Titan Quest

An admirable ARPG gets lost in a less than thoughtful Switch port.

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Titan Quest review - not all Switch ports are created equal

Titan Quest is often mentioned in the same breath as Diablo, as though a long but monstrously tough rope binds them together. I'm not sure who this annoys most - Titan Quest's creators Iron Lore or even Diablo creator Blizzard itself - but suffice to say, 12 years after the isometric action role-playing game was originally released, I'm doing it, too.

Titan Quest

Developer: Iron Lore

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What, an expansion for Titan Quest a decade later?!

I loved Titan Quest, that old Diablo clone by Iron Lore and THQ, but it's all wrinkly now and Diablo 3 and Path of Exile rule the roost (and don't forget Torchlight 2!). No one cares about Titan Quest - or do they?

11 years later, Titan Quest has a second expansion, and by a miraculous coincidence it happens to have the same name as the new Thor movie - Ragnarok -

and be based around Norse Mythology!

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Titan Quest

Titan Quest "spiritual successor" Kickstarter announced

Diablo-esque Grim Dawn guided by "old school sensibilities".

Key members of the team responsible for no-nonsense 2006 RPG Titan Quest are looking for Kickstarter cash to help fund their new game, titled Grim Dawn.

Former Iron Lore Entertainment lead designer Arthur Bruno and his start-up studio Crate Entertainment want $280,000 to finish the project.

Built on the Titan Quest engine, it's a gritty fantasy action RPG with an open-world feel and a focus on player freedom.

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In the genre known colloquially as Diablo Clones, Titan Quest holds a special place for me, although oddly not so much for the game that was released, but more for what happened behind the scenes. Something that suggests we're trying to be God. So, since it's Sunday, why don't we see if we can find a berserk route to a teleological interpretation of videogames, via remembering a visit to Iron Lore during the game's development?

THQ man angry about Iron Lore closure

Blames piracy, vendors, gamers, critics.

THQ's creative director Michael Fitch has spoken out about the closure of Titan Quest developer Iron Lore Entertainment, blaming piracy, hardware vendors, gamers and reviewers.

Titan Quest

Titan Quest

Sisyphus or Dionysus?

Ah, Ancient Greek; shorthand for cleverness since 443 BC. If you want some more credibility for your discourse, whatever that may be, it's worth booting it in the direction of the Classics. Compare something profound with the Iliad, or be humorous about Hippocrates. If the click 'n' slash genre needs something to replace orcs and hobgoblins, what better option is there than a few Satyrs and the odd Cyclops?

I shouldn't really sound so cynical, because in this case the All Greek option works splendidly. The top-down, mouse button taxing RPG (a bit like the one Blizzard made in 1996) is well realised in its ancient mythological setting, and the believably craggy Hellenic backdrops are expertly furnished with swaying flora and suitably hostile fauna. It's semi-3D, isometric with a touch of camera zoom. The monsters are splendidly numerous and the embattled Greek encampments and cities are exquisitely drawn with that artful, painterly look that these games are so routinely capable of. For all the complaints that will arise about our familiarity with Titan Quest's linear RPG 'kill the wizard, bash the giant' formula, it's expertly presented and continually engaging. A Hollywood scriptwriter has apparently rubbed his golden brains all over Titan Quest's many words, which might account for the slightly-better-than average (although unremarkable) quest gibberish and resulting NPC chatter.

Anyway, presentation issues aside, the fighting is a fun time. Running into a campsite of beasts and butchering them all with an axe feels remarkably solid, even if the traditional 'right-click for health potion' remains typically unconvincing. Solo you're capable of taking on hordes of bad guys, and the valiant struggle against a dozen Ray Harryhausen skeletons or a grumpy gorgon is a stupendous time sink.

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Titan Quest demo

Hackandslash of the titans.

THQ and Iron Lore Entertainment have released a playable demo of upcoming PC hackandslash Titan Quest.

FeatureTitan Quest

Let's get mythical.

Titan Quest, the new action RPG from startup developer Iron Lore, can be described as epic in more ways than one. For starters, it's nearly six years since studio co-founder Brian Sullivan began work on the game - which is a long development process by anyone's standards (apart from the people doing Duke Nukem Forever, obviously).