One of the things I constantly look for in a game is good cooperative gameplay.
The draw for me is experiencing a story with a friend, much as I go to the movies with friends.
But just like movies, games can be disappointing, so a well-made game is always great to find.
One that stands out to me is the Torchlight game series by the Seattle-based Runic Games.
It’s a top-down third-person action role-playing game that puts you in a world gone crazy with Ember Blight, an insidious disease that corrupts anything it comes into contact with.
When I played the first Torchlight I was the Alchemist, oddly enough the same character that goes crazy in Torchlight II.
But in the second, I was the Outlander, master of ranged weapons and magic who focuses on debilitating enemies.
The Outlander is a walking ballistic weapons platform. Abilities include releasing a hail of bullets and shrapnel and dropping spells that slow enemies down to a crawl.
The primary weapon is a shotgun-like contraption that randomly inflicts ice or other damage in a cone of destruction to anything so dumb to get near me.
While not incredibly complicated in the beginning, skill points incrementally progress.
My personal setup is a pet that ferociously defends me while I rain gunfire onto de-buffed (negatively impact their ability the defend, attack or move etc. etc.) enemies from a distance. But the in-depth creativity lets you choose among many ways of making your character.
While the game’s combat is satisfying – what with the wanton destruction of baddies as soon as you see them – the storyline is a bit predictable.
You, the lone savior, must stop the crazed villain who was once your hero.
The game’s intense community offsets it predictability, however.
Mods are readily available if you ever get bored, though that’s doubtful since the campaign is HUGE and quite replayable with four unique classes.
The worlds are lush and pretty, and the the incentives the same gives you to explore are almost always worth it.
For example, some random corner might hold a hidden dungeon that includes a gloriously overpowered weapon as reward, or you might find a golden key to a locked crate.
The random mini-bosses are also a nice challenge and will defend their territory with gusto.
Overall, Torchlight is a fun game to chill out and play with a friend or sibling.
Geared toward kids 13 or older, the game can be a bit bloody, but the more gruesome effects can be turned off in settings, making it more acceptable for younger audiences.
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