Titan Quest: Immortal Throne
It was a big fight high above on Olympus but in the end the hero won the fight and eradicated the evil from the earth. Or did he? Zeus knows that the hero missed something and sends him to the temple of Apollo on the island of Rhodes. There he hears of the evil that still resides in the one place that was not visited: the domain of Hades, the resting place of the dead. Hades commands his demons to kill all living creatures and the hero cannot allow that to happen, so he descends into the underworld, crosses the river Styx and even travels to the Elysian Fields in order to hunt Hades down and make himself a customer in his own realm.
To do so the add-on Immortal Throne not only expands the level cap to 75 (+10 compared to the original game) but also adds a new mastery called "Dream". This mastery uses deceptions and illusions to seduce, disorient and, of course, kill enemies.
In the item department the expansion not only adds over 500 new items but also new types of objects such as arcane formulas which, once deciphered by a Enchanter, reveal how to make powerful artifacts which can be placed in the new slot in the character screen to increase the abilities. To make these artifacts, three reagents are needed, which can be everything from relics to other artifacts and scrolls.
Scrolls are new, too. They contain powerful one-time spells such as "Raise the Dead" or "Heal me completely". The last new item is the Gravestone. A Gravestone appears on the location where the hero is killed and when it is revisited, a large part of the lost experience points is regained.
The companion system has also been reworked. The player can assign different behavior patterns like Aggressive or Defensive to anyone. It is now also easier to control them as they can be selected either directly with the function keys, or marked as a whole group with a single key. The new companions are not the only new NPCs in the new and old world. There are also the Caravans and the already mentioned Enchanters. In the wagons of the Caravan items can be stored for later use when the available space in the inventory becomes scarce, similar to the chest in Diablo II. Items can then be accessed anytime and at any Outpost. The Enchanter not only deciphers arcane formulas but can also remove Relics from weapons and armor.
A few changes were made in the multiplayer part of the game. The most obvious is the overhaul of the lobby system. Open games now have detailed information shown including a list of the characters currently playing. Completely new is the possibility to activate PvP on a server to spice the action up a bit.
Credits (Windows version)
208 People (195 developers, 13 thanks) · View all
|Creative Director, Executive Producer|
|Director of Technology|
|Lead Gameplay Designer|
|Lead Content Designer|
|Lead Engine Programmer|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 80% (based on 25 ratings)
Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 19 ratings with 1 reviews)
Game expansions are a funny thing to critique. On one hand, I could talk about graphics, gameplay, and generally how much fun I had with this product. But the perceptive among us would quickly realize that I'm merely critiquing the game this expansion is designed for -- Titan Quest -- and since I've already done that, it's clear that a different approach is required for this review. So instead, I'm going to go through each of the new features that Immortal Throne brings to the table, and talk about how they add or detract from the game itself.
A brand new chapter to add onto the existing quest
Fresh off of killing the big bad boss of Titan Quest, you're immediately thrust into a quest to restore order in the underworld. The premise of battling into (and through) Hades is admittedly cool, and it gives Iron Lore a chance to design a world that has a substantially different feel from the rest of your journey in Titan Quest. The game box boasts that you'll battle twenty brand new monsters, but I don't believe it -- I encountered at least twenty-five types of bad guys in my first run through the Underworld. If nothing else, Immortal Throne's added chapter will keep you busy -- there's a solid 10 to 15 hours of extra gameplay to be had here, including an impressive number of side quests (don't ask me to give you an exact number, I wasn't counting, and I probably didn't even find half of them. Just trust me when I say there's 'lots', ok?)
Also worth mentioning are a number of challenging boss fights that you'll encounter during your journey. Immortal Throne will pit you against Charon the Boatman, Cerberus, and a number of other imposing creatures who all manage to put up a good fight without giving you the feeling that you're in a completely unfair fight. Pattern recognition and a bit of planning ahead will be required to get past some of these guys.
A new mastery: Dreams
I kinda scratched my head when I first read about this one. Titan Quest seemed to cover pretty much all the typical RPG conventions with the original eight masteries -- things like rogue skills, nature magic, and good old-fashioned sword-swinging is already present and accounted for.
As it turns out, Dream mastery is more geared towards being a compliment to your existing set of abilities, which is a clever move by the developers. There's something in this skill tree for almost any type of character build. Mage-types can draw on some pretty cool spell effects, and warriors will still have some damage enhancing abilities to utilize. All in all, a solid and creative addition to Titan Quest.
Another creative addition to the game, enchanters can craft special items called artifacts that can give you a variety of beneficial abilities. To craft these items, you'll need formulas (scrolls that will randomly drop just like any other item) which will indicate what combination of relics and/or other items are required to create the artifact. This is a great feature, mostly because it gives you an excuse to actually collect and store relics again. Enchanters can also separate relics from the items they've been fused with, destroying either the item or the relic in the process. Very useful.
Enhanced Lobby in Multiplayer, Caravan Drivers, lock item pickup, inventory sort button
To quickly explain: a bevy of new options and displays have been added to make Multiplayer more coherent. Caravan Drivers can store your goods and even transfer items between two of your characters. Locking item pickup means you can only pick up items by holding ALT, meaning that you'll never again accidentally pick up something you don't want while in combat. Inventory sort is kind of self-explanatory.
You're probably wondering why these options are featured in the bad section of the review, as they're all really useful options and I'm actually glad they've been included in the expansion. The reason they're here is because these are the options that should have been included with the original game. That's right, the original Titan Quest featured no storage of any kind, save for what you carried with you. The multi-player lobby forced you to log into a game before you could even know what kind of players you were playing with, and the item pick-up thing was just really annoying. Asking players to shell out extra money for options that are pretty standard for most RPGs today seems a bit on the greedy side.
I also want to talk a bit more about the environments of the new chapter. Remember how I said Iron Lore had a chance to design something really unique? Well, they kinda missed the boat. The environments for the Hades part of your quest look like locales taken from Greece that have had all the color sucked out of them. There are a few really cool looking spots, like the Tower of Judgment (which seems to be a throwback to the Arcane Sanctuary in Diablo 2) and the final few areas of the game, but overall, the level design is a bit of a letdown.
Lastly, I want to comment on the set up for the Hades campaign. Whoever wrote the story for this is clearly not pulling his or her weight. It goes down something like this: a ghost appears before you and informs you that there is strife in the underworld. Strife? Of course there is! It's the Underworld, for crying out loud! Hades is supposed to be a bad place, right? But somehow, this motivates your hero to venture down there and see what all the fuss is about.
Don't get me wrong here, I'm never going to pick up a hack-and-slash game like this and expect a storyline that would bring Ernest Hemmingway to tears, but I'd like to at least get the impression that the writers actually tried. And I don't feel that that's the case with Immortal Throne -- this feels more like a team that ran with the first idea that got thrown onto the table. And that just feels lazy.
The Bottom Line
Whether or not you feel that Titan Quest's campaign could use an additional 10 or 15 hours, there's enough new content in Immortal Throne to warrant a purchase if you enjoyed the original game. There's nothing revolutionary here, just more of the hack-and-slash game play that you'd expect from Titan Quest. If that doesn't turn you off, go give it a try.
Windows · by The Cliffe (1552) · 2009
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Game added by Sicarius.
Game added March 9th, 2007. Last modified November 11th, 2023.