Developed by Iron Lore, Titan Quest is a pure action RPG set in the ancient world, where myth and the gods are real. Based on - and set in - a world of Greek mythology, you play as a human who somehow gets stuck with the job of setting the world right after Titans escape from their underworld confinement to take revenge on humanity. When the game begins, you have to create a hero or heroine to lead into battle...
Titan Quest splits the adventure between Greece, Egypt and China each offering up top fifteen hours of fun if you make a go of all the side quests. The game begins in Greece, where you'll battle many creatures and monsters from Greek mythology, such as the Satyrs, one-eyed Cyclopes and Harpies. The second part of the game then takes you south to Egypt, where you'll plunder temples and pyramids and battle mummies, giant beetles, lizard men, and vultures. Once you reach Asia, you'll experience some of the game's most-beautiful environments. Whereas Greece is arid and rocky, and Egypt dry and desert, Asia is lush and green and filled with all sorts of interesting settings, such as the Great Wall, as well as imperial cities and towns. Here you will battle various evil spirits, yeti-like monsters and primitive human beings.
In terms of gameplay, Titan Quest plays out very similarly to Diablo. Yeah, it's a hack and slash RPG, and a fairly typical one at that. You create a single character choosing from a few basic classes, and then you are dropped into the world, where you'll go around hacking and slashing monsters left and right, gain experience, complete quests (both main and a number of side quests), pick up loot dropped or found until your inventory fills up and then head to the nearest town to sell it and make money to buy more stuff! Click-click-click! :P
You start off without a class, just deciding your name and gender. In the second, however, you get to choose a skill to master. There are eight masteries: Defense, Warfare, Rogue, Hunting, Nature, Spirit, Earth, and Storm. The first four mentioned focus on physical combat. By focusing on hunting you get a bow. The other three physical attacks focus on hand-to-hand combat. The last four are magical masteries. Nature focuses on healing and support, Spirit focuses on necro powers, and Earth and Storm focus on direct damage using spells. You can blend any two of these to create one of 28 combination-class possibilities. Each mastery contains 20 skills (which means that you potentially have 40 skills for your character), and follows a theme that focuses on a certain type of gameplay. Not only does each mastery provide a different gameplay experience, but within each mastery, different skill selections will result in very different character builds. At each character level, you earn three skill points, which you can either place in a mastery to advance it and unlock additional skills (in the mastery tree), or increase the power of the skills that you've already unlocked.
As far as the main quest itself goes, the plot is fairly straightforward and nothing too deep - the quest log always tells you exactly where you are in the main quest and what your next objective is; you can even re-play the dialogue associated with that part of the quest at any time you like. For the side quests, there's more that is left open for the player to explore. You may be given broad guidance to look for someone in a particular area, or have a lead on a problem, which you then have to track down in more detail to be able to complete the quest. Everything is documented for side quests in the quest log, but the details are sometimes left intentionally vague to let you discover how to proceed on your own.
The game itself is linear, but absolutely massive. The main quest alone will set you back 40 hours. Battling through the game and taking on the powerful enemies is fun in itself, but it's made all the more enjoyable if played with friends. You can play Titan Quest with up to six other players in cooperative mode, although you still need to beat the game on Normal mode to go Epic, and Epic to play Legendary. The great thing about multiplayer is that you play the single player story as a party. No unique characters to make and no limit as to what you can and can't do. So you can jump into multiplayer with two other players, finish a few quests, save, and then jump back into single player just where you left off! Unfortunately, the co-op multiplayer implementation is rather basic. Iron Lore have decided not to include closed servers and the multiplayer is met with a number of slow downs during matches (Ed.note: I recommend you to turn graphics effects off).
Overall, Titan Quest is a surprisingly good game. If you like the Diablo series or Sacred and are looking for something 2006-similar, you simply can't go wrong. Don't beat it up for being like Diablo- embrace it and lose yourself in it. Quite frankly, with 40 hours of gameplay in the single player campaign, and the amount of customization possible, this game is fantastic!
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Minimum: Windows 2000 or XP, 1.8 GHz Intel Pentium IV or equivalent or AMD Athlon XP or equivalent, 512 MB RAM, 64 MB NVIDIA GeForce 3 or equivalent or ATI Radeon 8500 series with Pixel Shader 1.1 support or equivalent, DirectX 9.0c compatible 16-bit sound card, 5 GB free hard drive space, 8x CD-ROM drive, Keyboard, Mouse
Recommended: 3.0 GHz Intel Pentium IV or equivalent, 1 GB RAM, 128 MB NVIDIA GeForce 6800 or ATI Radeon X800 series, Soundblaster XFi sound card
Required for Multiplayer: 1 set of discs per computer, Internet: Cable modem, DSL modem, or better for online multiplayer play, LAN: LAN or broadband WAN