|Combat type||Real time|
|Character Summary||No standard classes. Flexible development based on attribute points and skill mastery|
|Play mode||Single player or multiplayer|
|Game Controls||Point and click with some keyboard shortcuts|
|Revitalise character||Potions (fast) or staying out of combat (slower).|
|Quests||There is one major quest for the game, and each location has side quests which have useful bonuses for completion.|
Titan quest is a very solid RPG based on mythology of the ancient world and has appropriate weapons, armor and enemies. It's a direct descendent of the Diablo games, and if you love Diablo, you should love this. If you haven't tried Diablo, this would be an excellent introduction.
Character development starts simply. You select male or female, base tunic colour and give your character a name. All characters start with the same basic statistics, it isn't until you start leveling the character that you get choice. When you gain enough experience to go from level one to two, you will get to choose a Mastery. There are 8 Masteries to choose from each of which has a number of skills available.
Each time you level, you will gain 3 skill points to use in your mastery and 2 attribute points. Spend the skill points first, some of those points may effect your attributes as well. At level 8 you may add a second Mastery. This gives Titan Quest 36 different character types (each single mastery then the various combinations of two) which is one of the highest number of character types around. Also, unlike some games, you can put a point in the upper level of a skill set without investing points in the middle levels. You do need to invest one point in the lowest level of the skill though.
As is typical in an RPG, your equipment is vital for success. Much of the equipment you'll find after combat has enchantments, and you'll be able to further enhance some of it. You don't have much inventory space, so try to sell anything that isn't better than your current equipment. I did keep a number of rings, necklaces and beads in my inventory because they are small and have add much protection from specific things; such as making you more resistant to fire attacks. As such, you also should swap when you notice a monster using a particular kind of attack.
Most towns and some wilderness areas have merchants. This is where you sell stuff you don't need, and buy things you do. If you change your mind when at the merchant, you can buy back at no penalty any equipment you sold or re-sell something that you don't want. But only if you do so before you leave the merchant. Merchant markup seems to be about 10 times the selling price. So to buy an equal sword to your 1000 gold one, you should be looking for a 10,000 gold one.
One of the unique features of this game are the charms that you will find. Charms drop after some combats and they are meant to enchant weapons, armor, rings. Charms are sets though, you'll have to find 3 to 5 of the same type to have a full set. The full set of one charm offers an additional bonus. You can only enhance one piece of equipment with one charm, and once applied, the charm may never be removed. If you don't have a full set, you can apply as many pieces of the same charm to one piece of equipment as you do have.
Like most of these games, find the side quests and do them. They offer bonus experience or things like resistance to poison or new equipment.
Titan Quest does allow you to zoom the camera in and out so you can be closer to the battle or see more of the world as you explore. I usually leave the camera as far up as I can so I can see more of the surrounding area at once.
Two of the most important things to watch for as you explore are shrines and rebirth fountains. Shrines offer temporary benefits for your character. There are a number of different types of shrines and each can only be activated once per game session. They can be used again if you have been to the main menu of the game. Rebirth fountains are activated on your first approach. These fountains are where your character will be regenerated if you die or when you start the game again. Unlock fountains whenever you can so you will be reborn past the last set of annoying monsters.
Small inventory and no stash. It's hard if you want to hold on to something to make a set or until you are able to use it. You have to be brutal about selling almost everything you find.
Titan Quest gave me a few 'Blue Screen of Death' crashes. Not enough to put me off playing but a bit of a worry none the less. Most of the crashes were probably because I hadn't shut down background programs such as Instant Messenger. If they try to give you an alert box, the game is quite likely to crash.
There is one and only one save for your character. This means you can't try something and change your mind later.
The basic game play for Titan Quest is standard for a real time RPG. What makes it unique is that you are playing in ancient world with appropriate armor, weapons, enemies and graphics. There are a reasonable number of side quests that you can unlock during the game.
Overall rating 4 of 5 stars. It's a good solid title, but not really innovative. Very much in the Diablo style with an overall similar feel.
Checking a review of the game, I noticed someone saying that they didn't like that Titan Quest always used the same map, unlike Diablo. I thought that having a stable world with locations in predictable places is a better and more realistic thing.
By the time I wrote this review, the first expansion pack has been announced. Titan Quest: Immortal Throne. Due out in early 2007.