Jumping on the Bed!

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Titan Quest

Titan Quest

Do Titans always have this many problems? There are a slew of games I’ve gone through that just aren’t… polished. Perhaps I’ve just been spoiled by Blizzard and Squaresoft (FF VIII the exception), but today’s games seem to lack luster.

Titan Quest, for example, is a fun game for the most part. Take three parts Diablo II, add in every story you should have learned in Greek Mythology class, the writer of Braveheart, and Age of Empires co-creator; mix it all together in a 3D engine and you pretty much have Titan Quest.

While the game is in an isolated isometric 3D world, it is still kind of clunky, and the textures are quite bland. Even with all the graphics shaders cranked up, it’s just not that pretty. “Well, if it isn’t that pretty, they probably just spent their time optimizing the code for smoothness. Right?” No. Here is where Age of Empires rears it’s ugly head. The game isn’t smooth either. Even after removing that god-awful SecurRom copy protection, the game is still very sluggish and choppy.

The sound is enjoyable, when it plays, although there are often many times in the game when the audio simply cuts out. It is most noticeable when speaking to NPC’s. One moment their begging you to save their wayward child from the Maenads, and the next moment you’re wondering when the last time you cleaned the heat sink on your video card because that’s all you can hear… whirrrrrrrrrr… On the other hand, the NPC’s are probably the most fleshed out characters I’ve ever come across with the exception of the populace of Morrowind and Oblivion. It is a treat to listen to them… when you can actually hear them.

What really detracts from this game is the horrid multi-player implementation. To start with, when you select a secured server to join the password prompt displays. Fine. That’s expected. What isn’t expected is that you have to drag your mouse over the text box to start typing. It’s the only friggin place to start typing, why doesn’t the cursor just go there? Okay, you type your password in and hit enter. …nothing. Enter? Nothing… oh, wait. Tab then enter… nope. Once again, you have to move the mouse over the accept button and click.

Now, once you get into the game proper chatting with anyone is a pain in the arse. Seriously. T to talk, okay. you type, you hit enter. you click elsewhere and the chat menu is still up. You type a reply back. “Really?” Did your correspondent see the text? Nope. You just guzzled down your biggest Health and Energy potions and sprang a couple other character statics windows up. You have to click back into the chat window to type again. Oh, and the Esc key closes every single window that’s open. Not just the top-most. So, trading and chatting can be a very trying time.

If chatting via text in the game is such a trial, why don’t you just use Skype, TeamSpeak, etc.? That’s because the instant you get back into TitanQuest you loose your connection in Skype or whatever. I don’t know how they did it, but it just doesn’t work. Most of Ironlore’s forums are filled with players asking ‘WTF?’ And there just isn’t any support for it. It’s a “known issue” which as been around for quite a while. Here we are at version 1.3 and still no hope of having VOIP work with the game. Nothing quite like being bound and gagged to try and enjoy a game.

Other than those oversights, the game is fun and damned addictive. It is pretty much Diablo II.5 And if you are the kind of person who enjoys Loot ‘n Level games like Diablo or Champions of Norrath, etc, then you really ought to take this game out for a stroll. Just don’t expect a polished gem like Diablo II, you’re more likely to find a slab of rock. Whoops, I mean “Essence of (Name of Greek, Egyption, Asian God Here)”.

Perhaps the upcoming expansion pack will fix some of these problems. Or maybe they’ll just leave me stuck in a cave that I can’t friggin’ leave. Which is great. Because I’m the damned server, and once I close the program, every one gets booted. Like Mancer said… “It sure ain’t Battle.net” Amen, brother.

1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. Mancer March 6th, 2007 1:42 am

    Hell yeah, boyeee!

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