Back in 2006, THQ released the original Titan Quest for PC to a multitude of gamers thirsty for some action/RPG goodness. At that time, the second installment of Diablo was six years old, and Diablo 3 was still years away. For the most part, Titan Quest scratched the itch of the collective gaming world with its solid single-player campaign, robust multiplayer, and epic loot. Fortunately for us, Titan Quest survives the trip to iOS mostly intact. Mostly...
First, the good great (and there's a lot of it). Titan Quest's original single-player campaign is enormous. Weighing-in at an estimated 60-hours of gameplay (real world, more like 40-hours) and three different character classes (all with detailed skill trees) you are more likely to run out of interest before you run out of campaign; especially us mobile gamers with our hummingbird-like attention spans. If you stick with the game however, and make it through the campaign, you will likely dive right back in on a harder difficulty (the harder the difficulty, the better the drops) thanks to Titan Quest's well-implemented loot system. Ah, yes... The treasure hunting. Titan Quest succeeds quite well at driving you to play long after the campaign has become tedious by tantalizing you with the promise of the perfect weapon or piece of armor, which just might put you ahead of the difficulty curve and make you suddenly able to blast previously unbeatable monsters right out of their flip-flops. Yes it happens just often enough to keep you coming back. Unfortunately, this brings us to the biggest chink in Titan Quest's armor: No multiplayer. You see, most of the fun of gear collecting in action/RPG games is not in the acquiring, but in the flaunting. What good is a ridiculously overpowered weapon or fully bedazzled armor when you can't show your friends? OK, to be fair, it's still tons of fun, but a lot of the wind goes out of Titan Quest's sails by it being a completely solo experience. That being said, I like this game enough to argue with myself. At $7.99 a pop versus $50+ for the PC version ten years ago, do we really have the right to expect full parity? Perhaps multiplayer will be offered in a future DLC along with the expansion. If so, I'd be first in line to buy it, even at a premium price.
Titan Quest was always a beautiful game, but the iOS version looks even better thanks to its HD graphics. Unfortunately, these visuals come at a cost in the form of frame rate drops and significant battery drain. Owners of older devices should purchase with caution, as there is no option to reduce graphic quality to increase performance. Curiously, the original version of Titan Quest also shipped with performance issues. These issues were eventually addressed, and I'm hopeful that DotEMU will do the same.
Bringing an action game to the touch screen is always a bit of a nail biter. The original PC version featured a point-and-click interface similar to Diablo's, however that sort of thing just doesn't work very well for mobile. For Titan Quest, the developers have opted for a D-Pad in the lower left corner and a context-aware action button on the right (along with a few other key buttons). For the most part, it works very well, although I found myself occasionally taking more damage than expected when combat occurred too close to an interactive object or character. This was a rare occurrence, however, and it never resulted in an untimely death.
Gamers can expect a great audio experience with Titan Quest, thanks to high quality music and effects. Further, cloud saving is fully supported so your progress will sync across devices. Lastly, there are dozens of unlockable achievements to earn as you play, which add a new layer of challenges to the game. All-in-all, mobile gamers looking for the best action/RPG on the App Store look no further. Titan Quest is easily the new reigning champ thanks to its huge amount of content, high level of polish, and complete lack of free-to-play shenanigans.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Beautiful... but at a significant cost to performance and battery life. Sound: - 5 - First rate sound and music. Controls: - 4.5 - Games like this really shine with a mouse, but being able to play it literally anywhere is an acceptable tradeoff. Gameplay: - 4 - A top-tier, A-List title that really, really needs multiplayer.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Unless you're really new to action/RPGs, turn off tutorial tips. They don't pause the game, and ALWAYS pop up at the worst possible time. Be sure to activate the rebirth fountains as you progress. They will allow you to respawn there instead of the beginning of the level. Choose your weapons based on your character's proficiencies. Higher damage numbers may not always translate into a better weapon for any given character. Don't stand one place to fight groups of monsters. Keep moving and try to maneuver the mob into bottlenecks to keep them from surrounding you.