Echtra Games‘ action RPG (ARPG) Torchlight III, though newly released, has had a bit of a torrid history. The game started out as a successor in the Torchlight game franchise series as Torchlight Frontiers. It was originally slated to be an MMO but deep into the development cycle, that decision was dialed back. Towards the middle-end of the development cycle, Echtra Games even hired some ARPG experts in the form of ex-Gazillion developers. These guys I got to know through my heavy support of our beloved Marvel Heroes Omega (R.I.P.). In the end, Torchlight III ended up being a multiplayer or single-player game. I use the term “or” because currently you create and play an avatar in either the connected multiplayer server OR in an unconnected single-player environment.
I’ve personally followed Torchlight III‘s development since it was announced and played the PC version since Closed Alpha. My fellow reviewers Xevrin (Kevin) and Chris Bowman have already done a thorough review of the Steam PC version. Being that I’ve played on PC, and enjoy the Nintendo Switch, I was asked to do a comparison of the two versions. Welcome to our Quick Hit review of Torchlight III for the Nintendo Switch!
That’s What He Said!
For the most part, I agree with everything that Kevin and Chris mention in their Steam PC review of Torchlight III. Their analysis could easily apply to the Nintendo Switch version. In short, the port on the Nintendo Switch is a good one, even though there are some glaring issues.
Troublesome But Not A Deterrent
The graphics and environments all looked pretty good on the Switch in docked and undocked modes. In fact, in docked mode on a 24″ widescreen monitor, a lot of the game’s text is the crispiest we’ve seen for a docked Switch game!
The control translation to the Switch’s Joycons is flawless and was well thought out. I especially like that pushing up on the right joycon performs a zoom in of the playing field!
In undocked mode some of the text is small but that “issue” isn’t as big a factor as for many games. When talking to an NPC and seeing quest dialogue the text is large enough plus there are voice overs. The text is the smallest on dropped loot, which is color coded, and the quest tracker. Small but not a deterrent or force a need to use the Switch’s zoom function.
Another personal annoyance is that when turning in quests, the reward dialog’s “cursor” always has focus on a reward item. This causes its details dialogue to always pop-up. Since there is no way to temporarily hide this it tends to block out quest dialogue.
Mild Performance Factors
I played entirely in multiplayer mode so some of these items I touch on “might” not be concerns in a single-layer environment.
There are some scant performance issues that we’ll caulk up to the Switch being a new console platform and categorize as things that the development team can hopefully address with patches. The first being when going into your inventory screen the gear icons tend to paint slow. The bigger issue is there are occassional frame rate drops in busy areas, especially when using things like the electrode relic and firing off several lightning storms.
Other annoyances include not being able to pause or sleep during multiplayer mode. When going into sleep mode, even accidentally you end up getting disconnected from the server. There were some cases where it appeared I was okay but none of the action buttons did anything, I eventually was disconnected.
Overall the game is stable other than I saw one crash after the latest patch was installed and I still have a “stuck” tutorial quest on my quest tracker. Like I said annoyances but nothing that kept me from playing and enjoying.
Torchlight III has been out almost two weeks and it seems like the last several nights no one has been in Trevail Point, the initial main hub, during “peak hours”. Hopefully, this isn’t a bad omen for the multiplayer server.
In Conclusion… Still A Good Buy!
Unfortunately, the format of this quick hit review might come off as a rant. In all honesty I’m enjoying the game in undocked mode tremendously. I’ve gotten farther on the Switch version than I did in my currently idle Steam PC version. Hopefully, cross save is coming in the near future so we can maintain the same progress on two platforms. But for now I’d be happy if the development team addressed these minor complaints. Nevertheless, it’s still a good buy especially if you’re a Torchlight fan!
Note: Our copy was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch with a code provided by PR.
COMPARE TO: Diablo 3, Grim Dawn, Torchlight II