Since I can remember I’ve always been intrigued by Greek mythology. The tales of mighty heroes taking on mythical creatures in order to save humanity (or appease the gods) has always fascinated me to some degree. This might explain why I’ve found myself gravitating towards games set in these universes, such as God of War and Age of Mythology. In 2006, an RPG released on PC called Titan Quest, a game that combined my love for mythology and role-playing into one mythical package. I quickly found myself falling in love with the game and still own my original PC copy. Fast forward a few years later and Titan Quest is set to return, but this time as a remaster for consoles. So, did the remaster make me fall in love with the game all over again or is it better left in the depths of Hades?
Titan Quest tells the tale of the titular unnamed hero (that’s you) chosen by the Gods to defeat the Titans who have escaped their imprisonment by the lighting god, Zeus. You see, the Titans are bad news as they love wreaking havoc across the lands, worst of all they pose a threat to both gods and humanity. Armed with nothing but your bravery, you are thrust into a world of magic, swords, and strange creatures as you head out to rid the world of the Titans. Your quest initially sees you travelling through ancient Greece but, eventually, your journey takes you across the world to Egypt and Asia, facing off against all kinds of monstrosities.
While Titan Quest’s story, which was penned by writer Randall Wallace (who wrote the screenplay for Braveheart), does a great job of immersing you in the lore of the game’s world, there is no mistaking that the game is mostly about smashing creatures with either a blunt or pointy object. The game sees you mostly travelling across a map to kill mythical creatures while completing side-quests and learning more about the ancient world’s plight.
Normally, partaking in these sometimes-repetitive tasks can become tedious, luckily, it’s the game’s sheer variety of creatures, monsters, and environments that is arguably one of its biggest strengths. Each area you will be exploring has its own unique biomes filed with creatures specific to those environments, such as the fish-men, who tend to keep close to swampy areas or the ocean, basically anywhere where there is water. This attention to detail extends to the world’s inhabitants as well as not all NPC’s will task you with completing a quest, some might just recite a poem or tell you a tale. All these elements help flesh out the game’s world and, while the world might not feel as alive as the more recent Witcher games, for a game that released in 2006, it does quite a commendable job of this.
Going about killing various large creatures isn’t easy. Luckily, the game world is filled with all kinds of loot that can aid you in your quest. Killing an enemy sees them exploding into shiny bits of precious loot, which for the most part varied enough to keep me scouring my enemies’ corpses in hopes of finding some new more powerful weapons. Along with the copious amount of loot to aid you, you will also have access to various skill trees which will unlock new abilities that can be used to heal or banish your foes to Hades.
Although the game’s visual fidelity does show its age at times, I was quite surprised with how well the graphics hold up considering that the game is more than 10 years old. I did experience some frame rate drops, especially when I found myself surrounded by hordes of creatures, and on occasions some texture pop in. This might not be game breaking, but it did become frustrating at times. A far bigger issue than the game’s performance though is its controls. Now, while the controls have been implemented in a way that feels natural and that translates well from PC to console the same cannot be said for the way your character actually controls/moves. For starters controlling your character just doesn’t feel as responsive as it should. Worst of all, when tilting the analogue stick forward to move your character and then quickly releasing it, your character still moves forward for a split second and doesn’t come to an immediate stop. It is possible to get used to this “delay” after a while but its something that the developers should have fixed before the game’s launch.
Another thing that is sorely lacking from the remaster is a couch co-op multiplayer mode. The game does offer you the opportunity to join a friend through online multiplayer, but in a world where the likes of Diablo allows you to team up with a buddy via local co-op, it’s a feature that is noticeably absent. It feels like a missed opportunity and would’ve been a perfect fit for the game.
In the end, I still found myself enjoying my time spent playing Titan Quest. Sure, the frame-rate drops and unresponsive controls do hurt the game, but it’s the lack of local multiplayer that I found particularly disappointing. Hopefully, the developer can sort out some of these issues with a patch or even add local multiplayer. The game does show its age at times, and although I really wanted to fall in love with the game all over again, I ended up a tad disillusioned.
Titan Quest on consoles isn’t a bad game, however, it’s just a perfectly average one.