The ancient Greeks gave us modern day humans a lot of things, many of which we find invaluable today. Mathematical theories and practices, the fundamentals of democracy and philosophy are just a few of the treats they left us. They also gave us some of the most epic stories, myths, and fables that have become the holding frame for many a movie, game and piece of literature.
Titan Quest borrows the epic hero’s journey and many fable elements from the ancient Greek cookbook and puts you into the maelstrom of an heroic quest. Are you spartan enough to do it? Or are you more of a doner kebab? Only time will tell…
Titan Quest first came to the PC in 2006, before being remastered in 2016, and that is the version we are getting here today on console. The game is a classic RPG, very much in the line of Diablo in its style of gameplay. The story is, as you can imagine, an epic one involving Titans and gods. See, long ago the Titans were imprisoned by the God Zeus and now they’ve escaped and are found wreaking havoc across the world. It’s up to you, a sort of spartan everyman, to become the true champion and bring order to the land.
What I do like is the way Titan Quest tells a tale, not giving you all the information and exposition from the beginning, but rather revealing it slowly as you progress. In my eyes, that is always a very excellent way of telling a story. But how does it play?
Things starts off relatively straightforward in terms of gameplay, but everything gets more complicated – and I would say more enjoyable – as you begin to gain more skills and better stats. You walk around the map like any RPG of this type, killing monsters and enemies, collecting loot and interacting with objects and people. There are main story quests to complete that will take you across many lands, towns, and locations. There are countless side quests to complete as well if you wish, and a wealth of things to discover on your journey.
The actual controls that enable you to do all this can, at times, feel a bit clunky; working out the special attacks and how to use them properly takes some getting used to. The skill tree system, inventory and leveling up mechanics are all massively detailed, as you would expect from a top-notch developer of this genre, but it’s hard to tackle at times and you find yourself longing for a mouse to make the experience cleaner. The combat is good and at times you have to use your tactical brain to really get the most out of the fight, especially when faced with countless enemies and multiple options to attack them. There can be problems at times with enemies getting stuck in foliage or a slight bit of lag between where you direct the hero and where they actually go, but not enough to make the game completely annoying or not enjoyable to play.
The journey is the main star here, with the story being the big focus alongside your individual character’s progression. It’s a long one as well, with over forty hours of gameplay and a trip around the world on offer. Every main character you meet adds to the narrative and adventure, and even the side NPCs offer insightful musings for the world and its workings.
For some who aren’t into old school RPG’s this might feel overwhelming and they might not progress past the first few hours. But true fans of the genre are in for a treat, as there is a lot on offer with in-depth gameplay, levelling and an interesting world to explore. It does get a bit familiar with the gameplay at times, but I think this is the case for the vast majority of titles from this genre.
The looks and feel of Titan Quest hark back to a different era and the cutscenes do look a bit last generation though. The actual world is however crisp and clear and you can see the upgrade on work in the environments and the level design. The characters, creatures, and enemies are good and I always enjoy seeing multiple battles on screen, with the promise of loads of creatures at once coming towards me offering some great contests. The sound has a dramatic and film-like score that pumps along at a good pace, and the effects are pretty decent. The voice over work is of a very good standard that keeps you enthralled throughout.
Overall and Titan Quest is a good game that will appeal massively to the hardcore RPG fan. The story and narrative are excellent and rewarding, with clever level design, great locations and loads to do. The controls sometimes let the game down, as does the menu selection, but if you can’t afford to go to Greece this summer, don’t worry – just sit at home, put on some sunglasses and play some Titan Quest.