The Essential Games: Titan Quest (2006)

Titan Quest should have been the start of an epic, ongoing franchise.

Instead, it struggles to be remembered.

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Released in 2006 for PC by Iron Lore and THQ, Titan Quest is an action RPG in the vein of Diablo, but set around Greek mythology. You create your own character, and romp across a vast, seamlessly-interconnected land fighting monsters and collecting loot.

The story has a little more weight to it than the average loot fest, thanks to writing by Braveheart screenwriter Randall Wallace. Side characters are fleshed out and fully voiced. If you hang out and let them talk, you might be surprised how much they have to say. I’d wager that most players will probably just run off to continue the combat, though.

Titan Quest has all the ingredients of a massive hit. It has beautiful graphics that, miraculously, still look really good in 2017. It has satisfying combat with an incredibly complex and varied skill tree progression system. It has a sprawling seamless world with dungeons you can enter without a load screen. It has an endless supply of random loot, trickling out just enough goodies to keep you clicking and clicking.

It did get an expansion pack called Immortal Throne the year after it released…but then the development studio folded because no one would fund their next game.

All hope is not lost however.

Last year, Titan Quest released on Android and iOS platforms in a surprisingly-good port. It also got an Anniversary re-release on PC, which integrated all the base and expansion content into one massive game with full support for modern systems and graphics hardware, along with some other new tweaks.

It’s still just as fun to play as it was 11 years ago, and it looks more or less like a modern game, thanks to its colorful artwork.

The founders of Iron Lore formed a new studio called Crate Entertainment. They were able to release a spiritual followup to Titan Quest on the same engine…10 years later. That game is called Grim Dawn, and it’s also quite good. It keeps a lot of the core design decisions that made Titan Quest such a fun romp, and adds in a sort of gothic horror setting. I’ll say more on that game another time!

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I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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