Titan Quest Anniversary Edition Review
Ever since my early days I’ve been a fan of pen and paper RPGs. In fact, I still am, as nothing can quite compare to their organic feel as you play through a campaign, whether it be set in a post-apocalyptic, western, science fiction, or fantasy settings, with the latter being my favorite.
There were some developers that went to great lengths to emulate the tabletop fantasy RPGs such as many of the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons titles by SSI (who can forget Pool of Radiance?). And we all know how epic those classic BioWare titles were, with such luminary entries as Baldur’s Gate I & II and Tales of the Sword Coast.
On the flip side of the coin, you had the ARPG AKA action role-playing game market emerge, which was perhaps best typified by Diablo II. I used to turn my nose up at Diablo II when I had first heard about it. I’d reckoned it was a cheap knock off of proper RPGs—you know, good for the kiddos but beyond that…yawn. That is until I actually sat down and tried it.
There is something about ARPGs that can suck you in very quickly. I have a strong feeling that it has something to do with their fast pace, almost constant action, and addictive loot systems. You always feel like your character just needs to make it to that next level to unlock that special talent or spell. Or, you need (not want) to conquer that dangerous dungeon and kill off its main baddie, then you can finally rest.
But after accomplishing that objective, you feel compelled to tackle one last task—then you can finally rest. Rinse and repeat, until the morning rays of the sun start to peek through your windows, and you now have an idea of what sort of time sink I’m referring to.
Years later, when the original Titan Quest (2007) was released, my interest in ARPGs had dwindled. This was because Diablo II had been release way back 2000, and spawned droves of imitators. We’re talking tons of knockoffs here, and the vast majority (if not all) were totally whack. I merely dismissed Titan Quest out of hand as being yet another cheap wannabe-Diablo II title, and was trying too hard to be yet another clone of that classic game.
More recently, the ARPG market has upped its quality levels considerably, with stellar titles such as Path of Exile and Grim Dawn coming to mind. The latter game borrowed liberally from Titan Quest’s game play elements, or at least that’s what I’d heard. Playing Grim Dawn in turn made me much more curious about Titan Quest, its progenitor, but I still put that off since it was such an old game. I figured that if they released a newer, remastered version, I’d check it out. Well folks, Titan Quest Anniversary Edition just came out, and it’s about as close to that as we’re going to get.
Just as with Grim Dawn, Titan Quest uses the same Diablo II game mechanics, but adds in a much greater build variety, offering more diverse character customizations to suit different playstyles. You do this by choosing between distinct Masteries, Titan Quest’s version of classes, such as the Storm Mastery for magic wielders, or the Warfare Mastery for those who favor more up-close and personal combat. What’s really unique is that you can combine masteries with one another and come up with some pretty cool characters.
Titan Quest’s setting also sets it apart from other games of similar ilk. You begin the game as a champion for good, battling ancient mythological foes across the lush, rolling hills of Greece. From there, you travel to Babylon, Egypt, and even ancient China. Some of the enemies that you’ll face are directly plucked from each culture’s mythology, while others are completely high fantasy-derived. It’s a great mix that works well within the game’s diverse universe.
Titan Quest’s storyline is pretty interesting. Someone or something has unleased titans upon the ancient world, and you and your fellow foolhardy adventurers must put a stop to their reign of terror and bloodshed. Luckily, as you gain experience and level up your character, you can use skill points to increase your primary characteristics, such as strength and intelligence. This in turn allows you to wield better weapons or cast more potent spells.
The new Anniversary Edition adds in some important key features over the original version:
- Much easier multiplayer cohesion—now you don’t have to worry about each player having the same patches and mods, etc.
- Steam Workshop and Achievement integrated into the game
- The Immortal Throne expansion is now combined with the base game, making for a much more seamless gaming experience
- The game has undergone numerous upgrades, bug fixes, and rebalancing tweaks, by members of the Titan Quest community, for a much smoother and more exciting play through
- A speed adjuster that lets you progress through the game faster if you so choose
- Countless new additions to the base game, as well as higher resolution support for crisper visuals
Titan Quest Anniversary Edition couldn’t have come at a better time, as it’s not only great for those nostalgic players who want to revisit it, but also newbies like me who always wanted to try it but never got around to it. It’s fun to play solo, but when you team up with a group of friends for some multiplayer games, it’s an absolute blast. Although the game’s main quest is more or less linear, it has enough side-missions, as well as a completely randomized loot system, that it will beckon you for repeat play throughs. Heck, I’ve completed it twice already and (as of writing this article) am gathering some new players to start up a third game.
Titan Quest Anniversary Edition’s visuals have been bumped up considerably over the base game. However, you have to have an equally fast gaming PC in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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