This weekend I participated in the Torchlight 2 beta. I am inclined to say, “Hot damn pick this bad boy up”. Torchlight 2 is only twenty bucks! Diablo 3 released on May 15th. Runic expects a June or July release for T2 if I remember correctly and the beta is closing for everyone on May 22nd further indicating an impending release.
Right now Diablo 3 is $59.99. Torchlight 2’s pre-order cost is $19.99. You can pick up three copies of Torchlight 2 with a group of friends and get the fourth free. So you can technically pre-order for about $14.99. Steam pre-orders get a free copy of the original Torchlight. I am not aware of any such offer that was or is available for Diablo 3.
Diablo 3 forces you to login and play online. If the servers are down you can’t load up a save offline. If the servers shut down permanently (of course mega juggernaut Blizzard will likely keep them up for a decade or more) then you never get to play again. D3 has DRM and no one likes DRM. There’s no LAN but friends can pop in and out of your games online seamlessly. Torchlight 2 allows you to create an Internet/LAN game for your friends (or anyone) to join. In the T2 beta Internet games were just as fluid and smooth.
T2 also supports the modding community which I’m sure that Diablo 3 does not. We’re always happy about that.
Areas are much larger than in the original Torchlight and are randomly generated (Diablo 3 does not randomly generate maps). Both games are gorgeous but personally I feel that there is less replay value in a game that looks exactly the same compared to one that does not on the next playthrough.
Torchlight 2 has a lot of improvements. I was really happy with one of them. Say you’re using a bow and you’re holding down the button to keep firing. You can easily turn (or adjust aim) while firing by moving the mouse. This works for all classes abilities as far as I know. It might not sound that special but it is when you experience how fluid it is in T2. Especially compared to the alternative and awkward combat in a lot of similar games (like D3). Any break that you can give your poor fingers is welcome.
Things like that make a big difference and I expected Blizzard to revolutionize the genre but they did quite the opposite. Diablo 3 takes several steps back from its predecessors. There’s no real improvement to combat whatsoever. Some of the abilities (especially early game) seem like you’re firing a dud. Others are really fun to use. But to be fair these “duds” are the unupgraded abilities and do get better.
Runic is quite an amazing company. They give gamers what they ask for rather than shoving restrictions down our throats. I thank them for that. Blizzard in the past few years has seemed to go down the toilet with the announcement of World of Warcraft’s Pandaria expansion and the dumbing down of the Diablo franchise. I don’t know what is up their ass but they are in dire need of a rectal exam.
When I played Diablo 3 I just was not wowed whatsoever and got bored in less than two hours. I couldn’t put Torchlight 2 down. Both games share a lot of beauty (great looking maps for example) but T2 just has far too many superior features and personally in my beta experiences. I have not played retail D3 yet.
I am going to give T2 the crown and the “mark of awesomeness”. No contest. So pick it up. You won’t regret it. It’s only twenty bucks.
Crysis 3 has been announced for 2013 for PC, 360 and PS3. Three pre-order packs have been announced such as the stalker pack, overkill pack and the predator pack. Preorders get access to a bow, nanosuit model, multiplayer experience bonuses, skins and dog tags.
Torchlight 2 will support LAN and Internet Co-op with up to six players. It is said to be well optimized to run on older hardware and the engine has been updated. According to this video the game will be a very reasonable $19.99. One of the greatest things about Torchlight was the random area generation. Torchlight 2 will also have randomly generated areas outdoor.
More prototype screenshots of 0x10c have been found online (rather than officially released). There’s nothing promising about these images whatsoever. Of course they are images of extremely early development. I’m not expecting much more than a very simplistic and featureless lego Eve Online with somewhat better graphics than Minecraft.
The Better Business Bureau has concluded that technically Bioware committed false advertising with Mass Effect 3. Some outlets such as Amazon actually took refunds for Mass Effect 3. Bioware used to be my absolute favorite game company. Sadly EA ruined them, but they seem to be getting the idea now.
Supposedly EA is laying off 500 to 1000 employees due to the lackluster performance of Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic. I’m not sure where this ridiculous claim originated. EA has denied this claim and personally I think it’s in the least very inaccurate. I don’t believe for a minute that EA employs anywhere near 500 people for BF3 and The Old Republic. EA has also recouped the cost of development for both by now.
Update: Not only were the reports of EA layoffs apparently bogus but EA reports that it will have its largest employee base yet by the end of 2012.
World of Warplanes Preview
TERA Online Closed Beta V – Races, Classes and Thoughts
Hands On: Fireball Beta
SWTOR: Tracking the Origins Quest – The Republic
Aion: Free to Play
Crysis 3: Set for 2013 on PC, 360 and PS3
Torchlight 2 PAX Walkthrough
Star Wars The Old Republic: Operation Explosive Conflict
TERA Online Character Creation: Video 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
World of Tanks: One Year Anniversary
Diablo 3 Monk Spotlight
PAX East 2012 kicked off on April 6th and ended on the 8th. I’ve compiled a bit of videos, photos, game trailers and other information released around the time of PE2012. Max Payne 3 has a solid release date of May 29. Torchlight 2 and Grand Theft Auto 5 are expecting June and October dates.
Barely clothed cosplayer and model for Warner Bros. Games Jessica Nigiri was asked to cover herself up. Later she was asked to change. A bit of controversy arose from this incident and here is what I assume is an official explanation. Here is an interview with Nigiri at PE12.
You can now pre-order Guild Wars 2!
Mojang has released a prototype screenshot of 0x10c.
Guns of Icarus Online: Trailer #2
Diablo 3 Barbarian Class Trailer
PAX East 2012:
Hawken: Destructoid Hands-on / Dev. Interview 1 / Dev. Interview 2 / Trailer
Borderlands 2: Interview 1 / Interview 2 / Interview 3 / Hands-on
Torchlight 2: Berserker Video / Preview
GTA5: ETA October
Torchlight 2: ETA June
Max Payne 3: Releasing on May 29, 2012 in NA and June 1, 2012 internationally.
PAX East 2012 Photos:
Gameinformer: Day 1 / Day 2
Jessica Nigiri: Gallery
TORWars: Galactic Gallery of Awesome
DarthHater: Day Two and Three
PAX East 2012 show floor image source: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/pax-east-2012?before=1334005306