said Schaefer, who happened to be a former staff member there . “No matter what they do, it’s been 10 years and the expectations have built up so much. They’re going to run into criticism”.
They’ve actually put out a significant product there. But what I think we’re offering something that some players may prefer [with Torchlight 2], things like the offline single-player play. Basically, we’re not trying to create a secure economy.
We don’t have to have these crazy protection mechanisms in place. We’re giving our development tools out with the game so that the modding community can go crazy with it and make all kinds of cool new stuff.
Schaefer also mentioned that dungeons would be getting more randomised than a Powerball quick pick ticket, alongside some hefty character customisation, something which would undoubtedly draw more Diablo 3 comparisons.
Schaefer said there will be more randomization of dungeons and character customization with Torchlight compared to Diablo 3 as well. “Some of the criticism of Diablo III was about how there isn’t really a lot of differentiation between builds of a character, because they all unlock the same skills at the same time,” Schaefer said.
There’s less of an opportunity to make a character that’s truly individual for you. I think that could have the possibility of reducing longevity, because once you’ve played through it with a character, there’s no particular reason to go through and try a different build.
I think that we also have, maybe, a longer game at this point. More randomization. A little bit more replayability. I think that Diablo III focused a little more on super-polished mechanics and balance and look and art direction. They’re on a Blizzard level. They’re seriously good. But it’s at the expense, a little bit, of the replayability.
It’s pretty difficult not to draw comparisons between Diablo 3 and Torchlight 2, but Runic is playing things smart by ditching the online-only lock that so many Diablo 3 gamers have complained about. Torchlight 2 is essentially more of the same, but the addition of modding tools and various other offline-friendly features is the real hook of this game.
And as an added bonus for fans and music aficionados, you can even pick the soundtrack up for free right now.
Last Updated: September 19, 2012