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Monday, 9 February 2009

Immortal Throne – Titan Quest expansion pack

Immortal Throne – Titan Quest expansion pack

Thomas Malone once said that there are three things that motivate us to play games: curiosity, control and fantasy. A player loves the control they have in games, curiosity drives the player to find out what is going to happen and games gives players the opportunity to live their fantasies. These powerful motivation forces will cause players to play hour after hour.

How do these motivational forces come to play in games such as Titan Quest (TQ) and Diablo2? These click-and-slash games do not offer much in the way of game play and you play the same areas over and over again. It must be the fantasy of becoming the most invincibly strong hero that can kill the toughest bosses in the quickest time.

To become the strongest character you need to play the game for hours, accumulating experience points and searching for rare and valuable items that will give your character the necessary super powers to become the toughest and the strongest. Immortal Throne offers gamers plenty more opportunity to gain experience and acquire brilliant new items.

Immortal Throne (IT) starts off immediately after the end of TQ, you have defeated Bane of the Titans but the world is still covered in monsters. You set off to discover why, following a set of clues, and with following a set of clues I mean walking around killing monsters. IT just like TQ, does not offer much in the way of game play other than click and kill. The clues leads you from the land of the living across the river Styx and into Hades itself and then onwards to the Plains of Judgment. From there you trek to the mythical fields of Elysium.

Depending on how thorough you want to play the game, this extra act will take you roughly 10 hours to complete. That is a lot of extra game play but what will make this expansion pack worth it is the inclusion of the artifacts. Artifacts are powerful objects that will give the carrier awesome new powers, but to create an artifact you need certain ingredients and to obtain the ingredients will take hours! To complete a divine artifact will take a lot of searching or farming (fighting-all-enemies-in-sight) as some gamers call it. You can literally play for days on end looking for the right ingredients to complete a certain artifact.

Additional to the artifacts, the creators also added a new class to Titan Quest called the Dream Mastery. Combining Dream Mastery with the other classes means that there are 8 new different combinations to try out for the game fanatics, significantly increasing the time it will take to play the game.

The inventory system have also been upgraded a bit and it is no longer necessary for the player to stop every once in a while to rearrange his inventory so he can pick up other items. Another nice addition for pack rats is the caravan in big cities. The caravan can be used as an extra storage space for items that you don’t want to sell but don’t want to lug around.

Another new character you will find in the big cities is the enchanter. The enchanter, for a fee of course, can retrieve relics from items so the either the item or the relic can be reused.

Other nice additions include extra monsters, items, scrolls, relics and charms. The level limit has been raised to 75 so players can take on the tough new bosses in the expansion pack.

Iron Lore has also tweaked the graphics a bit although technically nothing has changed. The new areas in IT have been beautifully crafted and walking through Hades is a particularly haunting experience.

The sound effects of the game have not changed much from the previous games.

One big problem with IT is the rubber banding effect that some players experience while playing the game. The game slows down and seems to hang when suddenly the game speeds up again. This effect was not present in the original Titan Quest and players experience it for the first time after they installed IT. Some players claim the rubber banding that they experience is so bad that they can not even play the game. The creators of the game have not yet a released a patch for this problem but instead released a workaround. I tried this workaround, but you pretty much have to be Zero Cool from Hackers to get this to work.

The banding problem aside however, IT is a very enjoyable expansion pack and I would say if you enjoyed TQ you definitely have to get IT. All the extra items, the artifacts and the higher level cap will help you go a long way to fulfill your fantasy of becoming the biggest, meanest monster killing machine.

Verdict - Buy!

Find Titan Quest on Amazon

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