Titan Quest has a bit of a legacy to its name: being the Diablo III before we actually got Diablo III (and even Diablo III being considered Diablo III… this is becoming messy). The 2006 action RPG saw a lot of praise at the time and is generally considered to be an enjoyable romp through Ancient Greece, Egypt and China on a quest to defeat the Titans. A number of people will probably remember the title fondly but now, almost 12 years later, how does Titan Quest stack up when brought to modern consoles?
While there have been a number of successful action RPGs on console, it’s still quite nerve-wracking whenever one is brought over from the PC. This is often for good reasons, they can be a hit-or-miss affair and let’s face it: how the game controls will make or break it. Unfortunately for Titan Quest on PS4, the controls and user interface act against players and take far too long to get a grip. Controls are vague and somewhat poorly explained with the UI not feeling intuitive at all and the text is far too small for most things on the screen. It’s almost as if everything was ported together and then a control scheme was just arbitrarily decided on, I felt as though I had little to no control of what was going on and when I did figure out how to do more complex things, it actively limited other things I may have wanted to do. In these sort of games, I tend to enjoy going for more glass cannon builds and not being able to effectively kite made the whole overall experience not enjoyable at all.
Unfortunately, these controls put the nail in the coffin for Titan Quest as without being able to control my character and easily navigate menus, the game just feels like a chore. It might be that I’m coming from having experienced the game on PC first, but since other games have been able to achieve this I don’t think this is an unfair criticism. If you are really looking to get into the game on console, just be aware that it may take some time to get comfortable with Titan Quest.
It’s quite unfortunate that the overall handling of the game leaves such a bad impression as the game itself has been ported in a very competent manner. This port is not inherently missing anything you may remember from the game, it’s just trying to handle it on console. Perhaps if a little more time was spent on the UI design and controls I wouldn’t have to harp on about how it adversely affects the game, but it’s incredibly difficult not to. I genuinely enjoy Titan Quest and enjoy what it does, but not being able to get a grip of the game means that I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped.
I genuinely enjoy Titan Quest and enjoy what it does, but not being able to get a grip of the game means that I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped.
Once you get into the game, however, it’s a different story. There’s a lot one can do with characters in Titan Quest and it feels nice to be able to make characters that feel somewhat unique, with a number of possibilities made available through the various combinations of Masteries. That, mixed with fun loot means that it’s quite easy to have an enjoyable time with the game. The core of the game is there for you to enjoy, you just have to make yourself comfortable with it.
At the same time, it would almost all be forgivable if the game was at least presented a little better. I wouldn’t feel as hard done by if the game was at least a little bit prettier to look at as one now I must deal with clunkier overall gameplay as well as graphics that look like they were hardly touched up for the occasion. It all looks okay, don’t get me wrong, but this is just passable when considering that the game could have just had a little more effort put into the visual and made them pop for players.
Along with these presentation issues, the text in the game is far too small to make the game an enjoyable experience. There’s a major difference between PC and console gaming: most sit relatively far from their screens when playing on console and unfortunately the text isn’t scaled for that. In a game where you’re constantly looking at stats, you probably don’t want to have to struggle to read the most vital numbers and descriptions. It just doesn’t feel like enough testing went into the game before shipping and this, unfortunately, takes an enjoyable title and turns it into something that is just a frustration to deal with.
This is essentially the crux of the matter: Titan Quest on consoles is the Titan Quest experience we got to enjoy a number of years ago but without the enjoyment. The mechanics and scenarios are all there, and they’re all still decent, but the console experience is vastly different from PC and I don’t think that was thoroughly considered. Simply remapping the controls and making the bare minimum of UI changes doesn’t make the game suddenly playable in a different environment. If you’re looking for a console action RPG, there are probably far better options that have been finely tuned for consoles. It’s just a shame, Titan Quest at its core is great but this port feels like it’s a simple cash grab, taking the beloved title and forcing it onto other platforms in such a way that it’s difficult to appreciate.