Blizzard Entertainment has certainly been taking its sweet time delivering the next installment in its highly regarded Diablo action role-playing franchise. However, fans of the formula were given a wholly palatable amuse-bouche in 2009, in the form of Torchlight from Runic Games. With Diablo III still an unspecified distance off, Runic announced today that a second installment in its Torchlight series will arrive for the PC in spring 2011.
Torchlight II will carry on in the same vein as last year's original, whereby gamers will embark upon Diablo-esque point-and-hit adventures through randomly generated dungeons to secure rare items. In addition to an original storyline, Runic said that Torchlight II will include new character classes, quests, monsters, and dungeons, as well as "an expansive overworld."
Perhaps the most welcome change for fans of the original is the addition of co-op multiplayer. Torchlight II will include a free matchmaking service for peer-to-peer multiplayer, and gamers can also join up with their friends online.
Formed in 2008 by veterans of the now-defunct Hellgate: London outfit Flagship Studios, Runic Games includes a number of employees from Blizzard North, which created the original Diablo franchise. The studio expects to offer a first look at Torchlight II at Gamescom in Germany later this month.