Torchlight III knows what it is and embraces that identity. It’s not the biggest action / RPG game out there. It doesn’t have the darkest or the most mature setting, nor the most complicated fictional background. Instead, Echtra crafted a dynamic adventure that happily moves players from one environment to another, with barely a hitch of story or quest tracking. The monsters are plentiful, the powers you wield are explosive, and the battles that unfold fill the screen with colorful explosions and deafening noises. The seamless nature of the action and leveling is barely complex enough to demand your attention, making it an ideal choice for laid-back escape nights, whether alone or with up to four working friends. together. Even as a game-story enthusiast, I skipped the light tale of Torchlight III like a boulder on water, vaguely capturing the gist of a tale set 100 years after the last game, with villains in it. another dimension hoping to gain the upper hand over the world. The construction of the visual world is more robust, capturing a fun aesthetic mixing classic whimsy with the clockwork / steampunk aesthetic. The result is a colorful backdrop filled with blinking elemental explosions and endless gears. The playful tone and artistic direction are a pleasant departure from the genre’s dark and bloody standards, even if some spaces look too similar. I was also often frustrated that large environmental objects obscured the view, which can sometimes just be annoying, but sometimes put your hero in a vulnerable place. In a mostly frictionless game, the only space Echtra has dug deep is a rewarding character leveling system. Four fun classes each offer something engaging, from the dark and light balance of the Dusk Mage to the silly Railmaster, who literally builds a railroad track and carries a train behind him throughout the adventure. Each class is further enhanced with the selection of a Relic subclass – a special elemental item that adds an additional tree of abilities. As such, your sniper class plays out quite differently, depending on whether you’ve decided to freeze your enemies with the Coldheart Relic or set the world on fire with the Blazing Destroyer. Whatever your selection, it only takes a few levels to transform into a walking engine of destruction, encouraging that pleasant flow that comes from decimating dozens of enemies every minute in increasingly cathartic AoE blasts. and weapon crushes. Multiple adjustable difficulty levels allow efficient scaling based on your experience or attention level; players who want a more dangerous adventure certainly have this option, although the game does feel better when it moves at high speed, rather than going through a challenge your character isn’t ready for. No matter how hard you do it, you quickly settle into an almost insane pace of satisfying power spin and bursts of loot. With a pet that willingly flies off to sell your gear, inventory management is a cinch, and I liked the variety of cosmetic and functional features reflected in the many parts of weapons and gear. armor that I gathered. Players looking for a particularly rich attribute optimization system will likely be disappointed. Like most things in the game, the goal is to get you back into the fray quickly, not endlessly wringing your hand over which gloves to put on. After completing the campaign, Echtra planted a number of wrinkles to maintain your interest, including an enchant system, increased focus on crafting, and the ability to further customize your fort. I’ve never warmed to the high development, which takes place in a cramped space, and the changes I’ve made have rarely affected the gameplay enough to be satisfying. I enjoyed the post-match dungeon system, in which an enterprising jinni settles down to create endless “Dun’djinn” (understood?) To explore, each with increasingly difficult modifiers and ever greater rewards. For players who fall in love with continuous character development, there is no shortage of additional battles on the horizon, although I was personally ready to try out a new hero after a few hours of post-game play. This end-of-game option is especially welcome if you’re playing with friends. Torchlight III supports up to four online co-op options, and it’s ridiculous to watch even more chaos unfold, although the visual clutter on the screen can be particularly difficult to keep up with. An accepted smart class design, Torchlight III does not offer considerable innovation or nuance in its systems or gameplay. Free destruction is often a lot of fun, until a time when it isn’t, and everything starts to get a little tedious. Luckily, there’s always a new magical sword to collect, a respec to try out, a new character class to discover, or a dungeon to search. Torchlight III is an accessible action / RPG game that is especially welcoming to newcomers or simply to gamers who don’t want to focus too much on their night’s entertainment. Repeated conquerors of Heaven and Hell may want to look elsewhere, but if your desires for fantasy destruction are more about high-octane action, Torchlight III rarely disappoints.