I finished Torchlight 3 the other day. Rather suddenly really. It took my by surprise, to have come to the end of the campaign, but this is often the case with Early Access games. Incremental additions means the first thing you lose is your bearings – a sense of pace and of building towards something climactic. And afterwards you’re left with questions: was that it? Wait, was that really it? Is there going to be more campaign to come? Is what I’ve played going to change beyond recognition? How much of this is fixed in place?
(This is one of the problems with Early Access games, BTW. I am not an ungrateful player by any means, I hope, but I have realised that Early Access often makes me feel like I’m acting in an ungrateful manner, like a kid rooting around in a box of cereal hoping that there’s accidentally a second toy in the packet. My apologies to developers everywhere.)
Anyway, by the end of the three acts that are currently there I was much, much more in thrall to Torchlight 3. It’s still buggy, but I expect that in Early Access. Almost a mark of honour, in a weird way – this is real Early Access, not some polished marketing beat version of it. By the end of the three acts my Dusk Mage was a lot of fun to play, light and dark magic meaning that I could lance people with holy arrows that gave me a proper jolt of health back, as well as conjuring a gaggle of otherworldly grubbins and toothed horrors to fight alongside me when I fancied. My ultimate, which did not feel very ultimate at the start of the adventure, was now over-compensating. Daggers fell from the sky followed by flaming boulders, a proper meteor bombardment. It was like holding Armageddon in a bottle, and then shaking it up and spraying it everywhere at three minute intervals. Concussive!