It is apparent that the developers at Iron Lore, makers of Titan Quest, have played more than their fair share of the Diablo games. Though it trades a pure high-fantasy feel for a mythical take on the ancient worlds of Greece, Egypt, and Asia, Titan Quest is so similar to Blizzard’s seminal hack-and-slash role-playing game series that it’s essentially a warts-and-all homage. It’s certainly well-made enough to please those who prefer more action and less plot in their RPGs, and there are dozens and dozens of hours of gameplay to get lost in here, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that you’ve already seen most of what Titan Quest has to offer.
Those familiar with their Greek mythology will know that Zeus and the rest of the Olympians achieved their status within the world of gods by going to war with, defeating, and eventually imprisoning their forebears, a group of powerful elder gods known as the titans. Titan Quest opens up with these none-too-happy deities being freed from their prison, and they immediately use their great powers to wreak havoc on the mortal men that worship the Olympians. In an against-all-odds fight, you’ll take on the role of a hero determined to stop these ravenous gods.
Your options when you first create your hero are quite limited–you can name your character, choose his or her gender, as well as the default color of his or her tunic, and then you’re off to the titan-ravaged Greek countryside. It’s a little surprising how few choices you’re given when choosing your hero’s appearance, though since the game is played mostly from a faraway, angled overhead perspective, skin tone and hairstyle are barely even perceptible, especially once you start burying your hero under layers of armor and weaponry. There’s also no hand wringing to be done during the initial character-creation process over character class, since Titan Quest handles the path of your hero in a fairly dynamic fashion as you progress through the game.
The basic rhythms of the gameplay in Titan Quest should be quite familiar to anyone who has played Diablo, its sequel, or any of the dozens of knockoffs that have cropped up in the years since. Using a mouse-heavy interface, you’ll explore open countrysides, forests, farmlands, ancient ruins, catacombs, swamps, caves, and other environments that are all just rotten with unfriendly monsters. If the idea of scouring the world for treasure and clicking your way through wave after wave of enemies doesn’t appeal to you, turn back now, since that’s mostly what Titan Quest has to offer. The gameplay is very single minded in this regard, and the quests you’ll take on revolve around the mindless slaughter of monsters more often than not, to the point that you’ll likely find yourself skipping through lots of the spoken dialogue, since it’s usually just a flowery way of saying “go kill this guy.”