Appearing in 2012, two years after the original Torchlight, Torchlight II was essentially a bigger and more feature-rich sequel, with a longer campaign, co-op gameplay and on PC at least, Steam workshop and mod support. Seven years on, we have Torchlight II on the Nintendo Switch.
Although the original Torchlight was seen — unfairly — by many as a cartoony, bargain-bin version of Diablo, many action-RPG fans voiced preference for Torchlight over Blizzard’s much more serious-toned dungeon crawler. With its bright color palette, less demonic storyline and unique gameplay elements, like fishing and animal avatar pets, both the first game and Torchlight II were every bit as addictive and carpal-tunnel inducing as Diablo or Titan Quest.
As a classic dungeon crawler experience, it’s hard to beat Torchlight II and in truth it wins over Blizzard’s flagship game when it comes to the sheer amount of loot and its less linear, more open design. Although classes are a little more locked into their defined roles and the story is just barely robust enough to move the action forward, Torchlight II is every bit as replayable and addictive as Diablo and its progeny.
Although it lacks mod support, Torchlight II has been ported to the Switch intact with the game’s full campaign, procedurally generated dungeons and four player co-op play. Thanks to its simple-by-design art style, the game has aged pretty well visually and is as bright and colorful as it was on the PC. Unlike some ports to the Switch, the graphics don’t seem to have been downgraded to run on the system. At least when docked, Torchlight II looks good but in handheld mode, the diminutive size of the characters, coupled with the lighting and spell effects, make the action hard to follow, a problem shared by many ARPGs on the system, including the Diablo 3 port.
In the seven years since Torchlight II was released, dungeon crawlers have both evolved into a more complex genre and toyed with mechanics pulled from outside them, such as roguelikes. However, complicated doesn’t always mean better and it’s hard to deny Torchlight II’s addictive and immediately accessible gameplay and overall, it seems like a natural fit for the Nintendo Switch.