Thursday, July 26, 2018

Titan Quest: A Quick Review

Over the last 15 months, there have been almost 1000 games released on the Switch eShop. That's a staggering number. However, there is a drought of ARPGs. Blizzard teased Diablo and the other giant ARPG on the market, Path of Exile, is grinding away on the PC and XBox, but still, no mention if either is headed to Nintendo's knockout platform. That leaves Titan Quest uniquely positioned to take advantage of that genre gap.

Titan Quest isn't a new game. It is a refresh of the ARPG released all the way back in 2006. The problem is the game still feels like it is from 2006. That's not to say it's bad. It's just dated and it feels like an old game with a new coat of paint. Particularly when it comes to targeting enemies and player combat animations.

Most modern ARPG controls are intuitive. Sure there will be some special functions that are unique to the game but the ability to switch targets should be something easily done. I could never find this information in Titan Quest's tutorials or help functions. I had to search the internet to find if it was even possible. And before you say "Oh no Rob, you had to look something up on the internet!" yes I understand it wasn't that difficult to do, however; good games are designed well enough that I shouldn't have to. It turns out you can select a new target and you don't have to run away to do so. But it does require you to have to hold down your attack button and then push a direction with your left thumbstick and a wedge will appear highlighting an area. You can then rotate and select an enemy to target. It's not the most convenient.

Selecting new targets isn't as easy as a piece of pie.

The graphics look decent on the big screen, but they are clearly lacking modern textures. They look even better in handheld mode and the UI holds up. There are a lot of pop-ins though in handheld mode. I had a lot of "Oh look! How did that shrub just magically appear there?" moments. It definitely wasn't to scare the satyrs away because there are a ton of them. Waaaaaaaaaay too many in fact. They could rename the early stages of this game satyr quest because for the first two hours that feels like the only thing you kill.

Inventory Tetris engage!

When I first sat down to play Titan Quest I almost immediately regretted my decision. There was something just off about the game. After loading it back up and playing for a second, third, even sixth time (I know right? I guess it grew on me, or I wanted to see it threw to save you pain) it became quite evident the issue was the character animations. You swing at the enemies (satyrs) and you don't really connect with them but their health goes down. It just looked awkward.

I got the skills to pay the bills because this blog sure doesn't. :)

The game has all the tropes and trappings you'd expect in an ARPG: copious loot, deep skill system, a throwaway story. However, this one is based on human history and mythology. It even has local and online multiplayer which is great.

Overall though I can't escape the feeling that unless you are a gamer that is really jonesing for an ARPG on the Switch or you have fond nostalgic feelings for Titan Quest, in particular, you might be better served by passing on this game. For $20 it would probably be worth it but for $40 it's hard to recommend.  

6 out of 10. It's not bad, it's just meh. :|

A copy of this game as provided by THQNordiq's PR team.

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