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Two Guns Blazing With A Weasel

At last, the computer gaming vacuum has been filled! There as numerous games I’m considering at the moment: Torchlight 2, Lara Croft: The Guardian of Light, Mark of the Ninja and the only full priced retail game XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I nearly got XCOM yesterday, but decided to hold off and give the more time digestible Torchlight experience a go.

Liking it at the moment. While I enjoyed Torchlight, Torchlight 2 is far superior.

The main difference is it breaks away from the ‘dungeon over a town’ model, which involved going ever deeper into the dungeon and only coming up for air to shop. Torchlight 2 has you wondering across the land meeting people and doing quests, some of which involve delving into dungeons to complete. It’s all very logical at the moment, with the game levelling you at the right times in the right areas, etc.

I’ve gone for the Outlander class, which is the ‘gunslinger with some secret weapons’. I tend to not like melee classes. I was tempted by the Engineer but I ultimately went with the old favourite.

I’ve got a levelling plan until about level 40, this is essential to remove any issues of build anxiety. It’s a stupid hang-up, but it hits me in all games of this type: will my choices gimp my character to the point the game becomes hard to impossible? The last thing I want to face is a feeling I need to start again due to the limited re-specification options in the game. Why games limit character re-designs I have no idea. It’s like some people take an obscene amount of pleasure in re-starting, learning how the builds work from one iteration to the next.

Nutters.

The plan is based on passive skills, because if I have too many active skills I’ll just forget to use them. Rapid Fire is working well to send a hail of armour decreasing, knockback bullets of death as my active skill, I’m then relying on passive skills to enhance the range and damage of my weapons as well as a passive summoning ability that has a chance of triggering on a kill a swarms of shadow bats to further enhance my damage output. Working well so far.

Like a lot of games of this type, you build a sort of rhythm that’s addictive as you move forward seeing new environments, new creatures and cause a swath of destruction only to pick up gear and try it out, etc. I’m sure there is probably some study on how it released the right type of chemicals. I’m playing it on normal difficulty, there are a few above that, including the ‘for nut jobs’ hardcore mode in which death means death. Never really understood why people enjoy that.

It’s the first game I’ve purchased off Steam. Wasn’t to keen at first as it involved downloading client software, but it seems okay. They’re obviously overlying some Xbox Live type of service across a range of disparate games from different publishers and it seems quite slick. Friends list. An easy way to take and share screen shots. A cloud service that should keep my saves persistent across machines, though I’ve not tried that yet. If they can get a vision of locked down and stable hardware agreed, I can see why someone thought a Steam ‘console’ was a good idea.

My interesting waned with the original Torchligtht and I didn’t complete it. I can’t 100% say this won’t happen with Torchlight 2, but I think the overland element will keep me more interested. The environments are more varied, it provides a feeling of exploration and opening up new parts of the world. Basically, like a lot of these Action RPGs, it’s like a diluted and distilled version of World of Warcraft without all the bollocks.

The big, new feature is the ability to play the game online with friends (or over a LAN). This means you can put a group together, have everything scale up and go lay the epic smackdown. This would be cool to try, especially with a good class distribution, but it’s unlikely to happen.

I need to try the game on my laptop. I’m hoping it works fine than I can play it for half an hour here and there when I’m away.

About Ian O'Rourke

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