Titan Quest is one of my all-time favorite action RPGs. It falls in the same camp as the Diablo series but focuses on Greek mythology. There are other differences as well, which I’ll break down shortly, but for the most part, all you need to know is Titan Quest is Diablo but in Greek. With that said, the PC version is stellar, and this review is not a reflection of that game. For me, the Steam version of the game is an easy 9/10. Now on to the console edition.
First off, I was extremely excited to see that Titan Quest: Anniversary Edition was coming to consoles. After the successful move from PC to console that Blizzard pulled off with Diablo, I figured it would be brilliant. I was sadly mistaken. Fortunately, a few of the issues have been fixed in a patch, which pushed my review back as I waited for one more big thing to be done to the game with a future patch. As of this writing, that big thing hasn’t been done. Couch co-op. A top-down action RPG that only differs in customization and setting from Diablo has no couch co-op. For a game that originally launched in 2006, there are no hardware limitations that I could think of that would prevent this. This is just a lazy port of a fantastic game.
Now, with a recent patch, the movement in the game has been fixed – which pre-patch was horrible. So there is one plus. Other small issues have also been fixed which has saved this game from getting a very negative review. With that preamble out of the way, let me tell you about this title and what makes it so great and what went so wrong.
Titan Quest was developed by Iron Lore and made a small splash in the ARPG scene when it launched. This was primarily due to the visual presentation, which was stellar at the time. The visuals are so good, in fact, that they still look great today. You won’t be tricked into thinking the game was developed this year, but you’ll likely be surprised that the game is 12 years old. In addition, the character customization in the game is second to none. Instead of choosing from a preset class at the start of the game, you earn points that can go into increasing your stats tied to one of ten classes. Or, you can spend those points on buying abilities and upgrading them. Either way, you are strengthening your character as you level. In addition, you will gain the ability to unlock a second class, which then changes your class name and your play style completely. For example, if you chose Rogue and Dream as your two classes, you would be a Dreamkiller. If you chose Warfare as a second class, instead, your Rogue would become an Assassin.
On top of that, your build has a huge impact on how easy the game is. Make too many bad choices and you are in for a rough ride. Make the right choices and things are fairly easy. You also have your main stats, such as strength and intelligence to spend additional points on, which need to be at certain thresholds to equip higher end gear. This all leads to a ton of menu math and careful planning. Which is where Titan Quest fails pretty hard on the console. The menus are difficult to navigate and checking different gear is more of a chore than a reward. For a game so deep on stats, the menu system had to be stellar and it is the opposite.
Another big part of this game is the size and scope. Titan Quest is longer and bigger than Diablo and most of its counterparts. Which is fantastic, as ARPGs are a blast with friends. Just make sure you have friends to play with online. Unfortunately, for no reason at all, there is no couch co-op. That kills the game on console. The PC version is superior in every other way. Without the ability to sit on the couch with a friend to play, there is no reason to purchase it on a console. You can run the game on a low-level computer without any issue, and the visual upgrades, if there are any, are not noticeable on the console version. So without couch co-op, the game is kind of dead already.
Even with couch co-op, though, there would be other issues to face. Combat feels off. It isn’t as tight as its competition and for much of the game you can just hold the attack button and your character will run to the nearest enemy and attack. This takes a very simplistic console genre and makes it almost autonomous. On the PC, you need to focus on where you are moving, what gear you are using, what weapons your enemies have, their positioning and their weaknesses. You need to worry about that on the console version, but the controls are so loose, you can’t do anything about it.
I could go on and on about how great Titan Quest is as a game, and how poorly it was ported over, but you should get a pretty solid read at this point. There is no reason to continue down the path of explaining the great parts of the game in a review for the console version. Instead, we will consider doing a video playthrough of the PC version of the game in the near future, and show off why the game stands the test of time. For now, save your money and move along. If you don’t have a PC that can run 12-year-old games, there may be a reason to buy this when it is in the bargain bin, otherwise, buy the superior and cheaper version on PC.