Well, I wanted to get my thoughts on Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Prime 2011 wrapped up and on paper in a timely manner, but then Deus Ex, Space Pirates and Zombies, and real life interfered. My apologies are offered in advance for the bad photography which may be blamed on little practice and no training of any kind.
Let’s start with the game demos, leading off with my game of show:
Runic had an understated booth that wasn’t getting the attention it deserved on Friday. Toydonut and I were able to get into relatively short lines and were playing in equally short order. Torchlight 2 is everything Runic said it would be, i.e. Torchlight with co-op. Playing as an Outlander I was able to accept a quest (complete with well-written flavor text) to kill a boss monster, team up with a couple other demoers, and then go down into a two-level dungeon and kill said boss in the span of 15 minutes. The addition of a skillbar and UI improvements made killing fodder hordes feel easier than ever. As a demo, Torchlight 2 came off as being incredibly well-thought out and the concentrated approach it took to represent its gameplay distinguished it from anything else on the floor that I experienced. All of this with an announced price-point of $20, the reveal of the final class (Embermage), and a launch date before year’s end make Torchlight 2 the game to get most excited about for later this year.