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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.
Titan Quest is my favourite clickety-clicky hack and slash game. It doesn’t have the intelligent dynamic design of Soldak’s games, the meaty character building of Path of Exile or the polish of Diablo III, but it’s mythological worlds and monsters are beautiful. It’s bright where so many are dark (including the creators’ own follow-up Grim Dawn) and now that I’ve mentioned it I want to play through the whole thing again.
At its best, Vikings: Wolves of Midgard [official site] is like Titan Quest transported from Hellenic lands to the frozen axe-grinding of Norse mythology, but the early build I played fumbles some of the ARPG fundamentals.>
Back in 2010, when it was first announced, I was as excited about Grim Dawn [official site] as I was about any other game in production. It’s the work of Crate Entertainment, a studio made up of Iron Lore Entertainment veterans, and Iron Lore were the team behind one of my favourite ARPGs, Titan Quest. When the other kids were slaying demons in Blizzaro-Land, I was carving a path through myth and legend. Despite Grim Dawn’s availability in alpha form for some time now, I still haven’t played. The latest release, which adds a deity Devotion system and the first part of the final act, is awfully tempting though.
An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC RPGs ever released. Covering the entire history of computer role-playing games is a daunting task and attempting to place the best games in such a broad genre in any kind of order is even more daunting. Thankfully, we are equal to all tasks and below, you will find the best fifty PC RPGs of all time.
Titan Quest is a game I’ve gone back to a few times over the eight or so years since it came out. A straight, classic(al) Action RPG, I find it hard to fully justify why its calm ways engross me so much. Yet every so often it calls to me, so back once again I went. And found I couldn’t start. Not because of technology issues – it holds up extremely well – but because of that opening moment: it felt too good.>
OK, Nordic Games, the jig’s up. You can go ahead and change your name to THQ II: The Rise Of Mecha-Bilson already, because seriously, you just purchased the publisher’s legacy. Sure, Gearbox snagged Homeworld, and the company’s modern heavy hitters found new, loving homes, but Nordic now (pending court approval) owns nearly everything else>. Red Faction? Yep. Darksiders? Oh, certainly. And oh man, Titan Quest? Sure, why not. Supreme Commander too. And hey, remember Full Spectrum Warrior? I must admit, I – along with my good friend, Basically The Entire World – had forgotten about it, but Nordic deemed the military tactics sorta-sim worth salvaging. Here’s the kicker, though: all those? Only the tip of the iceberg.
You waited more than a decade. Diablo III’s finally out. You can even play it> when the server gods smile upon you. And it’s fun! But it won’t last forever. Randomly generated or not, you and the big red Lord of Destruction (no, not that one) will eventually grow apart. And then> what happens? What do you hack? Whom do you slash? Where do you find undead creatures carrying cracked pants? Well, there’s Torchlight II on the horizon, but let’s say you have an irrational vendetta against colors and smiling. That’s where Grim Dawn comes in. I mean, it has “grim” right in its title, and titles never lie. Perhaps somewhat more concrete, however, is the new Soldier Demolition Melee trailer, which is about as spooky and soul-crushing as they come. It crushes other things too – mostly spines, near as I can tell. But with former Titan Quest folks at the helm, I suppose that’s to be expected – and, so far, highly anticipated. Check out the full trailer below.
Ever since I visited the ill-fated Iron Lore in 2005, I’ve wanted to find the words to talk about a peculiar response I had to their level editor. It’s taken me this long to gain the vocabulary needed to even take a stab at it, primarily gained/cribbed from the essays and thoughts of film theorist André Bazin. (Whom I confess I first discovered through Linklater’s excellent Waking Life, rather than from the half a degree of film studies I slept through in ’98.) And so, smuggled onto the internet in a large wooden retrospective article on Titan Quest, my thoughts on the teleological nature of level editors. I don’t know how successful I’ve been, since I’m massively out of my depth without a useful background in either philosophy or semiotics. The EG commenters appear to have opted for pretending the article was only one page long, which is understandable. I’m nervous of what happens if someone who knows what they’re talking about responds. There’s a quote from it below, since I’ve waffled so much up here.
The Steam summer sale thingamy is continuing to offer some ludicrously good prices, as it happens. I’ve just spotted some for which there’s only six hours left, which should fill in some vital gaps on your virtual shelf. There’s Thief: Deadly Shadows for £2.09, BioShock for £3.49, and Titan Quest Gold for £2.49. There’s also Dragon Age, about 80 hours of game, for £11.99.
I can’t get over Thief 3 for barely more than £2. This is one of those games that come 2014 we’ll be writing ten year retrospectives about. If you never did, you absolutely must right now. Just for the heck of it, I’ve pasted my review of the game from 2004 for PC Format.