Titan Quest on Consoles works fairly well on a controller but this buggy port creates some weirdness that might affect some players.
Titan Quest on consoles doesn’t sound as crazy as it probably once did. Blizzard brought Diablo 3 to consoles with much success, but Titan Quest is still a different game and is more in line with Diablo 2 in design. Bringing something that was created so heavily with PC controls in mind is a daunting task, but Titan Quest on consoles is a version that is totally playable.
Titan Quest is a Diablo 2 clone but it might just be one of the best clones in the genre. Copying a winning formula isn’t always a bad thing if you make it your own, and while Titan Quest can feel like a skin in many instances, there are enough changes to keep it from getting stale.
When I say clone I’m not just talking about the isometric view. The inventory, act structure, movement, and UI are very Diablo. The goal is to kill monsters and get sweet loot along the way. This time with a Roman setting that feels very cool to explore and conquer.
The classes and skill trees in Titan Quest are very well designed, which is why it is one of the best Diablo clones on the market.
The class system will make or break any dungeon crawler. If your classes suck and the skills trees aren’t fun to progress through then you have no progression. For the most part, Titan Quest succeeds in this aspect which is why it is one of the better Diablo clones on the market.
Instead of picking a class from the get-go, the player picks a mastery after playing for a bit that functions more like a traditional class. This is where the skill tree comes into play as well, giving players a lot of skills to progress with each mastery. Later down the line, your character will pick a second mastery which allows for even more possibilities and combos. With 9 masteries total, players can experience a ton of different possibilities as they work their way through the game. The replay factor here is very high which is a must in any dungeon crawler.
But there are some drawbacks to this system as well. Titan Quest does eventually allow players to roll back skill points they have allotted to skills if maybe certain abilities fail to accommodate their style yet or just simply aren’t how they want to build their character. What players cant do is change mastery.
This means that beginners of the series could fall into a trap that gives them two masteries that either take a very long time to master and build or even make the game more difficult due to the lack of later skills. I actually ran into this issue my first time through.
I basically picked a warrior style character that could use magic. Which was a facepalm moment when I finally realized it a few hours later. I should have figured that one out sooner than I did, but it took me awhile diving into the second skill tree to realize I had picked total opposite classes. There just wasn’t enough skill or attribute points to accommodate what was needed to make the classes work together in the way that I wanted. I didn’t need to start over but I was losing my draw to play sometime during the second act because my build started to feel stale. Which lead to me basically starting over.
The thing with Titan Quest was that even though I wasn’t enjoying my build as much as I anticipated, everything is balanced in a way that every mastery combination is 100 percent doable. So while I did end up starting over, I got a good idea of how I wanted to play Titan Quest. My second character had a much better combination of masterys that fits my play style more. Which made the experience much more fun.
The loot and progression in Titan Quest is a slower pace that makes every equipment change and level up feel meaningful.
The loot in Titan Quest is the other side of the gameplay coin and if you were a fan of Diablo 2 sense of progression in loot you will like Titan Quests’ as well. I wasn’t picking up new loot every couple of minutes like in some dungeon crawlers. While there is a ton of loot in the game in terms of drops, the drops you actually want are few and far between.
This progression style vs something like Diablo 3 which is all about making the numbers go higher much faster with shiny orange items that drop several times per hour creates a different pace that is slower but more meaningful every time you get a quality drop. Anytime I made a change or found a piece of equipment that I ended up using usually made a big change all around. Contemplating if I wanted to make the change sometimes resulted in me staring at the screen contemplating every possible choice.
The gameplay loop is very good when you combine the skill progression with the equipment progression. This is the heart and soul of any Dungeon Crawler and Titan Quest succeeds in this area. The Roman theme also gives players plenty of different locations but also a lot of different enemies and bosses. The core of Titan Quest is very well designed and balanced in a way that will keep any fan of the series engaged.
The issue with Titan Quest though comes in the performance department. Flat out there are a ton of issues with this port. Even though the developers did a very good job of making Titan Quest work with a controller, which is probably the hardest feat by far, the rest of the game is very buggy and doesn’t feel finished.
There is a lot of weird bugs and glitches in Titan Quest that make the port feel sloppy.
The first thing players will notice right away is that the text, maps, and UI are just too small for modern televisions. Even if it meant showing some pixelation or blurriness, an increase in these elements would help the flow of the menus quite a bit. I found myself squinting a lot on both of my TV’s that I played on. Which is never fun in any capacity.
The controls have been overhauled completely and it works for 90 percent of the things you need to do in Titan Quest. Things like casting spells have been mapped to the dpad and face buttons. There is a clever system that basically lets your swap to the second set of spells by holding a trigger. It all “works” but when it comes to the behavior of the characters and AI things start to get annoying.
I can’t figure out quite how the targeting system works in Titan Quest. Obviously, on consoles, you can’t have a cursor to select what monster you want to attack. It seems like the system wants to target whatever enemy is closest to the player but honestly, I am not entirely sure. The system works at random so many times I am not entirely sure what it is trying to do.
I can not count how many times my character decided that attacking an enemy clear across the screen was a better idea than attacking the enemy 2 feet in front of me. By holding down the attack button a coned shaped indicator comes up that you can maneuver with the joystick to change the line of sight for your character. The idea is that you highlight the enemy you want to attack and the character will switch focus. While that seems like a viable option it too just doesn’t want to work all the time.
There were many instances when I would aim the cone towards a different enemy but my character would just continue to run in the opposite direction. This isn’t a deal breaker by any means but it can get quite annoying during the sections of the game that get combat heavy. It did cause me to die a few times when attacking bosses or elites minions were essential to defeating them. Which again was annoying, but it didn’t kill the experience.
Performance on the Xbox One X is pretty good in Titan Quest. The regular Xbox One is where things feel like they need improvement.
The other area that needs some work is the glitches. I can’t comment on the Switch or PS4 versions of the code, but the Xbox One has a lot of graphical glitches that are extremely random and weird. At any given time walls and objects in the world will just flicker and disappear. There’s no pattern or any indication to what is actually happening. There were even times enemies would just walk through walls in an attempt to attack me. To my surprise, I could also walk through the very same walls. Again nothing game breaking but makes for a very bizarre experience sometimes when everything on screen just roams around freely.
The biggest issue with this port is performance, at least on the base Xbox One. I played Titan Quest on an Xbox One X and a regular Xbox One. Titan Quest does have Xbox One X support in that it supports 4K resolution and 60 frames per second.
On the One X, the experience is mostly good. The 4K looks quite nice on a 4K set with everything in the world looking very crisp. The frame rate is by no means locked at 60 but it stays north of 30 most of the time. There is also an option to cap the game at 30 FPS if you are sensitive to fluctuating frame rates. When I capped it at 30 I didn’t notice any major slowdown at all. If it wasn’t for the world objects just randomly disappearing from time to time it would be a really good looking game. Especially when you factor in how old this game is.
The regular Xbox One is where things get a bit more annoying. The game looks good on a 1080p screen and if I had to guess its running at native 1080p. The frame rate is where there are some major issues. The frame rate is capped at 30 but it never feels like it hits that mark. I actually can’t tell if its a frame pacing issue or the frame rate is just lower but everything feels a bit sluggish at times. Button presses feel delayed and when there are a lot of enemies on screen it feels like the game is running in the low 20’s.
When you add up all of the weirdness with the engine, graphics, and controls you have a very fun and playable isometric dungeon crawler in Titian Quest. But it does end up feeling a little sloppy in many regards. The gameplay loop and flow are good enough that these issues never take you out of the experience and make it unenjoyable. But if you aren’t running on a One X you don’t have the smoothest experience.
Even though things are definitely a little sloppy in terms of the performance, I still enjoyed playing Titan Quest for many hours. If you are a fan of the dungeon crawler genre there’s a good chance you’ve already played this or at the very least heard about Titan Quest and it holds up in terms of design even after games like Diablo 3 have hit the market. If you can deal with the performance there’s no reason you shouldn’t pick up this one.
*A review code was provided by the publisher for this review.