Action RPGs can feel like home, or maybe more like some comfort food. They are games a player can sit down and lose themselves in. They don’t need amazing stories or characters. Loot is what drives players to dig digger and lose hours upon hours into these games. But with its Olympus sized bag of loot can Titan Quest hold players in?
Titan Quest is your typical ARPG fare. The gameplay loop is the focus on hunting down tough monsters and getting better gear. It’s simple, almost elegant in its design. This is one of the main reasons action role-playing games can be so addictive. Maybe that next boss will drop a better sword, or this new shield gives players a new ability that they can build their whole setup around.
Players will create a character from boring male character or just as boring female character. You’ll have no options to change skin colors, hair, or customize your character in any meaningful way. This isn’t a deal breaker and isn’t normally an option in most ARPGs anyway.
Instead of the clicking and clacking of buttons players have the ability to just hold their favored attack mapped to a face button and your character will go to town. The player will move in close if they are wielding a melee weapon for the attack, and then move on to the next monster. If using a ranged attack the character will continue to clear enemies until there are none left on the screen. This makes combat a lot less exciting and involved than other games in this genre. This can make farming beasts for loot or experience extremely easy as you can just move into a populated area and hold down your attack. But other than that it doesn’t add much fun to the game.
Combat never felt extremely difficult or unfair. The number of enemies can get pretty high on screen but as stated earlier it isn’t hard to just spam your attack and destroy them. Aiming spells is just as easy as well. They are a myriad of classes or “Masteries” you can choose from ranging from your typical sword and shield warrior to a magical seer. And upon reaching level 8 players can choose a second mastery to cross class into.
Titan Quest feels amazing on the Switch, a console that is best played curled up in your bed on a rainy day. This is where Titan Quest shines, in the rhythm and monotony of every day, as a player is watching Netflix and just mindlessly mowing down enemies. That may be a negative for some players, but enjoyment can be had as you grow stronger and stronger without hardly a care in the world. There is a downside to this as well. Players may never feel extremely engaged in Titan Quest, or at least I never did. The game acted almost like an idle phone game during play sessions.
Titan Quest also has full co-op support. The game can be played all the way through with a buddy sitting next to you on the couch or online. I tried to find a match online but was unable to at the time of review. The local co-op plays just fine, and nothing about the multiplayer is a surprise. It’s standard ARPG gameplay, with all its frustrations and fun of local co-op. Nothing beats screaming at your friends while trying to take down a difficult boss.
Sadly your time spent in Titan Quest isn’t free from some annoying bugs. Many times my game would randomly crash. When the ground became cluttered with items I would try to teleport back to town to sell my loot. My portal would appear on the ground, but would sometimes land on top of items and send them flying. Many times these items would end up in unreachable places. After one particular long play session, my save just wouldn’t load. I’m not exactly sure what was wrong or why, but after redownloading the whole game my save worked at last. I understand that this is a port, but I didn’t seem to run into these issues years ago when I played Titan Quest on pc. Patches can always fix a game, but at the time of the review, Titan Quest was a buggy mess.
Titan Quest on the Switch is a port of a twelve-year-old PC game and it shows. In handheld mode, the game looks passable, but on the big screen, the game can’t hide its age. Most of players time will be spent with the camera zoomed as far out as possible, like with most ARPGs, so the environments look fine. Upon closer inspection, though the facade fades and you start to see the cracks in this marble statue. That is almost the best analogy for Titan Quest, the ruins of an ancient civilization. Maybe 12 years ago this game was breathtaking, and the “remaster” treatment does help the game look better, but it still gleams with that old and tired look.
The story in action role-playing games is normally superficial. Titan Quest is one in the same. The story is not bad, nor is it horribly written. It is just more a set dressing than a driving force to power the game on. Players start off on the beaches of a small coastal village under attack by beasts. Fighting your way through the countryside of ancient Greece players learn about a plot to destroy the world…or something… by the Titans. So naturally, the player must stop them. This journey takes players through the Greek countryside, Egypt, and the Silk Road in China. The conclusion is climatic and it feels earned after chasing the Titan all over the world.
The downside is no characters stuck out. Everything is just there for the purpose of pushing you onto the next set piece. It was disappointing on how little I care about anything I was actually doing in the game. The characters felt boring and stale, maybe because of the lack of voice over for the dialogue. After a few hours, I found myself skipping the quest text entirely and just going to kill what needed to be killed. Titan Quest lacks any real soul.
Titan Quest is just as replayable as any ARPG. It’s the thrill of farming for the best loot. Grinding level after level to become more powerful that will push players to come back to the game. Sadly, players may fall out of this gameplay loop rather quickly. The game is riddled with issues and just doesn’t hold up well to today’s standard of games. A big issue is the lack of enemy variety. But trying all the different class combinations is intriguing. Fun can be had in Titan Quest, especially with couch co-op or online, but players will have to go in understanding that it’s a port of a twelve-year-old game.
Titan Quest can be an enjoyable romp through ancient times. With friends in tow, players can lose a few hours to the game. Sadly, I believe players will put down their joycons and not be bothered to pick them up again after their initial stay in Titan Quest. With nothing making players want to return to their champion besides the skinner box of new loot or better abilities, Titan Quest is boring. Maybe this could be overlooked if the game wasn’t also a bug filled aging port.
Note: GameOctane editor Jason Germino received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
Check us out at Opencritic!
+ Classic ARPG gameplay
- Lacking depth
- Game becomes stale
- Lack of variety of monsters