Torchlight II is an isometric action role-playing game along the lines of Diablo III and other loot-focused experiences. Curiously enough, it came out on PC in 2012 and garnered stellar reviews. It's only taken Torchlight II seven years to land on Xbox One and other consoles. Luckily, it was well worth the wait because there's a lot to love about the game, especially on Xbox One X. While the story may be considered superfluous at best, the gameplay is stellar and holds up even after all these years as it offers overwhelming rewards.
Bottom line: Torchlight II may not have the best story, but its gameplay is amazing.
- Addictive loot-based gameplay
- Gorgeous pastel visuals
- Vast levels
- Intermittent voice acting
- Convoluted plot
- Some low-resolution textures
Torchlight II story and levels
Torchlight II's plot is somewhat convoluted. From my understanding, the story picks up after the events of the first game. The hero from Torchlight, The Alchemist, comes under the influence of a dark power and it's up to you to stop him. Your quest takes you to various locations, each filled with mysterious characters and loads of side quests. If you're an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, you'll probably want to play Torchlight before playing Torchlight II in order to understand the lore. Luckily, it was a free Games with Gold in August, so chances are that you already own it on your Xbox One.
The game features a lot of level variety. You'll go from lush plains to bright blue dungeons in the blink of an eye. The environments are just as vast as they are gorgeous. I don't think I've played an isometric experience like this where each area was this large. There are so many secrets and it'll take you a while to find them all. Some side quests are also a little difficult to understand at first, but if you keep on exploring a level, you should find the answers you're looking for.
Torchlight II loot and variety
Torchlight II relies on copious amounts of loot to keep you coming back for more. Even if you're playing at higher difficulties, there are near-constant upgrades. Not only can you equip a slew of weapons and armor, but you can insert various items in their sockets depending on your playstyle. Needless to say, there's a lot of variation baked into the game.
Due to the fact that there are countless weapon and armor drops, you'll frequently have to head back to town to sell your items. Luckily, Torchlight II makes it easy. You can use one of the portals to head back, or you can place everything you want to sell in your pet's inventory and send it back to town. This way, you can continue fighting, and in roughly a minute, your pet will return with a bucket of gold. Not only does your pet fight beside you, but it makes sure you don't have to bother yourself with mundane tasks.
Torchlight II graphics and performance
Torchlight II is a sight to behold on Xbox One X. Not only does the game run at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second (4K 60 FPS), but it also features pastel-colored environments. The gore is also quite explosive! Even though gameplay is locked at 4K 60 FPS, the menus seem like they're still being upscaled from 1080p. Any vector-based image is fine, but everything else is incredibly blurry. This can be quite jarring to witnesses because you have to go from crisp gameplay to blurry menus often. It's a shame that such a polished title lacks basic attention to detail.
Torchlight II gives you the ability to zoom into your character. While this is a great feature to have, especially when it comes to examining your armor and weapons, the world around you features low-resolution textures. It would've been nice to see some varying level of detail as you zoomed in. It's certainly not a deal-breaker, because you spend your entire time zoomed out, but it's still an issue because it demonstrates a lack of attention to detail.
Torchlight II final thoughts
Overall, Torchlight II is a great game that holds up even after all these years. The title is a lot of fun on your own, but it's even better when you're playing with friends. Just like the PC version, the Xbox One port features online co-op.
Considering the fact that the game only costs $20, it represents astonishing value because it'll take you dozens of hours to complete and features a lot of replayability. Just don't expect the best story.
It's finally here
Check it out on Xbox One X
The award-winning action role-playing game is back and better than ever! Torchlight II takes you back into the quirky, fast-paced world of bloodthirsty monsters.
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This review was conducted using a Torchlight II Xbox One copy provided by the publisher.
Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.