You remember all the boring classical Greek mythology classes you sat through in high school? Sure, sitting through the yarns about gods fighting, making up, and occasionally molesting a particularly attractive human were better than an afternoon in calculus, but you wouldn’t want to relive those adventures again today, would you? We sure as hell don’t want to struggle through Bullfinch’s Mythology again, but we’d love a second helping of Titan Quest.
The story is simple. Some young whippersnapper gods locked their parental gods in a god prison. Then, over time, the elder gods got pissed and broke out of the prison and commenced wreaking havoc on everything around. Your job as a lowly mortal (with nothing more than a meager weapon and a tenuous grasp on magic) is to defeat the god elders. Naturally, you’ll begin small, facing off against centaurs, skeletons, and zombies before you move on to more frightening fare.
For people who enjoy the typical mindless action-RPG, Titan Quest is a lot of fun. It adds a few small cosmetic touches to the genre—ragdoll physics replace the traditional death animations, for example, and makes the game much more entertaining to watch. The graphics are superior to every other action RPG we’ve played, and the game world is positively massive. We spent more than 30 hours beating the main quest the first time, which then unlocks a higher difficulty level so you can run through the quest again, picking up still better loot and learning even more skills.
The multi-class system adds a multitude of choices to the game. In the beginning portions of the game, you’ll choose two of the eight available classes, then spend points (which you earn each time you gain a level) to learn new skills, improve them, and unlock even more powerful abilities. By choosing different classes and skills, you’ll get a different experience each time you play the game.
Co-op play kicks ass; we spent several happy sessions playing through the main quest in small parties—with each player controlled by other people. Playing multiplayer opens new doors for character customization. You can specialize in one particular field; instead of a good balance between melee defense and ranged magic use, you can focus on one or the other. No Jacks of All Trades are needed in a large group.
There’s plenty of room for improvement in the game, though. The utter lack of inventory-management in the game’s UI is frustrating, especially for a game that delivers such an unbelievable amount of loot. We spent way too much time rearranging our loot to fit in the extremely limited inventory space. Furthermore, the game only gives you a vague indication of what the different items are worth, so it’s difficult to know what you should keep (to sell) and what you should just drop.
Also, we found the melee combat to be frustratingly difficult. We frequently ended up chasing fleeing enemies, and the boss monsters were too powerful for toe-to-toe tussles. We ended up kiting them—a very difficult prospect with short-range weapons only.
Despite its few minor flaws, Titan Quest delivers a ton of extremely fun content for the RPG aficionado. The story is engaging, the graphics are beautiful, and the monsters are plentiful.
Month Reviewed: October 2006
+ CRONUS: Great story, graphics, and gameplay. 30-plus hours of fun.
- SATURN: Loot management and inventory need some work. Too much loot!