Who knew that after 10 years since its release, Titan Quest would get an Anniversary Edition that would introduce many quality of life improvements, new content, bug fixes, balancing, amongst other improvements? I certainly wouldn’t, and that’s why I was even more shocked when I found out that a new expansion released on Steam out of nowhere.
This new expansion, entitled “Ragnarök”, brings forth a new act, which takes place right after the events of the fourth act, where the game would previously end. As the name might suggest, this expansion changes the focus from Greek mythology to Celtic, Norse and Asgardian mythology. In addition to the new act, the expansion also increases the maximum character level to 85, it adds new equipment, enemies and bosses, it improves character customization, and, finally, it introduces a new mastery.
In case you’re not familiar, in Titan Quest, instead of having classes like in other hack and slash ARPG’s, you have a series of masteries, each with their own unique sets of skills that you can acquire as you level up and gain skill points. Likewise, this new mastery brings a total of 21 new skills that you can amass, which combined with another of the other 9 masteries that you can choose as your secondary can really create some interesting combos and different ways to play. This new mastery, designated Runemaster, focuses on abilities that allow your character to be some sort of mage-warrior hybrid, by providing you skills such as area of effect attacks, shielding abilities, mines, passive elemental damage that applies to your basic physical attacks, amongst a few others.
Now, the truth is, most people that were once avid players of the original Titan Quest might just want to dive straight into the new content and, thankfully, the expansion allows you to do just that. There’s an option to create a new character that starts right at the beginning of the 5th act (the beginning of the expansion), which comes with the appropriate level, skill points, and gold that you need in order to get started without any proper equipment. Still, I prefer to start right from the very start of the game, and I can say that it takes roughly somewhere between 25 and 30 hours to complete the base Anniversary Edition content. As for the expansion length, you can easily complete everything in about 7 hours, but the time will vary depending on the difficulty you’re playing at, if you skip mobs, and if you do all the side-quests.
Now, despite the fact that the game still holds up to modern standards from a gameplay standpoint, from a graphical point of view the game is starting to show its age. Still, that is not to say that the game looks bad, it still looks reasonably good and, most importantly, it works, but players who tend to pay extra attention to how good the games they play look might end up go look somewhere else for their hack and slash ARPG fix. In terms of story, unless you’re interested in slaying monsters based on this newly approached mythology, there is not really anything worth looking for here. In the same way, quests are also what you would expect from a game like this, as the true focus of Titan Quest is in the gameplay, in which it performs quite admirably.
That being said, this brings up the question, “Is Ragnarök worth it for players who haven’t experienced Titan Quest?”. The answer is trickier than it might seem at first. While the expansion certainly feels fresh, at least from the perspective of someone that can compare the expansion to the original game, it feels like the fact that the expansion price is the same as the Anniversary Edition (which includes the original base game and the Immortal Throne expansion) might discourage newcomers to the franchise. I’m not saying it’s not worth it, I just think that this factor should have been taken into account when choosing the price for Ragnarök.
Nonetheless, at its very core, this is still the Titan Quest that people loved, and that is clearly visible when you look at the game and see that it not only received new content, but many of its systems were also improved. What fascinates me the most, is the fact that this was released without any kind of tease, trailer, or any other marketing move that could potentially have created some hype. I believe this shows how confident the developers are on their product, and honestly, I don’t see why they shouldn’t be.
In a year where there have been multiple controversies over big publishers and companies trying to milk their long-lasting franchises, I believe that moves such as this, the release of the Ragnarök expansion, stand as a beacon of hope in an ever-shifting industry. That is to say, if you’re a fan of Titan Quest, chances are that you’ll enjoy this just as much as you enjoyed the rest of the game originally. However, if you have never bothered playing the original game, I honestly don’t see any reason why you should pick this up now. In the end, no matter in which group you include yourself in, and even though the game might look somewhat dated and probably costs a bit more than most people are willing to pay for it, Titan Quest: Ragnarök is a nice, albeit short, addition to the franchise.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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