Diablo III is entering into an open beta this weekend so everybody can get their hands dirty killing some hellspawn. With all of the excitement surrounding the release, people may have forgotten about its indie competitor and all around more awesome game, Torchlight II.
While the team at Runic Games haven't given us a lot of information about the title yet, they released the opening cinematic for the game today. It can't be no coincidence that they released the video on the day that Blizzard announced the Diablo III beta. I just know that while I'm playing the beta this weekend I'm going to be thinking about how I wish I could be playing Torchlight II.
While some gamers will just watch the cinematic and go, "Huh, that was cool," there's much more to it. They collaborated with the excellent Klei Entertainment for the animation that you see before you. If you need a refresher, Klei is responsible for the excellent hand-drawn 2D action-platformer Shank and it's cleverly titled sequel, Shank 2.
The cinematic came about because they had the budget this time around for it. While that may not seem like a big deal, it does lead one to wonder if that increased budget also means a bigger game this time around. I'm sure it does since Runic has been doing some fantastic stuff with Torchlight II or at least from what we've seen so far.
They are also using the cinematic to display their renewed focus on story. The team felt that the story was something they could have improved upon, and I couldn't agree more. They do, however, say that this doesn't mean Torchlight II will be a "story game." They just feel that this improves the "context and motivation" for players.
While we're only getting a look at the opening cinematic, Runic says that there will be more than one. There will be the obligatory opening and ending cinematic, but some minor ones in the middle to provide transitions. They hope this will give players an expanded look at the world the game is set in since isometric views tend to spoil the scenery in favor of immediacy.
Check out the opening cinematic below. I think you'll be impressed.