Titan Quest: Ragnarok And Titan Quest: Atlantis Review- Modern DLCs For A 14 Year Old Game Is The Best Kind Of Trend
Titan Quest is an isometric hack-and-slash ARPG. Now you might be wondering why we are doing a review for a game released in 2006. For some reason, THQ had the excellent idea of continuing to release content almost a decade after the previous DLC, Titan Quest: Immortal Throne. In 2017 they surprised us all with the sudden release of Titan Quest: Ragnarok, and again in 2019 with Titan Quest: Atlantis. These two DLC expansions add a ton of content, both in the form of extra areas to explore as well as to the base game. With both now having been ported to consoles, THQ has shown that sometimes the old games are just as incredible as the new ones.
The premise of Titan Quest is about what you would expect for a Greek-themed Diablo 2. You play as either a male or female human who finds themselves in the midst of a monster apocalypse, with hordes of all kinds of mythical horrors pouring into the world of man. With the mortal realm having their connection to the realm of the gods severed by a mysterious race of demons called the Telkines, it is up to you to trek across the continent and assist the surviving armies of Greece, Egypt, and China in fighting off the monster hordes.
Of course, the story of Titan Quest is just a medium for giving you a reason to hack and to slash. Building up your character is the main point of this style of game. There are ten different classes, (nine in the base game, Titan Quest: Ragnarok adds the tenth), called “masteries,” for you to choose from. These masteries range from the standard sword and board of Warrior or Defense, to the spell casting variety of Dream or Storm. Each character gains a mastery at level two and another at level eight.
While some masteries have better synergy than others, all combinations are completely viable. Why wouldn’t you want to be a dagger wielding rogue who can summon an earth golem on the side? Each of the classes in Titan Quest has both passive and active skills. All kinds of buffs and auras can be found, and each mastery has their own unique powers. The Nature mastery can summon wolves and briar thorns, the Storm mastery can summon, well, storms, and the Warfare mastery can scream so loud it buffs everyone’s strength and summons the ethereal spirits of ancient champions. Awesome.
Visually, Titan Quest is about what you would expect from a 2007 game at the highest graphics settings. The models are janky, occasionally dogs will have a nice big crease down the middle, and your character’s hands are incapable of properly holding on to weapons, often resting the sword gently on their knuckles. There is little character customization, you can choose the tunic color but that’s about it. That said, most of the game is spent zoomed all the way out, so it still looked fine. The colors are bright and the style is nice. And since it is so visually un-taxing on the PS4, while co-oping both players can go off and do their own thing, since the console is capable of rendering two iterations of the game with only minor occasional framerate drops.
The gameplay of Titan Quest is similar to that of other hack-and-slash ARPGs. You run around from enemy to enemy, hack and often slash, and then gain some XP and pick up whatever equipment they may have dropped. In typical Diablo fashion, the gear is ranked by rarity (albeit using different colors) and you can find artifacts to attach to your equipment in order to add more stats. You know the deal.
I played the PS4 version of Titan Quest, and unfortunately it did have some issues. Unlike the PC version which I have played extensively years back, the aiming mechanics for Titan Quest are imperfect. Since you don’t have a mouse, the console port has a sort of auto aim, which can be overridden by holding the attack button and aiming in the direction of your desired target. However, this often can target the wrong enemy, doubly so if you’re trying to attack a target who is chasing your ally. In this regard I might recommend you play it on a computer, though my co-op partner and I got used to this unusual system fairly easily.
Titan Quest: Ragnarok is the biggest of the three expansions, adding not only an enormous high level fifth act to the game, but also an entirely new class. As the name suggests, Ragnarok is a nordic themed expansion. The story of this DLC is something about the Celtic monsters and Asgardians, nothing you don’t already have in mind. But the real meat of Ragnarok is a new class, the Runemaster, and the addition of throwing weapons. I made my character a Runemaster who specialized in elemental throwing knives, and it was beyond incredible. The skills of the Runemaster mastery would pair well with any of the classes, but it almost feels as though thrown weapons were in mind. Dual wielding thrown weapons with a skill that increased throwing the more I threw, and a special move that launched 10 of my lighting knives in a shotgun pattern was capable of clearing entire groups of monsters. The most daring addition that comes with Ragnarok is giving your characters the ability to wear pants. This expansion is worth it for the new class, weapons, and pants alone. The nordic levels are just a massive beautiful pile of icing on the cake.
The same cannot be said for Titan Quest: Atlantis. This expansion adds a campaign that takes you around the Mediterranian, a “wave-based challenge” called Tartarus Endless Mode, as well as one final tier of skills for each mastery. While I thoroughly enjoyed this DLC, and Atlantis featured the most interesting areas, unfortunately, it was the buggiest part of my playthrough. Textures would frequently not load, enemies would pop in and out in the presence of some active skills, and in one game breaking instance, the framerate went to sub-1fps during the Tartarus Endless Mode, requiring us to relaunch the game. While it is certainly playable and does add a ton of new content, Titan Quest: Atlantis is the shortest and weakest addition to the game.
Titan Quest: Immortal Throne already turned the original game into an incredible ARPG, but Titan Quest: Atlantis and Titan Quest: Ragnarok make it a masterpiece of a throwback. While the game is still rough around the edges, Titan Quest and its DLCs are an incredible amount of fun. If you’re a fan of this style of game, definitely give it a shot.