Now I remember 2006 like it was 12 years ago because it was. Man, I feel old. The 7th generation of gaming had begun and there was a lacklustre amount of new games on the market. At the same time, there was a decline in isometric, action RPG titles and it had been 5 years since Diablo 2. As it would be another 7 years until Diablo 3 would amaze us with it’s okay-ness, there was a gap in the market. Thus Titan Quest was born and now we finally have a console port after so many years. But I do ask the question: did anyone really ask for it?
I remember my brother giving me a copy of Titan Quest and I enjoyed the hell out of it. It was a nice game for those who didn’t really fancy playing Diablo 1/2 for the 100th time (even though you could). It’s been a long time coming for a console port and nowadays, they’re kind of commonplace. This remaster of the classic RPG hack and slash keeps faithful to the original design, while bumping up the overall aesthetics, to deliver the same, if not improved experience back from 2006.
The Anniversary Edition’s presentation is simply stunning for a 12-year-old game. With improved visuals and Sound design, it shows that the developers have remained faithful to the original game yet handled the aesthetics with great care and consideration. This game actually looks and sounds better than Diablo 3, although cutscenes look a little dated. The game worlds are rich with fine detail, dynamic lighting to make the world feel more organic and the smaller aspects such as the voice acting are pretty decent. What makes Titan Quest stand out above other titles, including Diablo and Neverwinter, is the setting, which takes players from Ancient Greece to Egypt.
Within these locations is a great variation of monsters, NPCs and environments which ensures your journey will feel grand in every way. Titan Quest‘s plot is a standard affair of traveler comes across those in need, helps out and is sent off on an epic journey to defeat a great evil. Nothing special but serves the purpose for this action title.
Now I can say that remasters are great if you improve upon the original where needed. I get that you shouldn’t change too much around but when it comes to PC to console ports then there are definitely some things you gotta change. One of the main issues is the small text on screen which includes weapon stats, dialogue and basic information. It makes sense on PC as players will be closer to the screen but playing on a sofa 5ft away makes it extremely difficult to read. My biggest issue is with the combat. These types of games back on the PC were quite different from what we play now, especially on consoles; games like Titan Quest and Diablo would let players click on an enemy and have them engage in combat automatically while you could implement other forms of attacks and defence when you liked.
When these types of games are ported to consoles they normally act like other hack and slack/adventure games meaning you have more control over who you attack and could hammer attacks endlessly. Titan Quest sticks to the original method of combat and without tweaking it for consoles, it’s just plain weird. Games like Victor Vran allow a massive amount of freedom and control over combat; Titan Quest just feels like it’s on autopilot when you fight and a little clumsy at doing so as well.
You press X and your character charges off to find the nearest enemy (or furthest sometimes when it’s glitching) and from here, you hammer the X button until the enemy is dead. I’m not a fan of this as your massively restricted on who you attack and how you defend. You can break your line of attack, but this requires moving your position rather than facing another direction. It doesn’t help that a bug causes your character to freezes while everything else moves on for a few seconds, 80% of the time. It lasts for a few seconds and it’s utterly infuriating when you’re in the midst of combat with dozens of enemies.
Also, you can only attack when enemies are nearby and environmental objects such as pots and crates are unbreakable. This takes so much away from exploration whereas games like Victor Vran offer an excellent amount of exploration and it’s due to the freedom of combat. Don’t get me wrong Titan Quest is a lot of fun, but restrictive and annoying due to some bugs. However, there is great depth to player progression with a number of different classes to choose from and from there a number of skills to develop and earn with a complex skill tree filled with a diverse range of special attacks.
Titan Quest can be troublesome, to begin with as the first couple of hours feel more like your conducting long winded chores. It doesn’t help that your inventory that hardly holds anything bigger than a pencil. But with some progression, the game can be a ton of fun but staggers behind the likes of Diablo due to its limitations.
Titan Quest Anniversary Edition has come 10 years too late as the likes of Victor Vran have taken the spotlight. However, players can still enjoy a humble, yet captivating hack and slash RPG. This remaster has great visuals, excellent sound design and enough content to make sure you’re entertained for 30 hours. It’s a shame the combat (more suited for PC controls) is restrictive and the bugs (which I’m sure can be ironed out soon) hold it back from what it was in its glory days, of 2006. Man, I do feel old now.
Disclaimer: An Xbox One Review Copy of Titan Quest Anniversary Edition was provided by THQ Nordic for the purpose of this review