Titan Quest: Gold
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Titan Quest is Diablo, only more shiny and not with quite as much personality. There, you really don't need to know any more than that, do you? Really? But that sums it up perfectly, and if you don't know what Diablo is then you honestly don't deserve any more of my words. Still though, I suppose I should review it further: Titan Quest is Diablo, only more shiny, not quite as much personality and draped with mythology rather than high fantasy. Job done, I'm off home for some peanut butter. Thanks for listening.

Seriously, if you're a PC gamer and you don't know what a Diablo-style game entails then, frankly, you make me sick. I suppose you've been spending all your time playing The Sims, FIFA, or some other head-in-the-sand EA franchise? Well, I'm not going to review Diablo for you, but I am going to assume you know what I mean by it. If you don't, go educate yourself and stop wasting my time. Even a 4 year old PC gamer should at least know what Diablo is responsible for. It's like not knowing what your hands are for: pockets, that's what.
Right then, boys and girls, I present to you Titan Quest vs. Diablo. (There is NO way I can review Titan Quest without comparison to the Grand Master of loot collecting sims).

Round one: Setting & Plot.
Titan Quest is set in a world of mythology, full of Greek monsters, Egyptian Gods, legends of the Orient and Cornish Pirates. One of the aforementioned settings may not be true. I like these settings and they provide scope for interesting baddies and items. Plus, they're pretty true to the mythology - so you won't bump into a Grecian servant called Stavros the Greek, for example. Titan Quest certainly triumphs over Diablo's generic fantasy setting. Plot-wise, both are inept - monsters of purest evil threaten the world. You stop them and win adoration from the masses. Ho-fucking-hum. Round one to Titan Quest!

Round two: Cosmetics and aesthetics.
Surely Titan Quest is going to win this? It is, after all, over 9 years younger and the technology it's written for has advanced greatly. Yes, Titan Quest wins this easily - it's really quite pretty, you know? The backgrounds are suitably representative of the era and having been to Knossos in real life I have to admit that it was recognisable in the game. It also contains some nice particle effects and animation, with the ragdoll corpses being particularly satisfying.

Round three: Gameplay.
Ah, now we get to sink our teeth in the sweet, sweet flesh - the meat - and this is where Diablo fights back with vicious aplomb. As you should be aware - these games are litter-picking training utilities dressed up as RPG's. In Titan Quest you set out on your ‘quest’ and along the way you'll face groups of bad guys who you'll slaughter. In their thousands. Upon slaughter, the bad guys spew loot all over the shop and imbue you with experience. The loot is shiny and lovely and can be used to slaughter the bads quicker, and therefore causing the loot spew to happen faster. The experience is used to level yourself up, natch, and doing so will provide you with powers beyond your imagination. These powers can be used to slay the bads quicker and... you get the point. And this is the crux of these games - bling, shinies, Ridiculously Named Lewt of Short Attention Span +4, etc.

The plot is so thin that this really is all there is to gain any excitement from. That and seeing what monsters (and therefore loot) the next level brings. And it all works well, really well - things do what you'd expect them to, there's a plethora of unique items to bag, and it all zings along a cracking pace. I very much enjoy Titan Quest.
BUT
Not as much as I enjoyed Diablo. There's just something about Titan Quest - it's a cold, calculating game, that knows what you want from this genre and just does it by the book. Diablo was full of little touches, little sound effects for example, that gave it a feel of its own. It's surprising how much difference this makes. In Diablo, I cared about what my character would become - I pondered over the best combination of equipment, even taking into consideration how cool my character would look in it. The baddies in Diablo also had personality - be it the way they recognised you and started to attack, or their squeals when they die. In Titan Quest it's just a grind. A powerfully addictive grind, granted, but a grind nonetheless - I feel like a machine slaying creatures created by another machine. It's so by-numbers that it makes me feel dull and empty. Or rather, it should, but I just... can't... stop.. looting. The sugar rush of seeing those items fly into the air and crash to the ground is succulent indeed, and carries the game where the story doesn't.

So do I recommend Titan Quest? Well, I'm afraid I'm going to have to pull out a reviewer's cliché: If you like this sort of thing... but even then, if you adore these games more than life itself, you may struggle to get excited by Titan Quest. It does a job. No more, no less. It's powerfully addictive without really offering anything spectacular. So there you go: Titan Quest - the rolling tobacco of the videogame world.