The Epic Games Store has a surprise for all of the Diablo fans eagerly waiting for the release of Diablo IV and for any newcomers to the hack-and-slash dungeon crawler genre interested in taking a stab at it. Best of all, this game is completely free. You’ll just need to act fast to claim this free dungeon crawler before a price tag gets put back on it.
Torchlight II is currently free for PC on the Epic Games Store until July 23 at 11 a.m. Eastern. Anyone with an account (which is also free) will be able to claim and permanently keep a digital copy of the game. Just like the free monthly titles that come with Sony’s PlayStation Plus subscription service, Torchlight II will stay in your Epic Games library even after July 11, but only if you redeem it before this week’s offer expires.
This 2012 action role-playing game has little in the way of a story but makes up for it with its distinct style and satisfying gameplay. Its developer and publisher Runic Games settled for a plot that leans a bit too heavily on fantasy tropes, like a mysterious evil force that’s “corrupting” Torchlight II’s universe. But its unique character class design and constant showers of loot distill the best parts of the dungeon crawler experience for anyone to enjoy.
From the get-go, players can choose to become one of four classes: the Engineer, Outlander, Berserker, and the Embermage. Characters like the Berserker and Embermage are reminiscent of the classic warriors/barbarians and spellcasters you find in every RPG.
The Engineer, however, focuses on building steampunk tech — like turrets on rails — to help them blast through the game’s randomly generated dungeons. So they're similar in design to something like the Artificer, a magical tech-focused class for tinkerers that was only just added to Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition with an adventure released in late 2019. The Outlander is also an interesting fusion of the rogue and monk archetypes with the end result being something like a magical ninja.
Players can team up with friends via Torchlight II’s local or online multiplayer mode. Each lobby can host up to six players and loot drops separately for each person in the session, so you don’t have to worry about players online stealing your hard-earned gear — or about figuring out how to distribute loot amongst your team in a civil way.
In the end, Torchlight II is all about leveling up your favorite class to unlock new abilities and power them up by collecting progressively stronger gear. Game outlets like Kotaku and IGN praised the game’s replayability. It was met with generally favorable reviews from other critics as well, with an 88 percent positive rating on Metacritic.
The Torchlight games are nowhere near as gory or metal as Blizzard’s Diablo series, but Torchlight II will scratch a very specific hack-and-slash itch. If anyone is anxious for Diablo IV to finally be released, let Torchlight II serve as the perfect entry-level appetizer.
Torchlight II is free for PC on the Epic Games Store until July 11 at 11 a.m. Eastern.