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Chris Kavan's Video Game Reviews (495)

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Persona 5 Royal 4.5/5
A Hat in Time 3.5/5
Sunset Overdrive 4/5
The Vagrant 4/5
Honkai: Star Rail 3.5/5
MechWarrior 5: Mercenar... 4/5
Rage 2 3.5/5
Alan Wake 4/5
Riverbond 3.5/5
Dead Island 2 3.5/5
Saints Row IV 3.5/5
The Last of Us Part II 4.5/5
Torchlight III 3/5
Wolfenstein II: The New... 4/5
Ghost of Tsushima 4.5/5
Battletoads (2020) 2/5
Danganronpa: Trigger Ha... 4/5
Override: Mech City Bra... 3/5
Maneater 3/5
Door Kickers: Action Sq... 4/5
Spider-Man (2018) 4.5/5
Red Dead Redemption 2 4.5/5
Boot Hill Heroes 3.5/5
Control 4/5
Victor Vran 3/5

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Torchlight III   PC (Steam) 

Third Time Not So Charming    3/5 stars

Back in the day, Torchlight II was a Diablo-like hack 'n slash with its own appeal - more cartoonish in its presentation but still satisfying and quite fun to play, especially with friends. While it was never too deep in its characters or lore, that wasn't too much of a factor as the overall game was a solid addition to the genre. Torchlight III apparently began as an attempt to turn the series into an MMO but studio shake-ups and buyouts meant losing pretty much all of the original team working on the game until is was eventually finished - removing the MMO elements and giving us a husk of a game - dull and devoid of much of the fun Torchlight II offered.

Looks and Stuff: The game still features more vibrant, cartoon-like visuals compared to say Victor Vran or Diablo. About the best thing I can say for the game is that picking up new armor and weapons does visually impact your character. Being the robot, I loved the fact that treads or uni-ball wheels actual changed the way I moved and sounded and various helmets and chest armor did the same. The only point at which the game excels is giving you some decent new character choices, like my robot also called the Forged as well as a ghost pirate and Railmaster to your more typical mage and ranger (or sharpshooter as its called) options. Likewise, the game lets you customize further by offering a relic - an element option: Bane (poison), Blood Drinker (bleed/drain), Coldheart (ice/freeze), Electrode (electricity) and Flaming Destroyer (fire). Once you choose an option, you're stuck with it and each has its own upside depending on how you like to play the game. However, knowing nothing going forward I chose Electrode simply because I felt a robot would be, well, quite electric. I think it was a solid choice and had fun zapping the whole game through. Environments come across as pretty generic - forests, caves, ruins and such - nothing that stands out. Likewise, enemy hordes are practically indistinguishable, though at least the game makes bosses and some legendary-type enemies stand out. Music is unremarkable and the voices are fine for what they are but truly nothing really stands out in this area, either.

Story: After playing through the entirety of Torchlight III I can say that the story had absolutely no impact whatsoever. Something about a crystal breaking open, bad things getting out and evil people wanting to control said crystal. This involves a group of sinister sisters looking to control the various monster factions to get what they want - and their evil mother plotting it all. You also have to collect various things for various people for reasons. Your rewards are usually a new pet, some (maybe) better weapons and armor and gold. Gold is useless by the way because vendors only ever sell trash-tier gear even end-game.

Gameplay: As a hack 'n slash your goal is to run around the map, killing everything, in hopes of finding slightly better gear, leveling up your skills and normal things like opening chests and breaking items along the way. The reason Torchlight III feels like such a drag is that it lacks much variety and gets old quick. As I said earlier, enemy design is weak and the maps, while procedurally-generated, are woefully generic. While the game doles out good gear - it also doesn't seem to care what class you are, often dropping weapons or armor you will never use, even if it's legendary. Like Diablo, you can put anything you want in your chest and share it - but only with your OWN characters. There is NO way to trade between other players and for a co-op experience, this is simply... dumb. Apparently this was going to be added at some point - until the game was all but abandoned. In fact, we guessed that we picked a good time to play co-op as we predict that the game will shut down this feature in the near future. Also, the game gives you things like wood, stone and stuff to build your own base - but this base serves no purpose. Sure, you can plant a tree to give you better luck (item drops) by feeding it legendary items you'll never use and some specific enemies drop specific enemy resources to feed to other things - but it never comes into much play. You can re-spec your character too but that's about the extent of things to do.

As stated earlier, vendors are useless - never selling anything useful. You can gamble on a random item as well, but good luck getting anything out of that. The game attempts to make things interesting by giving you certain trees that unlock as you play, but this mostly consists of unlocking various cosmetic items you'll never build and occasionally a rare pet or item. I think the base-building aspect could have been cool - but, like most of the game, seems to have been an after-thought that never reaches much potential. And that about sums up the whole game.

Replay value: Like many hack 'n slash games, the game gives you the option of creating multiple characters with different options - but considering how dull as dishwater getting through the actual game is - going back again and again seems more like a form of torture than a compelling reason to return.

Final Verdict: A completely generic take on the hack 'n slash genre that offers almost nothing compelling aside from some interesting character designs.

Presentation: 3/5
Story: 2/5
Gameplay: 3/5
Replay: 3/5
Overall (not an average): 3/5



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