Kateri and I saw in the New Year playing Torchlight II together, running through our New Game+ to the next tier. We’re getting close to finishing now — our levels are in the late seventies (out of one hundred), so we’re closing in on the end game, such as it is. Kateri is working on collecting specific armour sets, and really wants to beat NG+5, and I’m happy to come along for the ride.
Despite the second-to-second gameplay being very satisfying as we’re running dungeon maps, I’ve been increasingly disillusioned with the long-term metagame of character building. There have been things I disliked to begin with that have since grown on me; equally there are others that have annoyed me more and more. Perhaps unfairly to the team at Runic Games, I can’t help but compare the game to Diablo III and lament the various end-game mechanics and systems that are glaringly missing. I’ve got a lot to say about Torchlight II and the action-roguelike-RPG genre, especially in light of all the Diablo III I’ve been playing, but I’m going to save and distill my thoughts until we’re properly done and write up a post-mortem.
Still. It’s multiplayer, and the playing together is fun, especially so with the laughter and delight of being a good team over Hangouts. We have a pet llama and a pet badger. We summon little armies of robots and glowy electrical shields, and then smash monsters very, very hard; it’s not at all difficult to enjoy the visceral thrill when the screen shudders with a huge explosion of flame from Kateri’s giant hammer and my huge cannon, and packs of monsters just crumble before us.