Following on their promise from the start of the year, Perfect World Entertainment and developer Echtra Games are letting series fans play Torchlight 3 this year. Torchlight 3 is out right now in Steam Early Access, costing $29.99.
Announced back in 2018, Torchlight Frontier promised a “shared-world experience” and free-to-play gaming, but that didn’t really sit too well with the fanbase of games that were designed to fill the void leading up to Diablo III’s release. This rebranding also sees the game drop its free-to-play business model and follow the more traditional action RPG form of the first two games.
t’s back to more linear dungeon crawling and drive to better Epic Gear and Relics, instead of the “horizontal progression” previously mooted, and many of the particular quirks of the series will return. You’ll choose from four Torchlight classes, pick a pet to accompany you – including an alpaca, owl and dog – and then explore forests full of dangerous beasts and powerful rewards.
There’s also Forts, a leftover from the game’s earlier form as a free-to-play game. Then known as Torchlight Frontier, it featured more shared world elements, but Perfect World and Echtra Games pivoted the game back toward the designs of the original two action RPG dungeon crawlers in the series. The biggest element of that design that remains is the Forts system.
You gain access to your fort early in Act 1, right after you’ve cleared out a mob of attacking goblins, and go from there. It then acts as your home base, where you return to craft items and upgrade your character’s loadout. You can also craft and earn objects that you can place within the fort’s walls, with the ability to position them, rotate them and even stack them how you want. Most decorations are awarded through working through Contract tiers, but they can be given as quest rewards, or crafted. Forts are account wide, so all characters that you create will contribute to its buildings, recipes, upgrades, and resources.
Harking back to the shared world design of Frontier, you might encounter other players’ forts as you adventure. Some parts of them can be interactive, such as the Luck Tree blessing you with luck, or the Enchanting Station letting you share rare recipes. Of course, you can also invite friends to join you at your fort before you go off adventuring.
So, the game is out now in Steam Early Access. There’s no word on other platforms just yet, though.