Review – Titan Quest
I hadn’t played Titan Quest when it originally launched in 2006 for Microsoft Windows, but I was excited to play the remastered version on my Xbox One. I loved the Diablo franchise immensely, so playing a game that harbored the same style but set in Ancient Greece, Egypt, and China sounded like a sure thing. After a long and grueling playthrough, I discovered I was wrong.
Titan Quest had a lot of potential, but much of it I found to be lacking in certain elements that made other games in the genre, like Diablo, much more dynamic. For starters, the game isn’t couch co-op like other games from the same style. I found the beginning of the game to be so incredibly boring and repetitive that I was about ready to pack it in after about three hours of killing the same satyrs and maenads. My husband thought he’d help make things more interesting by playing it couch co-op with me, only to find that the game didn’t offer that feature. A game that focuses so heavily on repetitive hack ‘n’ slash grinding and enemy farming for loot would benefit greatly from allowing you to join up with a friend to get through it quicker and provide more going on the screen.
The biggest issue with Titan Quest is how glitchy it is. You have a lot of your standard textures and areas of the map not loading until you’re in it, as well as many of the monsters on screen shaking back and forth unable to discern which way they should face or how to get out from behind a pillar. Those were just minor annoyances compared to some of the major game breaking glitches I’ve experienced.
For example, there was an instance my game froze and when I reloaded it, it started me at the same spot, but without any of the items I had equipped. It actually erased everything I had equipped from the game, it didn’t just move it or drop it somewhere. Another time, I open a treasure chest it pushed me through the chest and blocked in between the backside of it and a boulder. Nothing I did could shake me loose or push me back through. When I restarted my game, I discovered I had lost all of my progress I had done over the last couple hours. I almost quit then, but I pressed on anyway for some stupid reason.
Another big miss: the uninteresting game animations and lackluster backgrounds. The first act is by far the worst with much of its landscaping looking more or less the same. This leaves an already dull game feeling like it takes an eternity just to get anywhere. I’ll admit it does get a bit better in Act 2 for a while until you’re stuck roaming the deserts of Egypt and then it’s just sand, sand, and more sand. Acts 3 and 4 offer a lot more diversity in their maps, but by then it’s too little too late.
The game animations in Titan Quest very basic and uninspired. The sword and shield techniques look very much like any other, but surprisingly even the magic and spells are dull. Fire is an orange ball, earth magic heaves gray blobs across the screen, and even my spells from the spirit mastery (necromancy) were by and large unimaginative. I managed to level up enough to summon a Lich King to follow me around and help out, but he was about the most interesting thing in my arsenal. Oh sure, I had other more powerful spells at my disposal, but they were just more of the same bright streaks of color shooting across the screen.
I would have liked to have seen more creativity for the moves and spells to help break up the monotony. I remember the witch doctor character in Diablo III having a move where you threw jars of spiders at enemies and they grew bigger and deadlier the more you leveled up. That was one of the first moves they gave you! I really hate to keep comparing the two franchises, but when you see something similar but done right, well then it’s hard not to compare. I wish Titan Quest had done something along those lines with regards to having more creative and dynamic spells and animations. It would have changed the thrill level quite a bit and given me more incentive to level up. I wouldn’t mind enemy farming quite as much if I could keep unlocking crazy new moves.
Like with any of these types of games, Titan Quest is all about the loot. That’s what drives you and keeps you hoping for an upgrade, unless a crazy glitch happens and deletes it all. There isn’t a wide variety of weapons and many of them them look the same, only with different stats. I found, with very rare exceptions, that most of the time there’s no need to buy anything from the vendors. You’ll undoubtedly find all the badass gear you’ll need while fighting and defeating bosses. I mainly used the merchants to sell my junk to and keep amassing large amounts of money. By the end I had so much money I began to wonder if there was really a point behind it.
The bosses in Titan Quest are mostly forgettable. In fact, with a few notable exceptions, they’re barely bosses at all. Most of them are just larger versions of other enemies you’ve seen (and killed) a thousand times before. They are faster, feature more health, and deal more damage, but looks-wise, there’s very little difference between them and their smaller brethren. There are a few (emphasis on “few”) bosses that are giant standout beasts with unique battles of their own, and these were the fleeting moments in the game I actually enjoyed. I’m surprised at the lack of epic mythical beast battles to conquer. I feel that Titan Quest missed a huge opportunity for exciting gameplay by limiting these encounters so much.
The music in Titan Quest is pretty decent and does a fine job of setting the tone for the area you’re in. Nothing too epic and overly grand, but distinct enough to set the mood and fit the area you’re exploring. The voice acting is another story. There’s not much deep plot in Titan Quest, just small quests and objectives to fulfill. They’re depicted with a speech box above the NPC’s head as well as read aloud by an actor. My god are the accents atrocious! Most of the time I never finished hearing what they were saying because I was laughing at them too hard. For the most part they sounded like B-movie actors doing almost racist impressions of what they thought people in that country would sound like.
Titan Quest is disappointing because it sounds like a fantastic idea for a game, but it falls flat in almost every way. Since this is the remastered version, I highly doubt they’re going to be revisiting it anytime soon to give it the overhaul it needs to run smoothly and deliver a dynamic experience. If you like mindless hack ‘n’ slash games that are overly simplistic in design and mundane in appearance, then maybe you’ll enjoy this title.
Dull scenery and unimaginative animations.
Repetitive moves and enemies with mostly underwhelming bosses.
Decent background music, but laughably bad voice acting.
Boring gameplay and insane amounts of glitches. This is one heck of a missed opportunity.
Final Verdict: 4.0
Titan Quest is available now on Steam, iOs, Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and Android.
Reviewed on Xbox One.
A copy of Titan Quest was provided by the publisher.