Recently, I was given the pleasure of reviewing Titan Quest, which was first released in 2006 from Iron Lore Entertainment (Developer) and THQ (Publisher) and now is making a comeback in 2018 from THQ Nordic. Titan Quest puts you in the arms of a player-created character going through a dark age of Greece and surrounding countries, due to Titans now returning from being locked away by the Olympic gods themselves, thus ushering back a new age of primordial darkness.
The graphics of Titan Quest look great in instances. The buildings look great, the creatures and beasts you fight look wonderful and so does some of the effects that you use for weaponry and armor. However, there isn’t anything stellar about Titan Quest’s graphics. The character models are lazily designed, although the isometric camera helps to hide this fact initially. The lands surrounding Greece, Egypt, and China look washed out and dated when it comes to the surrounding foliage and the game primarily sticks to a brown, grey, and green color scale.
The gameplay for Titan Quest is innovative, as you can build a distinct archetype to your heart’s content. Whether playing as a warrior, rogue, mage or shaman, each with multiple variants and an intricate skill tree that’ll let you build up your character however you want to. Also, Titan Quest is an Action RPG which lets you roam freely, planning your next move and pulling mobs to you.
The issues with Titan Quest‘s gameplay begin to show the more you play though: it really starts to show its age, especially compared to its counterparts in the genre such as Diablo and Torchlight. Unfortunately, the re-release of Titan Quest didn’t feature any notable upgrades. This is the exact same game it was when it first released.
Titan Quest only lets you stand and tap X to do hits, Y lets you do whatever skill you have available in the slot while B lets you shift to your secondary weapon slot. None of these commands are very responsive though and there is typically a delay between when you press a command and that command actually functioning. The other issue is the skill wheel completely needs an overhaul. Using certain skills mid-fight would stop you from executing your basic attacks while other skills wouldn’t register no matter how many times you pressed the buttons.
Lastly, the enemy POV to attack is also weird. Depending on the direction you were facing, it would never actually focus on the enemy that you’d face, defaulting instead to some random automated combat decision. While you could change this by holding down the “X” button on your gamepad, it became a hindrance for later boss fights in the game.
The multiplayer of Titan Quest pairs you and another party or group of people on the same server. But it respawns you to where you left off on your own campaign and not to where you and other players could meet up. There were many times during the multiplayer moments where I had to advise people via messages to where to meet up. As I either got people just starting or those way further ahead of me, I never had the chance to truly enjoy the multiplayer as I had to jump through far too many hurdles just for sessions to really begin.
The audio of Titan Quest has its moments where it can be good. The music represents this by howwell orchestrated it is in certain acts and boss fights. Unfortunately, those moments come few and far between as the music doesn’t always kick in and you’ll be listening to either silence or the sound of footsteps from your character. Furthermore, the voice acting in Titan Quest isn’t anything to write home about. It features forced accents and some of the same voices being recycled for multiple characters.
I saved the story portion of Titan Quest for last as it features a very interesting story with a really cool premise behind it. Titan Quest begins with the bond of the golden age of Olympic gods and humans returning back to darkness as the Titans are released from their Exile, by lesser titans (who avoided capture during the first war between the Titans and the Gods) to begin a brand new war against humanity. As time progresses in-game, you begin to see the damage done by the Titans, in Greece, Egypt, and China. As you progress in the story, you start to unravel secrets of why this is done and even potentially meet a God in the midst of it all. Proving that humanity can stand for itself without the help of the gods.
When I began Titan Quest, I knew that it was an older title but I expected that since it was remastered it would stand up against others in its genre. It does do certain things better, like the skill training. The one thing really stood out to me throughout. is that it is still showing its age in a time where the genre has consistently grown to far beyond what Titan Quest presently offers. Titan Quest does other things right, like being able to freely build your character, good music, and offering an interesting storyline. In contrast to this however, Titan Quest suffers from the thing that most remasters go through. A Minimalist effort: not too much focus on improving the remaster from the original, or rebuilding anything. While Titan Quest may be a veteran in the game industry from back then, it doesn’t do much to improve on its old formula or even really stand out in the resurgent ARPG/CRPG genre.