Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Remember the Titans? Psh, I'd rather slay them.

Blizzard announced Diablo 3 at their latest convention. Most of the Blizzard-attuned world knows this by now. I'm psyched - I played Diablo 2 and its expansion into the ground. What did I play in Diablo 2? I'll give you two hints and three guesses: my character wore plate armor, and he had auras.

All right, guess away.

... get it yet?

... okay, you caught me, I'm a Pally4Life. I had four high-level Diablo 2 characters, and two of them were Paladins - a Hammerdin and a Zealot.

However, as you might have guessed from the picture above, I'm not talking about Diablo 2 or Diablo 3 today. I'm talking about THQ's take on top-down click-fests: Titan Quest, and its expansion, Titan Quest: Immortal Throne.

For veterans of Blizzard's Diablo franchise, Titan Quest feels very familiar. You pick an initial class and allocate attribute and skill points, take care of yourself with lots of potion chugging, and click furiously with both left and right mouse buttons to trigger skills and attacks, wading through hordes of monsters. There are quests littered throughout the game, but none of them are very intricate - it's mostly "go here and kill that thing" or "go speak to this guy in some town, and oh by the way you're going there anyway." It's a very linear progression, the game leads you through the plot as long as you keep forging forward across the map.

I picked this game up last week to play with a few college friends and thus far have not been disappointed. The game is a bit more intricate than Diablo 2, having a lot more class options than its Blizzard counterpart. There are eight or so "masteries" to choose from, and you can choose two and combine them to create your own flavor of class. For example, hunting mastery plus nature mastery creates a ranger, but hunting mastery plus rogue mastery creates a brigand. Both operate similarly as they share hunting mastery, but they have defining capabilities that separate them. The class combo I chose was hunting plus nature to create a ranger - ranged attacks with limited healing capability and the ability to summon pets to aid in combat. I have wolves that keep the enemies at bay while I rain death from a distance. My friends are a spellcaster and a melee attacker, respectively, so I figured this would fit well, and I do like the archer-archetype.

The game's plot is based in mythology, taking place during the time of ancient Greece. It centers around the Greek gods' war with the Titans - the hero (player) is tasked with stopping the Titans from obtaining certain artifacts that would allow them to return to Olympus and kill the gods. The plot is not anything to rave about, and the voice acting for some of the characters is god-awful (half the Greeks sound Russian - it was kind of distracting). But, it's still a romping good time and a change of pace from slogging through dailies, PvP'ing and raiding in WoW. Plus, it'll get me in the mood for Diablo 3! ... or get me sick of top-down action games way before D3 hits shelves. I'm just about done with the normal difficulty at this point. Either way, if you're itching for some clicking, Titan Quest is worth the price. I think I got the game plus the expansion from Amazon for $20 plus shipping. Not bad at all!

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