Torchlight III Review (Steam)

In Torchlight III, Novastraia is again under threat of invasion and it’s up to you to defend against the Netherim and its allies. Gather your wits and brave the frontier to find fame, glory, and new adventures!

 

Pros:

  • Decent graphics.
  • 5872mb Download size.
  • Steam achievements.
  • Controller support.
  • ARPG gameplay.
  • Four characters to choose from–Forged, Rail master, Dusk Mage, and Sharpshooter.
  • 3 initial pets to choose from-Golden Retriever, a Brown and White Owl, and a white Alpaca. Each pet has color/breed choices and every time you get a pet it will have a different buff.
  • Hardcore mode option.
  • Character editor for face/hairstyle/hair color and skin color. Pick your starting relic that will give a unique skill tree and dictate what powers you will have. Pet creator where you can change/randomize the names.
  • Five difficulties- Practice/Normal/Hard/Painful and Ridiculous.
  • Tutorial missions that are optional but take you on basic questing and help with learning the rules and the land.
  • In-game cutscenes.
  • Earn EXP and level up to get points to put into a skill tree.
  • Camera-you can zoom in and out.
  • Trevail-maim hub with shops, blacksmiths, gamblers, etc.
  • In the hub, you can see and interact with other players.
  • Fort-you have your own Fort that you can decorate, customize, craft, grow items, etc.
  • Portal-spawn a portal to the hub at any point.
  • Many enemy types and mob types like elites and bosses.
  • Relic-craft and find a relic, this is a powerful attack or buff that is on a cooldown timer. You can swap out your relic at your Fort.
  • The mission structure is a lot more open and you can freely move around the map and do multiple quests in one go.
  • Fast travel point portals-find and activate these so you can freely fast travel.
  • Decent loading times.
  • If the servers fail to load multiplayer servers then you can play on in an offline single-player variation.
  • Boss chests and pet chests at the end of an encounter.
  • Cool still image cutscenes.
  • Life bound-these items will be stronger than normal but disappear forever if you die.
  • Impressive enemy counts on screen.
  • Really cool detailed locations with many secrets and dungeons in them.
  • Strong loot lust game.
  • A lot of bright colors.
  • Highlighting a piece of loot will instantly pop up your equipped gear in that slot for easy fast comparisons.
  • Improved performance since the early access game.
  • Cool animations of loot chests, loot drops, and even money dropping.
  • The map has quick select options on the side including fast travel to Fort and travels back to your portal.
  • Criticals/effects will pop up on the screen as text.
  • Legendarium-as you level up you can get and choose a new buff for your character. This will be things like do extra damage, killing a certain enemy grants a temporary random buff, etc.
  • Materials-harvest them from trees, rocks, and planks to get materials.
  • Pets-rescue new ones and each will have a unique ability or buff attached to them. You are free to change collected pets.
  • Pets will act like an Ai partner and attack enemies for you or do other things if they can.
  • Many Breakable objects.
  • Map uncovers as you play and anywhere not touched will be red on the mini-map, icons will appear for points of interest or quests.
  • Shrines-these give a temporary buff or boost, hitting one generally tells you what you get.
  • Hud shows off the shortcut buttons for attacks, health, and mana.
  • Has a Fable feel to it.
  • Excellent voice work.
  • Contracts-three sets of them and all displayed like a battle pass, you do certain tasks, fill the bar, and get rewards.

Cons:

  • No description or help in quests.
  • Can be hard to see interactive points in levels.
  • Slow burner.
  • Very easy to miss quests.
  • A lot of replaying an area to get to the next area and trigger a fast travel point.
  • In the heat of battle, it can be hard to see yourself.
  • Can’t see the controls/key bindings.
  • Unlocked a load of achievements for things I hadn’t done yet.
  • I had situations where I couldn’t interact with them or a door wouldn’t open.
  • No actual pause button.
  • They don’t explain how and what the fast travel points are and why you should seek them out.
  • Ranged weapons auto target which can cause a lot of mismanagement.
  • Interacting with shrines feels like you need to be pixel perfect.
  • Bullet sponge drawn-out boss fights.
  • The map is no help at all and doesn’t always fill things in or allow you to pan around with it making it hard to track missions.
  • Can’t send your pet back to town to sell things.
  • Occasional server crashes and disconnects.
  • The fast travel points are not easily found meaning you forget about them and then have long slogs of travel ahead of you.

 

  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Accessibility - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Length - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Fun Factor - 9/10
8.4/10

Summary

Diablo 3 has long been labeled the definitive ARPG game of the genre and Torchlight has been the lesser game, the more colorful yet lacking wannabe. The thing is I personally never felt that, I felt the Torchlight series always tried to push the genre, try new things yet keep the core gameplay loop of the genre. In Torchlight 2 they nailed a lot of the genre and produced a game that is definitely worth playing but then Torchlight 3 came along. I previewed it a while ago as it first entered early access and it was I a rough state, so much didn’t work, the loot was lacking and it just felt like a load of the idea but nothing to glue them together. Enter the final build and I can say they did a full 360 with it, this has to be one of the most cohesive and well put together games in the series. Getting a load of tutorial missions means you can get the loop of the genre but also do it in your own order, I ignored most of it but could still go back. The loot list is strong with a cool noise playing as you kill a boss bit then noises for loot drops. They have made the pets OK, they still do attacks and can carry Inventory for you but this time around I couldn’t send them back to town for me like before? Anyway, Torchlight 3 is a game that is fun to play but also melts the hours away as it continuously feeds your quests and loot and secrets. The Fort idea means I can get a Sims style experience whereby you buy and craft items to build up a Fort, it’s not really my bag but it’s a neat idea. For me I think the bar has been well and truly lifted and is definitely the best Torchlight game, it takes on Diablo 3 in a big way and I do still wonder if it has a competitive mode for Diablo seasons but that aside from its an absolute blast solo or with friends. I call it Fable Diablo and it’s all down to its endearing atmosphere and colorful world.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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