Torchlight for Two

This weekend, Kateri and I got into Torchlight 2 and reached the town of Zeryphesh, which marks the start of Act II. We’ve both switched characters since we started playing; I’ve gone from a sword-and-board engineer to a cannoneer build, and Kateri has switched from an embermage to a two-handed melee engineer. I’m really enjoying my comically-oversized cannon, where every shot is like a small explosion, and Kateri has found a great affinity for “fixing” things by smashing them very, very hard with a huge hammer.

It’s been a lot of fun. We’re clearing dungeons with ease (two healbots!) and swapping loot when something exceptional drops. The plot is very forgettable, but the gameplay is great. Like a good Diablo-style roguelike should, Torchlight 2 showers you in drops, with lots of tiny incremental gains, set bonuses and . We had to stop and pause every ten minutes or so to perform inventory triage and make check for incremental upgrades. It was getting a bit much, so I suggested that we should start ignoring dropped “normal” items, just to streamline the loot cycle a little. In a few more level’s time, I guess we’ll be doing the same for merely “magical” items, too.

Being in a long-distance relationship can be hard sometimes, but daft as it might sound, we’ve found multiplayer games like this a real help. It gives you a kind of temporary physical space to inhabit together, a common activity, a shared puzzle to solve. Plus, of course, it’s a wonderful feeling when you both burst out laughing, sit back with sweaty palms and go, “holy shit!” after taking down a huge flame-belching clockwork monstrosity together. United in pixelated carnage.

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