The once cult publishing house THQ recently broke up under the yoke of financial problems. The main titles of the company were sold to the mastodons of the market, and from the legendary studio, there was only a strange THQ Nordic desk, completely changing its attitude towards the publication of games. This small studio set about the reincarnation of the once cult series, which today were left without their creators and publishers. So, the series of Magica, Spellforce, The Guild, and Titan Quest almost for nothing came to THQ Nordic. The latter, ten years after the release of the original, unexpectedly rose from the dead in the form of the new DLC Ragnarok.
The original Titan Quest quickly became a legendary game. Coming exactly in the middle of the road from Diablo 2 to Diablo 3, this game took all the fans of isometric role-playing games. For that moment, it was a game of outstanding beauty, combining the main RPG trends of recent years and transferring all this to the original ancient Greek setting, adding here also well-known mythology. It turned out great – the role slasher was appreciated by all publishers and a lot of players, which, however, did not save the studio – developer from a sudden close. It is not clear where the source code for the game came from THQ Nordic, but the fact that Ragnarok is made in the same software as the original is a fact. However, we will consider the new game in light of current realities.
It is difficult to expect stunning graphics from a game 10 years ago, but THQ Nordic could be smart: diversify locations, add more mythology, draw interesting enemies. Alas, this did not happen. Titan Quest Ragnarok was filled with some boars, trolls, and other ghouls, associated more with fantasy-medieval than with Ancient Greece. The graphics themselves were left untouched – they simply finished the locations and “stretched” the textures to an honest Full HD. Not that Ragnarok looks awful, but even Diablo 3 it loses in all respects. It’s a shame for the frank design hack – after the announcement of the DLC, there were hopes that the sequel was created by the devoted fans of the series, but in fact, the game is crammed with the most ordinary mobs, which are not very interesting to fight with. Surprisingly, all new types of weapons and armor began to look worse – the icons in the interface next to the “old people” look simply shameful.
Only the new “abilities” pleased me. Ragnarok developers previously created Magica 2, so they know a lot about the beauty of special effects, and current computers are much more powerful than those for which the original was created. So it’s really nice to look at the flames, sparks, and other manifestations of martial magic.
It’s hard to say something. Even the original Titan Quest did not try to create a decent story, rejecting some trivial sets of text, which is to say about the hastily assembled DLC. Yes, again some kind of catastrophe, again the evil spirits and the crazy gods of Olympus. Boredom and banality are all that Ragnarok has to offer.
Even a simple remaster of the original game caused enthusiasm among fans – the classic concept still looks great. However, THQ Nordic should be thanked as well – they added a huge act to the game, which in its duration can compete with the entire original game. At the same time, he really plays not like the original.
Firstly, the game has become much more difficult. Following the latest trends, the developers were able to rework the very mechanics of the battles. If in the original the hero simply rushed forward and chopped, in fact, hundreds of enemies, then here we engage in almost tactical battles with each new opponent we meet. At first, the Titan Quest Ragnarok does look like a sort of Dark Souls with a top view: we run around the enemies, dodge their attacks, and carefully get closer for strikes. The first acts of supplementation are passed with great difficulty at all – you have to replay constantly.
However, after 3-4 hours the supplement begins to change itself. The balance heels towards the slasher, the hero continually pumps up imbal skills and finds outstanding strength weapons and armor, and the enemies begin to fly at you in packs of 20 critters. Bosses, however, bring us back to Souls mechanics: each of them requires a unique approach. In the absence of an interesting storyline and at least a few fascinating side quests, battles are the main asset of the game, so the mechanic’s variety in itself pleases.
The main advantage of Titan Quest Ragnarok is the addition of a full-fledged cooperative. The game can now be played together, which is why this DLC has at least some sense.
However, there is an opinion that in this way THQ Nordic simply “probes” the ground for creating a full-fledged continuation with a solid budget and resources. In this case, the release of this add-on can be considered justified – a certain hype Ragnarok created.