Titan Quest + Immortal Throne (Gold Edition)
I played on Normal difficulty, the character I picked was a level 8 Evoker (Earth and Dream Mastery) from one of my previous attempts at a playthrough, and at the end of Immortal Throne I reached level 40. That’s after completing all the side quests and fully exploring all maps, fighting every enemy at least once. I didn’t grind and I tried to avoid having to fight my way through the same areas again though (monsters respawn the next time you load the game, just like in Diablo).
What I liked:
+ The graphics still hold up today, even in the legacy version; I found the game very nice to look at.
+ Sounds and music are great as well.
+ There's a very good quantity and variety of landscapes and opponents all throughout the game and its expansion, some variety even in the nature of quests.
+ As long as you don't teleport, there are no loading screens, everything connects seamlessly, in-door and outdoor, and there are several levels of terrain which is nice (e.g. you can walk on and under bridges).
+ Areas are not procedurally generated or otherwise randomized huge bland dungeons, but beautifully designed and distinctive with interesting landmarks. To me, as someone who cares more for exploration than loot hunting and grinding and such, it was more fun than the Diablo games (even though the layout of the areas is very linear most of the times, so don't expect huge open world exploration).
+ Classes being replaced by a combination of two freely chosen Masteries is an interesting concept. I only tested Earth and Dream, but at least these two had enough interesting skills to choose from. I never really needed to reskill, but that the game allows you to do it, is another plus.
+ During the credits, random monster models are shown in a close-up view, which is great since you never really have the chance to take a good look at them in-game because zoomed out you can more or less recognize what kind of creature you're fighting but not e.g. how their faces look, close-up view is counterproductive in combat and there is no button for pausing the action except the one that obscures the screen with the menu window. So I appreciated this belated chance to finally learn what exactly I had actually fought all the time. ;)
What I'm conflicted about:
~ Despite the good looks, handcrafted feel, interesting skills etc. it's still a Diablo clone featuring most of the aspects I don't really care for in the genre (simplistic and repetitve gameplay, curious savegame system, respawning enemies, complicated item comparisons, random loot hunting, trash mobs etc. etc.). But recently I was in the mood for a RPG that's slightly addictive but not enough to really draw me in and distract me too much from work, just something to play in short bursts during breaks, without requiring me to think much. Titan Quest fit the bill, and I knew what I was getting into, so I can't complain.
~ I actually found the first act in Greece a bit slow and more boring than later parts, but that might be a matter of taste, and it's probably also due to the low level characters having fewer skills and options, making the gameplay seem even more repetitive (I had already started the game twice before but both times I never reached level 10 before losing interest).
What I didn't like:
- Most boss fights were alright, but a few were no fun at all. There was one boss with constant dangerous magic attacks who'd also keep conjuring groups of melee fighters AND heal himself. And the end boss of Titan Quest was quite terrible as well, huge difficulty spike there, if difficulty actually translates to you slowly having to chip away at this HP sponge while he can kill you with one or two attacks if you stop moving. I could only beat those two with the help of exploits and longer kiting sessions, which made these encounters seem all the more cheap and broken.
- Immortal Throne has a known bug that occurs if you die in a specific boss fight. The door to the boss area is not clickable anymore and can't be opened again to reach him; it can be fixed by just using a portal and returning shortly after, so luckily it's not game-breaking even if it looked like it was at first.
- I also had issues with two places in Immortal Throne that caused my game to lag until it was quit and reloaded.
The problem is that the second place is right before the final boss fight, and this boss fight also has terrible checkpoint placement, so I had to fight the boss with the game lagging, and since I'm somewhat allergic to longer boss fights in general, it was no fun at all.
- There was one other boss with terrible checkpoint placement which added tedium to the frustration when I died on him. What's the point of making the player run all the way back to the boss through cleared levels by just holding down the mouse button for like a minute or more?
- A few areas were much too big and tedious, especially one huge dungeon in Immortal Throne which is one of the least interesting areas in the game. Everything looks the same, the opponents are the same groups over and over again as well, but quality was replaced with quantity, and you have to endure this over several floors.
- When I quit and returned to Windows, the game had always set my keyboard from German to English without reverting it again.
- When I picked up my old character, I didn't consider that I had also gotten the Anniversary Edition for free, I just continued the game already installed on my PC without thinking about it. And that means I will probably never get to see the Ragnarök expansion, since I don't feel like playing through the whole game again first because my character isn't compatible with the Anniversary Edition. Oh well.
I'm not really sure what my verdict is. At times it was fun, other times it was frustrating and tedious. But I guess the fun parts were predominant, after all I was motivated enough to play through the whole thing, and I didn't manage to actually complete many games in this genre yet (not even Diablo 2), since I tend to lose interest at some point. So maybe my verdict could be that Titan Quest is an interesting game in a somewhat boring genre, which makes it both great and not that great? :/
Post edited November 06, 2018 by Leroux