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In 2001, Band of Brothers was still airing on HBO and Canadian developer Relic Entertainment was finishing up development of Impossible Creatures, its freaky animal RTS. Space and sci-fi had been its muse for years, but it found, in the increased cultural interest in World War 2, another setting and the impetus for Company of Heroes.
Relic celebrated the game’s tenth anniversary this month. It remains one of the most acclaimed RTS games of all time, lavished in 2006 with glowing reviews and heaps of awards. I ll mostly remember it as the reason I got chewed out by a lecturer for dozing in class, after a long night of liberating Europe.
We ve talked four of the original developers into taking a trip down a potholed, tank-lined memory lane with us.
The recently-renamed THQ Nordic is continuing its efforts to breathe new life into old brands with the release of Titan Quest Anniversary Edition. The heavily-updated version of the sorely-underrated Iron Lore action-RPG includes both the original game and the Immoral Throne expansion, and if you happen to own one of the previous releases of the game on Steam, you get it for free.
The full anniversary edition changelog is available here, but it's stupidly huge (ten years of updates will do that), so here are the high points:
Titan Quest was a really good action-RPG that, despite largely positive reviews, suffered a rough launch and never really caught on. Iron Lore went under shortly after the release of the Immortal Throne expansion, and that was the end of it although on the bright(ish) side, that failure ultimately led to the creation of Grim Dawn, another top-notch ARPG.
For those of you who don't have Titan Quest in your Steam library, the Anniversary Edition is still awfully cheap: It's on sale for 75 percent off on Steam and GOG, dropping it to $5/ 4.50, until September 7.
Today, in news I didn’t think I’d be writing: peachy-keen action-RPG Titan Quest [official site] has received a huge update, more than ten years after its release. Everyone who owned Titan Quest on Steam is now upgraded to the Anniversary Edition, where performance is improved, bugs are fixed, balance is tweaked, GameSpy guff is cut, and oh, the Immortal Throne expansion is included free too. Cripes! The game’s now sold on GOG and all. Unlike the terrible creature wearing the skin of Atari, the creature that’s trying on the skin of THQ seems quite friendly so far.
THQ is dead, long live NordicTHQ. The world’s greatest purveyor of Good 7/10 Action Games sadly succumbed to bankruptcy and closed down in 2013, but most of its assets, studios and franchises were bought up by various other firms. Gearbox got Homeworld, Sega got Relic, Deep Silver got Saints Row and young Swedish publisher Nordic Games got Darksiders, Red Faction, Supreme Commander and a bunch of other stuff left among the ashes. As well as, it transpires, the THQ name. Nordic is now to be known as ‘THQNordic‘. … [visit site to read more]
We don t do scores on RPS, but sometimes we mourn for the inability to deploy a 7/10. The ur-score, the most double-edged of critical swords, the good but not great, the better than it deserves to be, the guilty pleasure, the bungled aspiration, the knows exactly what it is, the straight down the line. One score that can mean so much.
There is one particular type of 7/10 game that heralds joy, not disappointment: the solid, maybe ever so slightly wonky action game with no interest in being anything more than a solid action game.