It is difficult to not like an action RPG. Exploring large worlds, killing legions of monsters, and constantly gaining loot and enhancements, especially with a buddy or two at your side, is a winning recipe. Torchlight III checks all these boxes and provides a sound experience although it doesn’t contain the magical allure that it once possessed.
Don’t worry if you have not played the first two titles as the story is one of the biggest flaws with this three-quel. Outside of a few brief conversations with some NPCs and lore drops, the reason for murdering thousands of creatures and venturing through a land is only justified because it is there. This sucks because I found myself not caring about my decisions and was just going through the motions. Questing is also typical and follows the same pattern: talk to an NPC to unlock a quest, walk to that marker on the map, kill the boss or retrieve the thing, return to the town, and repeat. It really isn’t anything you haven’t done a million times before, and still carries some enjoyment, but could not help for wish some something deeper.
Four playable character classes might seem a little limiting on paper but each can be customized cosmetically and outfitted with a unique perk that grows in time. Would you rather attach a buff that heals or dishes lightning damage? There isn’t a right or wrong answer but allows for different play styles. Coordinating a multiplayer party with balanced perks is part of the fun.
One element that is newly implemented is the town building mechanic. Here, the player can place different building types within a small village setting; it reminded me somewhat of Fire Emblem Awakening. It doesn’t matter where you place things and there is always the ability to move them at any time but it is the strange functionality behind them that is questionable. For example, refining metal or wood is placed behind a needless countdown timer. Adopting mobile gameplay techniques doesn’t really make any sense especially since the timer wall are small amounts of time, like 60 seconds. Why do I need to wait one minute? I guess I will just stare at my alpaca pet running around like an idiot while my wood gets carved.
Torchlight III, as well as the previous titles, takes quality of life features into high consideration. Sending your pet back to town to sell unwanted loot is a godsend and having the ability to open a portal to instantly teleport back to town keeps the action right where it should be – front and center. Having the ability to map the numerous abilities to any button on the controller furthers the customization and makes for a comfortable experience.
Entertainment can be found in Torchlight III but there is that special spark or charm that is missing from the overall presentation. Maybe it is the linear nature of the repetitive quests, the absence of anything resembling a narrative, or the been-there-done-that non-combo based combat. The end result is something that feels like an early access title or there were some development issues along the way. However, action RPGs are sort of like the pizza of games – even when they are not the best, they still are not bad.
Also available on PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
Also Try: The Collection of Mana (Switch)
Don’t Forget About: Path of Exile
Wait For It: a Diablo 1 & II compilation on consoles