A lengthy narrated walkthrough of the delightful looking Torchlight 2 narrated by Max Schaefer, CEO of Runic Games, has made its way out of the procedurally generated dungeon that is the Penny Arcade Expo. It's below, and it looks charming enough: seven minutes of low-level creature stomping in one of the opening areas. It's all the information that comes tumbling out of his lips that is the interesting part. Oh. That wasn't a pleasant sentence. Quickly, let's move on to multiplayer lan support and more than three times the content before all of us need to have a shower together.
Yeah, so the interesting things: Runic have locked down all the content, and are now just polishing things to a mirror sheen. And that sounds like a lot of content: Schaefer boasts that by the time you're through the first two thirds of the first act, of which there are three, you'll have seen as much content as there was in the entire run of the first game. Extending that are three major hub cities and day/night and weather cycles affecting the overworld, of which is promised a "vast" randomly generated map with random events, as well as all the randomly generated dungeons in which to collect all that randomly generated loot. Mmm, aren't procedurally generated things tasty. Thank goodness it's a good source of nutrition.
The multiplayer portion has also been expanded, from "none" to "lots!", featuring up to six players over online or LAN, the difficulty level multiplying as more players join. Your player characters will be able to move freely between multiplayer and their own singleplayer campaign. Waypoints, dungeon teleporters in the first game, now allow you to beam instantly to a multiplayer friends location. And all of this will apparently run on the same old netbooks (man, remember those?) the first game did thanks to optimised code.
As for a release date, there's no official word yet - just that they're working their way around a "certain competitor," whatever that is. Schaefer did confirm however that it'll be sold for the bargin price of $20. I really enjoyed the first Torchlight, simple as it was, even though the lack of multiplayer bordered on the criminal. The more I see about Torchlight 2, the more it seems like "more Torchlight, with friends" which is exactly what I want from it.
Here's hoping we'll be able to play with puppies and kittens soon.