Thursday 18 May 2006
One of the secrets to making a great game is to keep things simple. After all, the action RPG Diablo, which arguably grandfathered the whole modern action RPG genre, was almost comically uncomplicated. The player pointed the mouse in the direction he or she wanted the in-game character to go, clicked on any creepy-crawlies that popped up and collected whatever goodies spurted from their lacerated corpses when they died. It was easy to pick up and impossible to put down.
Titan Quest may be wrapping its considerable Diablo influences in a toga and sandals, but it clearly shares the same mantra of simplicity. When you start the game, there is no overly complex tutorial or insane training mode. You just start playing, exploring beautiful countryside and chopping big holes in evil critters. After the first level, you are given a choice of skills from which to choose. It is here that the game's depth starts to become apparent.
Titan Quest looks to offer a lot of mouse-clicking, hack-and-slash fun, but it's the flexibility of the character system that pulls it to the forefront. The game has no character classes. Instead, there are just skills that you learn, and the skills you've chosen dictate what you're good at and, in turn, what role you should play if you brave the multiplayer waters, where up to six players can join in co-op.