Finished Uncharted 3, Loving Borderlands 2, Wondering About Torchlight II Co-Op

I finally finished Uncharted 3 and enjoyed it quite a bit. It really is like playing in a movie, where everything is very scripted and you need to do exactly the right thing to get to the next cutscene, but while you’re playing, none of that feels constraining at all. The game looks good, and the 3D is quite well done (perhaps not quite worth buying a 3D TV for, but almost). Since I’m probably the last PS3 owner on the planet to finish Uncharted 3, I won’t recommend you go get it, since I just had to catch up on the pleasures of the game.

I’ve really been enjoying Borderlands 2! The action is great, the guns are awesome, and the enemies are fun to shoot, incinerate, blow up, etc. The plot is fair at best, but they have a tongue-in-cheek way of reminding us how lame the ending of the previous Borderlands was and explaining it away. Pretty cute.

I am playing as a Siren, which means I can hold an enemy in the air, which is handy, but I tend to forget to use that skill and just blow heads off with the sniper rifle! To that extent, playing the Siren seems pretty generic, so I’m tempted to try playing as one of the other classes, particularly the Assassin. I played the Commando in Borderlands, so am happy to be trying something different, but my playing style isn’t as different as I’d like (which I admit is likely my fault).

There have been a couple of instances where I simply could not complete a mission because the boss was too tough. In both cases, I went away, did some side missions to gain a couple levels, and came back to take care of business. Some of the missions are quite a challenge, but there’s always a way to figure it out.

For such a new game, there are remarkably few bugs. One annoyance is that the recorders that expose history keep reappearing in the same places, so I can’t be sure I’ve heard them all, so keep picking them up and hearing the same story over and over. I hope that’s a bug that will be fixed rather than a feature.

I also bought Torchlight II this weekend in hopes of playing co-op with a friend. If I were cynical, I would suggest that the co-op system for Torchlight II is just a nasty scheme for Runic Games to build their customer database so they can market to us or sell it for the same purpose. If I weren’t cynical, I’d just say it sucks. In order to play online, you need to register your account with Runic’s website, then connect it with Steam’s login (which concerns me right there), then log in within the game, having to remember your password each time. I don’t know what the online lobby/matching scheme is like, because when I tried it, I wasn’t able to connect. Great! Why can’t they do something simple, like what Borderlands 2 did: show your friends who are playing the game on the start screen? Really, why complicate it and make it us jump through hoops just to play with our friends?

So the jury’s still out on Torchlight II’s co-op scheme, but the game looks fine, if carpal-tunnel inducing. It’s a fixed-perspective action RPG, like Diablo, and involves clicking a lot, also like Diablo. I couldn’t find any support for game controllers or anything else for those of us that would like to keep our mouse fingers from cramping. I only played it for a few minutes, but it seems kinda fun.

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