Infinite torchlight (opens in a new tab), the latest game in the ARPG series after 2020’s mixed bag, Torchlight 3, has entered a closed playtest on Steam ahead of a scheduled October release. Infinite is free-to-play, loot-focused and also available on mobile.
I have fond memories of Torchlights 1 and 2, released in 2009 and 2012 respectively. Torchlight was one of the first entries in the 2010s revitalization of top-down, loot-heavy ARPGs like Diablo 3 and Path of Exile, and remains unique with its dynamic art style and simpler, easier-to-grip construction. Developer Runic Games was shut down by its owners, Perfect World, in 2017, with development of Torchlight 3 being handed over to San Francisco-based Echtra Games.
We weren’t in love with Torchlight 3. In its review (opens in a new tab)Luke Winkie gave it a 60%, remarking halfway through that “This was about the 12th time in a row that I’ve found myself diving into a cookie-cutter dungeon in order to complete another uninspired quest that I began to notice what was missing was more than what was there.”
Perfect World has now given the franchise to the Shanghai-based company XD inc. (opens in a new tab). In promo for Infinite, XD highlights the game’s build and ability variety, loot grinding, and in-game auction house. Regarding the game’s monetization, XD describes Infinite as a “no-burden game”, and while “exclusive drops” can only be obtained through grinding, players can “further [their] personal views on builds and appearance from available microtransactions.”
Infinite could very well become a fun and fair take on F2P loot. Even if not, other PC ARPGs convert Diablo Immortal (opens in a new tab) proved that it is at least a very lucrative prospect (opens in a new tab). Either way, it doesn’t exactly scream Torchlight to me. The “ultimate free market” and “grind to get it all” promise of Infinite seems as far removed from the spunky, laid-back Diablolike that I enjoyed in 2009. If you’re interested in Infinite, you can list it at Steam (opens in a new tab) and apply for the closed game test.