PC Game -- Titan Quest

Reviving the "rapidly click on the monsters until they die" game mechanic, Titan Quest is probably the most convincing challenger to the Diablo II legacy we've seen to date, showcasing a very impressive graphics engine, thoughtful world design and an addictive looting and levelling-up system.

Starting out in ancient Greece, you choose a male or female hero and then venture forth into the wilderness. Initially you choose mastery over one particular skill set - specialise in melee weapons, ranged weapons, differing schools of elemental magic and even a rogue class that gives you skills with using poisons.

This initial choice of class opens up an ability tree that the player can pick and choose from when it comes to spending their skill points. Once you level up enough you gain a second mastery, which essentially means you'll have a dual-class character. Your beefy melee weapons man can branch off into magic, your magic specialist can pick up some roguish talents, or your wilderness-loving ranger can dabble in more gritty hand-to-hand abilities and so on. It's a great system that allows for many interesting combinations.

The weapon and attack system is fast and makes combat interesting. Unfortunately, not as much thought went into the inventory and loot system. Monsters in Titan Quest dump so much stuff when they die it's almost laughable. After a brief encounter, there can be a mountain of items scattered around the place - you sometimes barely move 20 feet before your inventory is full and you need to return to a merchant to clear it out.

Also, saving your game never actually saves your character's location in the game world. Instead, it reloads your last checkpoint, forcing you to wade back through the same areas over and over again.

The mythological setting for the game has allowed for some very attractive visuals, including an amazing variety of locations - from Greek shorelines with lapping, reflective water, to stony, statue-laden Egyptian tombs illuminated by torchlight. Numerous detailed monster creations from wild animals to hellish undead hordes get thrown at the player, along with some very large and gruesome boss monsters.

However, it's a shame that your character is ultimately just a bland nobody when it comes to the story. You're essentially just a generic hero who turns up out of nowhere. While the exploration of pretty new locations is addictive to a point, there's really no connection with the main character and you don't feel as if there's any real point to your adventure other than the rote monster whacking.

When it comes down to it, you begin to realise that Titan Quest is just a mouse-clicking exercise all over again, albeit one that looks extremely nice.

Click here to view a screenshot, and here to view another.

Verdict: A worthy role-playing game for lovers of Diablo, but its lack of a story may see you lose interest quickly.
Score: 3 out of 5
Publisher: THQ
URL: http://titanquestgame.com/
Price: $89.95

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Eliot Fish

PC World (US online)
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