Friday, June 19, 2020 June 19, 2020 - The Double-A Team: The thrilling convenience of Torchlight

I spent a lot of last week zooming around in Disintegration, which is a fascinating and pretty lovely game. It's lovely because everything in it feels so good, and because - not an insult - there is a warming, comforting Double-A-ness to it in its sparsity and its obvious desire to get the most out of absolutely everything. And it's fascinating because... well.

Disintegration feels a bit like Halo 2 to me, or rather the Halo 2 that might have been. It takes the lovely tree-scattered setting of Halo, the flat metallic heft of the classic Spartan weaponry and the precision staging of the encounters, and it then throws in a big new idea: you scoot around and direct troops in a sort of blend of FPS and RTS. Halo 2's big idea was dual-wielding (and dual leads). Disintegration feels like the Halo 2 we might have gotten if everyone had been more able to explore new ideas - which, given Bungie's background, would also have been old ideas.

Disintegration is made by ex-Bungie people, and in this respect it sort of seems to parallel the work of the team at Runic Games. In Torchlight 2 - the numbers are about to get confusing - we got both another version of Diablo 2, which some of the core team had helped make, and also a glimpse of an alternate version of Diablo 3. Torchlight 2 felt like the Diablo 3 these veterans might have made, the same way that Disintegration reminds me of a mirror-world Halo 2.

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