Titan Quest: Immortal Throne Exclusive Hands-On - Single-Player Gameplay and Dream Mastery

This upcoming expansion adds new high-level content to last year's mythology-based hack-and-slash action role-playing game.

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Last year's Titan Quest did a solid job of combining the hack-and-slash gameplay of action role-playing games with a cutting-edge 3D graphics engine. In the game, you traveled around the ancient, sun-drenched Mediterranean world and the Far East, battling an almost endless number of monsters, demons, and spirits in the quest to defeat the bad guy and become more powerful along the way. Now developer Iron Lore is prepping Titan Quest: Immortal Throne, an expansion due out later this summer. We had a chance to take a work-in-progress version of the expansion for a test drive of sorts, and it's safe to say that Immortal Throne won't change things up too dramatically. Instead, Iron Lore has taken an "if it's not broke, don't fix it" approach to the expansion.

Immortal Throne is designed for high-level Titan Quest characters because low-level ones would get torn apart by the monsters.

Immortal Throne takes place after the events in Titan Quest, and it's being designed for high-level characters. It doesn't look like you can create a new, first-level character and jump directly into this content, not that you'd want to judging from the high-level monsters inhabiting the early parts of the expansion. Most players will most likely carry over their existing Titan Quest characters to the expansion, though hopefully Iron Lore will include some premade high-level characters so that those who haven't finished the original game yet can jump straight into the new content.

If you've read up on Immortal Throne, then you'll know that it primarily takes place in the ancient Greek idea of the underworld, the place where souls go when their bodies die. And if your knowledge of Greek mythology is a bit rusty, the conversations that you'll have with non-player characters in the game might remind you of what you learned in school. There's Charon, the boatman who ferries dead souls across the river Styx, and Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog to Hades. Another NPC retells the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus traveled to the underworld to beg for his dead wife back, and Hades was so touched that he let her go on the condition that Orpheus not look back until they reached the surface. However, Orpheus, anxious to make sure Eurydice was actually behind him, turned around and doomed his wife's soul forever. Whether you'll actually encounter these figures remains to be seen.

But before you even get to the underworld, you'll have to battle it out on the surface for a while. The expansion begins in the ruins of the city of Rhodes. The famed Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is in pieces. And before too long, your character is sent back into the wilderness to find Medea, another famous character from Greek mythology. She has set herself up as a sorceress in the Ixian Wood, so your first task is to get out there. The challenge being that the wilderness and the wood itself is infested with all sorts of creatures. There are the karkinos, or giant crabs, that inhabit the shoreline and some of the mud flats; anourans, or giant humanoid bullfrog creatures; hydradons, which look like a mix between a dragonoid and an alien; and much more.

Thankfully, given that you'll have a high-level character at this point, you should already have sets of powerful weapons and armor available to you. Of course, as you progress, you'll pick up even more high-powered loot. Each battle can easily result in thee or four pieces of loot that can be recovered, and the game helpfully color-codes things, so you can quickly identify the magical gear from the tremendous amount of regular stuff you'll uncover. And you can't help but love the random name generators in these games that come up with names for all this stuff, because the results can be creative, to say the least. For example, we encountered the "Sfyri of Carnage," the "Securis of Feasting," and the "Exalted Eraban Helm of Inertia."

The dream mastery will let you alter the fabric of reality as you tap into the power of the dreamworld.

One of the major new features of Immortal Throne is the new dream mastery. In Titan Quest, there are no distinct class types, such as warrior or thief, as there are in most role-playing games. Instead, there are nine masteries that you pick two of when creating a character. That way, by combining different masteries together, you can create all sorts of interesting character combinations. For example, you can create a magic-wielding fighter if you combine the warfare mastery with the storm, nature, or spirit masteries. The new dream mastery focuses on tapping into the power of the dream realm. For instance, the temporal flux ability lets you accelerate time around your character, letting your character attack more quickly while causing enemies to move more slowly. The trance of convalescence results in increased life recovery and damage absorption for your character and allies. And the distortion wave causes ripples in the fabric of reality, damaging enemies considerably. The new dream mastery is also available if you create a new character in the original game (assuming you have the expansion installed), so you can play with these new abilities from the very beginning if you'd like.

Visually, Immortal Throne doesn't look like it adds any drastic new graphical features, but considering that Titan Quest itself is less than a year old, the presentation still looks excellent--in particular the monster designs, which are colorful, distinct, and, most importantly, menacing. The lighting also remains strong, as you can't help but feel that you're exploring a sun-drenched land, though you'll be busy slaying monsters left and right to notice at times. Immortal Throne certainly looks like it'll serve up even more Titan Quest content for fans of the original game. It's due to ship next month.

Discussion

32 comments
Ascension101
Ascension101

id only buy it if it cheap they better be smart and release it for 30-40aus, cause if it to much no one gonna buy it not for a expansion and a game which is already in the unpopular shelves in most game stores... there to many better games like wow hellgate london and many others coming out....

Ascension101
Ascension101

still not proper multiplayer support something they said would come in expansion sigh, btw i couldnt play that game much before it got boring it doesnt change like diablo series does and is repetitive and same old same old nor any gore so it rather blantant

ANGELOFSOLLACE
ANGELOFSOLLACE

This is a definite "must buy" when it comes out. This and STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl next month have my money on them. Good times are rolling up fast! -SOLLACE

Riddick123
Riddick123

No offense intended here Mona, but if you read the article, it clearly states that there will only be 2 masteries. So if you used your 2 alloted masteries....time to start over.

GIF
GIF

This game would be awesome if you could actually tilt the camera view after zooming in. Otherwise, what is the point of zooming in if you can't see whats in front of you or what enemies are coming your way.

maiclo2k4
maiclo2k4

Looks even greater than original... tracking!

Goliathvv
Goliathvv

Mona5443: No, there will be no third slot. The new mastery is to be used by someone who has a character that only used one slot an want's to import it from the original to the expansion or by those who will do things all over again in the original, and will have the choice to pick up the dream mastery and the other masteries of course. I don't think they would pout an third slot, because it would be an extreme situation, just think: (I can't remember the masteries names, but you will understand) Warrior Mastery + Defender Mastery + Rogue Mastery... This would be the ultimate fighting character: it does good damage, has a strong defense and is fast n' tricky! The multiplayer battles would be swift: all you can see is that monster atacking you with super powerful blows, very fastly, and when you start atacking it, it loses almos no health, and, what is worse is that he is also poisoning you and so on... Well, that's what I think, maybe the will give you the chance for a third mastery in a very high level, but that wouldn't make sense, since why should you put your points in weak skills, when you can spend them in a already very strong one? Looking foward to getting this game!

Mona5443
Mona5443

I have a question, and I hope somebody will be able to answer me. If you already have a character that you import from from the original game, how do you use the new mastery when you already have two? Are they going to expand the slots to allow three masteries so you can use the dream mastery?

Mona5443
Mona5443

I have a question, and I hope somebody will be able to answer me. If you already have a character that you import from from the original game, how do you use the new mastery when you already have two? Are they going to expand the slots to allow three masteries so you can use the dream mastery?

Mona5443
Mona5443

I have a question, and I hope somebody will be able to answer me. If you already have a character that you import from from the original game, how do you use the new mastery when you already have two? Are they going to expand the slots to allow three masteries so you can use the dream mastery?

VanGriffin
VanGriffin

Woot! Can't wait for this one. My Favorite game gets better..

ForceHawk
ForceHawk

I played the original Titan Quest and will definitely pick up the expansion. They have updated the Titan Quest web site for the expansion. Check it out at www.titanquestgame.com

treytakahashi
treytakahashi

I was adicted to the first one, but now an expansion man all be on there. i do hope they fix some of the minor gliches tho in the original my gmae deleted a purple!

owman
owman

lol, Tracking: 666! I hear, It will be like Diablo

bobinho22
bobinho22

but it would be a lot easier of course, i f u already had a character that is strong enough... at least one with which you cracked normal mode... that's around lvl 30... then again, if you like challenges... go ahead:)

johan1986
johan1986

You can start as a lvl1 in this expansion and just go right in to it, Gamespot seem to have goten som info wrong.

Puddle_Jumper
Puddle_Jumper

Can't wait to see what crazy new twist they will put in the expansion.

mpython99
mpython99

Like Diablo, only different. A few noticable changes for gameplay and lighting but essentially the same game. But still might be worth a shot if the price is right.

anonimus-X
anonimus-X

It's just like diablo but it's seen closer

Fiermancer
Fiermancer

I think that the "later this summer" refers to the southern hemisphere :D

bobinho22
bobinho22

can't wait for the expansion... i have a soft spot for mythologically themed games :)

Lumenadducere
Lumenadducere

Liked the first one, so I'll be picking this up.

n8berman
n8berman

I've been thinking about my last post...maybe Jason Ocampo lives south of the equator. It is Summer down there, right?

n8berman
n8berman

So, is this game coming out later this summer (1st paragraph) or due to ship next month (last paragraph)?

Ringno5
Ringno5

Hang on a sec... "Due out later this SUMMER"?? The release date is the fifth of March!!

navbains
navbains

I liked the first one but it was missing some proper performance tweaking, so will wait and see how this expansion turns out based on reviews etc before putting my $$$ down again.

mike21187
mike21187

Looks good. Time to dust off the ol' Titan Quest disc for reinstallation