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Chris Kavan's Video Game Reviews (495)

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Persona 5 Royal 4.5/5
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Titan Quest   PC (Steam) 

It's All Greek to Me    3/5 stars

I don't hide the fact I'm a fan of Diablo-esque games. Hack n Slash can be a very effective game - solo or multiplayer - providing the developer can get things right. However, it's also very hard to get right and, while Titan Quest strives for that goal, it more often falls short than not. It wasn't a terrible experience in my opinion, but it's also not something I'm looking to rush back in and play ever again. In short, if you like the genre, it's worth a look, but don't expect to be blown away.

Presentation: The game looks fine. It has enough variations in armor, enemies and environments to set itself apart from more bland offerings. Still, it was also hard to zoom in far enough to get a really good look at things and the rest of the game, such as music, story and characters, came up woefully short. There's not a lot of characters customization (you can be random Greek dude or random Greek gal), and the NPCs rarely make an impact. Some of the boss enemies looks rather good, and some of the settings are also inspired, but nothing that really makes a huge impact. In short, the game is adequate and that's about it.

Story: This Greek setting that is supposed to follow this grand mythological journey will probably make every classics fan throw up in their mouths. Sure, it has plenty of inspiration from mythology, but the story (which, by the way, also somehow goes from Greece to Egypt to frickin' China) has pretty much nothing to do with actual Greek mythology. Sure, they can throw in mythological creatures (some of which bear on a glancing relation to their true counterparts), classic heroes and villains - but that doesn't make it in any way, shape or form a true take on Greek mythology. It's even worse than Cliff Notes - this is like someone took Cliff Notes, skimmed it, and decided to watch 300, Troy and any other Hollywood dreck and decided that was a better way to go. Those looking for any kind of history lesson best look elsewhere.

In any case, in this game the gods have seemingly abandoned the people, and, to fill the void, some evil magic creatures called Telchine (apparently about as strong as Titans), have let loose - riling up monsters and clans that normally wouldn't be so violent, and set them to conquer mankind. Of course our heroes are the only ones strong enough to stop them, and they (slowly) traverse Greece (including locations like Sparta), then quickly traverse Egypt and China (including a surprisingly short trip over The Great Wall and across the Himalayas) in order to track down the big bads and put an end to their plan. The DLC takes you to Elysium and Hades, where the one god who still cares has gone quite mad and plans to unleash an army of demons and the dead to take down humanity. So there's that. The story is ludicrous and strange. The sidequests marginally less so, but adds little to the overall game.

Gameplay: A Diablo knockoff through and through - hordes of enemies to kill, tons of loot to pick up (or mostly ignore because it's worthless and weak compared to what you've got already, lots of abilities to unlock (based on your preferences, of course), bosses to take down, quests to complete, even basic runes to craft - it's all here and it's all so very generic. Sure, the enemies have a nice variation, but it can't sustain the grindy nature of things. Plus, unlike modern Hack n Slash games, Titan Quest features the dreaded shared loot - that means a melee tank like me, who is right in the midst of the action, often gets all the good loot, gold, potions and anything else useful while leaving the crap and scraps for the rest (Mwa ha ha!). In any case, this is a major annoyance, only made more so by the fact that most of the loot that is dropped is basically useless after the first few levels. It isn't even worth picking up to sell.

The game does try to throw in some interesting builds - you can choose between any two classes, though some are far more useful than others (especially in the DLC, where the enemy difficulty seems to spike). Still, we found a nice balance between massive attack and defence (me), ranged, magic, summoning and the like. I think we had a great mix, and there wasn't too much overlap for who could use what weapons, armor and such (despite my earlier evilness, I did share loot I couldn't personally use). Still, it just isn't enough to raise the game above boring, generic mediocrity. It's a fun way to pass the time, but I can't see it making anyone's "best of" list.

The game isn't perfect, and often people were kicked from the game for no apparent reason. This, in turn, seemed to cause a bug when they rejoined - counting an extra person (five instead of four, and so on), ramping up the difficulty. If this happened more than once, well, let's just say even the normal peons grew incredibly strong. It didn't seem to affect the loot, however, as even over-powered minions continued to drop crap. The game also suffered from bugs where if the person hosting the game was too far away, enemies could be attacked, but refused to die - simply looping through animations until the host go close enough to trigger the death animation, or, even worse, your own impending death due to the bug. Polished this game was not.

Replayability: With several builds and difficulties, those so inclined could find numerous ways to extend their stay - but I'm not sure I would want to go back over and over again.

Overall: It's a pretty basic Diablo clone set in an ancient Greek setting. If you like this type of game, it's fare enough for quick fix, but it's never going to match up to the original hack n slash godfather.

Presentation: 3/5
Story: 3/5
Gameplay: 3/5
Replayability: 4/5
Overall (not an average): 3/5

 

 


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