Runic Games, w/ some former members of Blizzard and Travis Baldress of Fate, have once returned with Torchlight II. If Torchlight 1 felt a lot like Diablo 1 to you (in its ARPG gameplay department + with the constant direction of going further down the dungeons w/ each level), then Torchlight II should then feel like Diablo II. Torchlight II improves so much over the original TL, I don't even know where to begin - just like how Diablo II improved immensely over the original Diablo. Granted, TL2 has its own spin on the ARPG genre, in some ways: you have a pet by your side (who you can send back to town to sell items; who can help you in battle; etc); the graphics are much brighter + more colorful than Diablo series; and it has a steampunk-inspired setting.
No longer are you confined to go down, down, and down the dungeons some more like Diablo. The game is now a bit more open and epic than that. TL2 sports multiple towns - just like Diablo II. Also, the side-quests here - they also can be found when you're out an about in the game-world, which likely will have their own areas and dungeons for you to crawl through.
Combat is as awesome and as action-packed as ever, with the game constantly chucking out tons of new and unique loot to the player to modify and upgrade; and there's tons of skills to learn. Leveling-up allows the player to sink points into the player's base-stats for numbers how they see fit, unlike some other major ARPG (Diablo III) - allowing the player's builds even within the same class to possibly be different from another player's build.
While the story + characters are nothing truly special here - like in many of these ARPG's - it's still certainly better than the previous game. The graphics are nothing truly remarkable in terms of technical quality, but the art direction is fantastic, quirky, and colorful. TL2 sports SIngle Player support (for online play or offline play); Online support for Co-Op via Runic's servers; and also LAN support - unlike another ARPG that has currently forced "online always" gameplay (Diablo III). If a gamer is looking for numerous different ways to play this game - it's certainly here.
Once finished with the Campaign, fans can come back and explore some other Randomized Dungeons and even enter New Game Plus Mode. Given that, and that this game offers a lot of value for those not just who do one playthrough (took me around 27 hours, all by myself - SIngle Player style) - but also to those who want to replay the game. When it debuted at its budget-price ($20), it offers plenty of value and "bang for the buck" when compared to its competitors that were charging $50-60. Even now, when it's on sale dirt-cheap - it's pretty much a steal. And this all, this isn't even counting that the game also does have Mods out there, which further can extend the life of the game - since this game comes with The Game's Editor (GUTS) and also supports The Steam Workshop.
If you love ARPG's, this one's pretty much a no-brainer: Torchlight II is an excellent ARPG that just cannot be recommended enough. Simply put: it's one of the best of these loot-crazy, action-packed ARPG's around.
Final Grade = A.