Runic Games, who put out last year’s excellent light dungeon romp, Torchlight (which sold more than half a million copies and which you can now buy in a box on the shelf at Fry’s) has got something new lined up for us.
Torchlight II is slated for Spring 2011 and it will address some of the “I want” features that many of us asked for.
Key game features listed on the Torchlight II site:
- Multi-player – Play with your friends over a local area network, or over the Internet. A free matchmaking peer-to-peer service lets you make new friends for exciting co-op play.
- Customizable Characters – Players create and customize a character from one of four classes available and choose an animal companion. Through cosmetic, class, and gender choices, skill path decisions, and the treasures they acquire, each character can be custom-tailored to each player’s needs.
- Moddability – Torchlight II will release with an updated version of TorchEd, the Torchlight editor. Players have the option to create their own mods, adding even more content to the world. You and your friends can download the same mod and play together!
- New User Interface – Torchlight II boasts an entirely new, improved user interface, designed to be easier than ever for new players to pick up and play. Thanks to this intuitive interface, players have immediate access to a rich and varied world, with little experience necessary.
- Overworld Areas – Torchlight II has large randomized overworld areas to explore with weather, time of day cycles, and random events that provide players with even more content to experience.
- Random Dungeons – Delve into randomly generated dungeons within the game at any time for extra experience and rare loot. Dungeons in Torchlight II have even more branching paths to explore with friends filled with random events, rewards and dangers.
- Retirement System – Once characters are sufficiently leveled up, they can “retire” and bestow specific benefits and perks onto new characters.
- Pets – Players choose a pet to accompany them. Pets level up along with the player, and help in battle, learn spells, carry items, and perform a variety of support services.
- Fishing – Fishing returns in the sequel! Players can take a break from the high-energy pace of adventuring to relax by one of the many fishing holes and see what they can catch. Fish have unique benefits for the player and pet, while a number of other rewards can also be discovered.
Clearly, multi-player Co-op play is the huge item on the list. That, for me, was the big missing piece from Torchlight.
And then there is the promised date. If Runic can make Spring 2011 I am sure they will beat Diablo III to market by a wide margin.
Of course, the team at Runic Games was largely responsible for the Diablo series, so it is no wonder they might be lighter on their feet when creating another game in that genre.