Runic Games has today released the opening cinematic for the upcoming hack-and-slash sequel, Torchlight 2, helping players fill in the gaps.
This particular cinematic opens the game, filling in the story between the end of Torchlight and the beginning of your hero's quest in Torchlight II. Art Director Jason Beck created all the storyboards, and Klei Entertainment animated the scenes with sound effects. JD Wiker wrote the script, and Matt Uelmen assisted with sound effects and provided the score.
While the reaction to the new opening cinematic has been quite positive, a few eager players aren't quite as happy, with the Torchlight 2 forums and YouTube comments clearly showing some distaste in the parchment style art. Runic Games has come out with a statement regarding why they chose the specific art style and not something similar to your average CGI cinematic.
When we started talking about doing cinematics we also had to be pragmatic... we couldn't go big-budget CG, nor did we want to go with in-game cutscenes. We landed on doing something that was heavily stylized and 2D. I think part of the hope is that going that route would be an unexpected solution that also meshed with our restrictions.
Some of the inspirations included the opening 2D sequence in Kung-Fu Panda, the cinematics from Heavenly Sword, the flashback God of War 3 cinematics, and Samurai Jack. With that sort of style in mind, doing it all in Flash became a really attractive option.
Check out the trailer below (click here for HD goodness) showing off the very cool parchment art style that Runic Games chose, as well as head over to our game page for more on news and screenshots.
Torchlight 2 has yet to revise a new release date, with only "2012" as the current stated goal and will be available on PC.