Torch , as the series has struggled since its debut with the dark and gloomy Diablo series, but where this franchise has always thrived, it offers a lighter, fantastic and humorous approach, with useful pets! Torchlight III still has the charm I’ve enjoyed so much the last two games. The character choices were exciting, and I struggled so much with who I wanted to play with that for this review, that I decided to play both offline and solo with Railmaster (which legally calls a half-decent but destructive brawl), as well as an online multiplayer game with my wife where she went with Dusk Mage and I managed to handle the Forged robot (who looks like my wood stove, but with a soft, rapid-fire cannon in my chest).
At this stage it is best to address the elephant in the room with the game. It has had a somewhat haphazard development, as it was previously on its way to becoming a free game Torchlight: Borders, which probably tried to compete with the similar exile route. For us last minute consumers, it looks like they decided to make a face of it and make it Torchlight III, a really top-notch game, and somehow this switch has a lasting effect, which I’ll talk about later.
When I started my first race, I felt enriched in the right way. The progression of the map and quests is linear, much like the Diablo III chapters. Here you will travel from region to region and encounter three biomes, all unique in their style. Most of my quests were perhaps too linear, as they never seemed inaccessible and certainly didn’t add much to the exploration. Every important quest took place in the boss’s room where, if I was lucky, I had access to a large treasure chest and a new pet. Hacking and slashing along the way is certainly an important aspect of the game, as one would expect in a game of loot crawling around a dungeon, and it was a lot of fun to have my hell on a rail taking hits for me while firing mortar rounds in rapid succession. However, the chaos on the Switch’s screen also lost its performance when docked, which is always disappointing because I love a buttery smooth experience.
The party is certainly full of this title, but I found a surprising lack of gear ports, which I had hoped for. Each character has a fairly precise piece of equipment they can use, and only the weapons are really interchangeable to any degree. I found that even within a few hours of playing, I collected six legendary/unique fire swords that were all of the same model, as well as three eggs that were again identical. While I admit it’s been a long time since I played Torchlight – universes in , it seemed a little too repetitive compared to what I remember. That said, the material I’m going to collect for my forge campaign was pretty clever, and it was pretty cool to see the mechanical legs replaced with tank shovels, for example.
In addition to physical equipment, you also advance to the next level to spend points in your skill trees. The skills and abilities of the characters are handled very differently than in previous games and are not without some frustration. By default, each character gets two skill trees specific to their class at the beginning of the game, and then you can choose a third tree from the list of relic trees. As you move up levels, you spend points for the skills/abilities you want, but I found some of the limitations quite frustrating. First, many skills require the addition of many skill points before you can move up in the rankings and offer a better version. That might be fun, but it made me collect points in vain or spend them until I got a score for each skill. It’s not very nice.
The other frustrating thing is that if you want to reassign those points, it’s not that easy. Instead of static or other costs, to play respectfully with your skill trees and skills, use respectful tax rates that offer a return of points per point. Those things that allowed respectability were not readily available or could not be purchased. While the skill itself is often very fun, I wanted to try out temporary constructs for a quest or something, but I couldn’t, which is definitely another difference from their previous games.
With the equipment and skills in hand, I switched to both campaigns. Oddly enough, I have network performance issues in single-player mode, probably offline. My character will burn out if I just walk around and even if the control stick is pointed in one direction, my character will stop randomly walking around or going the other way, which is usually seen in online games with lag issues. What pleasantly surprised me was that the online play with my wife worked quite well. This is a big deal for me because I live in an area where the internet is incredibly bad, and unlike Diablo III, Torchlight III we were able to sit in each other’s living rooms and play games and quests together for the first time since we moved into this apartment! Progress was not fully shared, but we kept each other informed so it was fun.
By asking questions, I began to realize that the game didn’t have a strong story or even a narrative. This is not without merit, but apart from the sporadic animation and audio magazines around the world, there aren’t many thematic factors. In fact, at most points in my play, we just went from one linear quest to another, without understanding how they relate to an overall narrative. In my opinion, this is a major shortcoming, but also a potential difficulty in the transition from freestyle to narrative style.
Unfortunately, this same disadvantage has also led to many searches. When you travel to beautiful areas, you find them a little duller in areas you didn’t expect. At first it was exciting to stumble upon the hiding place, but then it seemed to come again and again in the same room, without any significant loot or habit, more of a routine than an exciting exclamation. There are some wonderful moments in world building though, including phase portals that lead your crew into a tough boss fight, but with a more satisfying reward to reap the rewards.
One of the new features of franchising is the addition of your own personal power. It’s a fully customizable space where you can place items that will help you win regular fans, and you can design it to your liking with images, ornaments, and other random decorative elements. Among the many features of the game, this is the area that worried me the most and probably has the most to do with the unstable hub zone usually found in other games. There just wasn’t enough reason to modify this area because visitors couldn’t do anything to affect it or reward me, etc. It became an exceptionally small and functional micro-hub, so I could recruit the fans I needed. I really wish this feature had been used more wisely, as a lot of effort went into it, but it’s not in the product on the market.
I think this magazine gives me a hard time for the game in many ways. On the one hand, if we strictly compare it to its predecessors and even to other competitors on the market, the III torch is definitely out and lacking in areas where the series had its strengths before. On the other hand, my wife and I have enjoyed the game so far and even the solo campaign. Theme and fantasy are completely Torchlight, and although hacking and cutting can go without thinking about others, I am happily engaged.
It’s also great to play handily on the couch next to your wife after a long day of work and enjoy this kind of game without overdoing the constructs. I know that last statement is clearly the opposite of what many people desire, but for me, the Torchlight III is exactly the right place for accessible RPG action in a crawling dungeon in my life. But make no mistake, I’d like to see the game evolve post-launch to add more depth to what we’ve seen in the series and to refine the bugs and hiccups we’ve encountered. Still, this sequel seems to be a solid foundation to start the long road to something truly fantastic. If you want more, you can of course find Torchlight II in the online shop!
Torch III Overview
- Charts – 8/10
- Sound – 7/10
- Gameplay – 6.5/10
- Late Call – 6/10
Final thoughts : GOOD PAGE
The highly anticipated Torch III appeared on the Nintendo Switch. The familiar art style and fantasy-based themes are back and still entertaining, but as much as die-hard fans of the series may be disappointed, the game returns to its early days with deeper gameplay and strategy. This is the result of dramatic changes in the evolution of the game over the years. Still, the game offers all the action points expected of an RPG, and it’s great fun to hack and slash your way through multiplayer with a friend.
Alex has been in the game industry since the release of Nintendo. He’s turned his hobby into a career, spending just over a decade developing games and now serving as creative director of the studio.
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