Lately, I've been playing a new game: Torchlight. It is an action rpg, set in a fantasy environment. Some of the people that designed Diablo 2 helped develop it, so it's not surprising that many aspects of Torchlight are similar to Diablo. It's been ages since I played Diablo II and I have a horrible memory, so sadly I can't really compare the two, although I'd want to.
The game starts in a town, which has stores where you can sell and buy armour, weapons etc. There is a stash in which you can keep your items safe. Sadly, you can't store any money in it. There's also a shared stash, so you can transfer items between your different characters. In town, people will give you quests. Most of the quests require you to explore the nearby ember mine. The mine is very deep and should take you a while to explore, I'm currently on floor 18. For some quests, there will be a portal opened that leads to a secret dungeon. If you like exploring dungeons, there are dungeon scrolls to be bought in the store for a small price, you will sometimes get one as a quest reward and I've also had a random dungeon portal appear on the map. I died almost instantly in that dungeon though, so be careful.
In the beginning of the game, you can chose a class for your character: destroyer (a melee warrior), alchemist (a mage) or the female vanquisher (ranged weapons and traps). I myself am a vanquisher, though I've mainly specialized my character in ranged weapons and haven't tried out any of her traps yet. You will also have a pet, either a cat or a dog, that will stay by your side permanently. Obviously, I have a cat, cause dogs just suck. This is my character:
There are 5 difficulties to play the game on: easy, normal, hard, very hard and insane. Though if you have any experience with rpg's, don't play easy or normal, they are really super easy.
Let's look at the gameplay, and more specifically at the screenshot below:
I really love the gfx, everything looks so pretty and vivid. The floor that I'm on now has different isles connected by suspension bridges, you can see a different isle on the bottom left. The landscape is so beautiful, it's really fun to just walk around and enjoy it. I mean just look at it. :) Wow. I know that there are way better gfx nowadays, but even my crappy laptop can run this game, so I'm very happy with this.
Unlike most other rpg's that I've played, your own health and mana bar are at the bottom of the screen, while the ones on the top left are for your pet. This almost caused me to die on the first floor, because I looked at the pet health bar and thought that I was fine. There also are slots at the bottom to assign hot keys for potions and spells. You click with the left mouse button to move or attack, and you can assign two spells to the right mouse button (you can switch between the two spells by pressing tab).
Something that I really like is the pet inventory. Your pet can carry as much items as your character can, and you can even send it to town to sell all the items in its inventory for you, so you don't have to waste your own time and town portal scrolls to do that. Another nice thing about your pet is that it can't die; instead of dying, it will just flee when it's low health and not help you anymore until it has healed a bit. Your pet will also level up when your character does.
Your character can level up in two ways. You can, obviously, gain experience by killing creeps and level up that way. Additionally, you can gain fame by killing strong bosses and completing quests, until you have enough fame to deserve a level up.
Like Diablo, you have identify scrolls, town portal scrolls, socketable items and waypoints to activate. To fill the sockets, there are embers to be attained from creeps in the caves. Lesser embers can be combined to form an ember of better quality (there is a transmuter who does this in the town). To separate ember and item again, there are two NPC's in town: one destroys the items but recovers the ember, the other destroys the ember so you have a free socket in the item again.
Here are some more screenshots:
If you find the game interesting, you can download a free demo at the official website.