I still believe that a big turning point for third party support on Switch was when Blizzard committed to bringing Diablo 3 out last year.
It was the perfect Switch game, a massive RPG with an incredible pedigree that seemed to have a natural home on a handheld. It was also the first major Blizzard title to appear on Nintendo hardware in years.
Ever since, the third party library of games on Switch has gone from strength to strength, leaving its predecessor firmly in the dust. Some ports have gone on to be beloved staples, some not so much. One, I’m incredibly happy to say works like a charm is Torchlight II.
And why shouldn’t it? Diablo 3 was an excellent port, not leaving any of the goodness behind while running like a dream, and Torchlight II plays in much the same way. It’s a hack and slash dungeon crawler where you complete quests far and wide for gold, loot, and fame.
I mean, Panic Button were handling it. What did we have to worry about?
I’m absolutely hooked. I can’t put the game down and when I’m not playing Torchlight II, I’m thinking about it. This game on Switch is a dream come true.
Runic Games have crafted their own distinct fantasy world where you can rear Pandas as pets and explore vast mountainous steppes to confront your foe.
A foe, interestingly, that you played in the original game. Torchlight II’s narrative sees the original protagonist become corrupted by the Ember that dwells beneath the town of Torchlight.
It seems his epic battle with Ordrak from the original game was too much and time has led him down a much darker path.
But while this a natural continuation of the original game, Torchlight II is very much its own self-contained narrative that spans three massive acts plus an epic conclusion. It’s substantially bigger than the original.
As you’d expect from a game similar to Diablo, you’ll regularly switch out your equipment – changing between weapons and armor – eventually able to enchant and socket them for increased stats.
Stats which can be levelled up through the course of the game, increasing things like dexterity and strength.
You’ll need to keep an eye on mana, dependent on the class you pick, as some abilities are only usable if you’ve got energy in the pool. As such, it’s a game where you’ll need to alternate attacks, while sensibly switching out abilities as you continue to level.
What’s really refreshing about Torchlight 2 compared to its predecessor as that there are complete class changes. Those you played in the first game aren’t available here, including the controversial Alchemist.
I decided to opt for a female Outlander – which is essentially a hunter type class with ranged magic and traps – but there’s also a strong Engineer class which can actually create bots to help fight with it, an Embermage, and a hand to hand combat Berserker.
The class is really effective and I have to say I rarely struggled while playing through, but you can also tweak the difficulty if you’re finding things a bit too easy. But there’s a nice range of abilities, like boomerang style attack that takes on multiple enemies, and a machine-gun type ability that sends multiple arrows soaring.
I can only speak for the Switch port, but it works an absolute charm on the handheld, barely any stuttering or loading screens to speak of, the controls are mostly well mapped, though it can get a little busy and clunky when not using a Pro pad due to the small buttons.
You can change the positioning of items and casts as you like, making use of all buttons on Switch, but if you really wanted to focus on just a few attacks, you could quite easily do that as well.
There’s a ton of content to get through here, and if you’ve been itching for something similar to Diablo to get into, Torchlight 2 is an absolute must-have.
It does, of course, lack the mod opportunities PC owners have enjoyed for years, and therefore misses a massive chunk of what makes the game special. But the content Runic Games have here is excellent and Panic Button have done a remarkable job of making it run as it should.
Torchlight 2 is a must-have on Switch if you’re a budding adventurer with a desire for action. Probably one of the system’s best stealth-drops to date. Buy, buy, then buy again!
Torchlight 2 is now available on PS4, Xbox One and Switch
Reviewer played on Switch
Code provided by Perfect World