Titan Quest wowed me when I met with THQ at E3 2005 or it might have been 2006 — anyway, I was blown away by the level of detail and that how the game would have over 1,000 unique items. It’s been eleven years, and a decade or so now since I have played the game. Out of nowhere — and I think everyone was surprised — THQ Nordic has revived the franchise with a massive expansion known as Ragnarok. Fans of the original game may recall the old Immortal Throne expansion from a decade or so ago. Much more recently was the Anniversary Edition release on digital download, giving players the ability to Quick Pickup Items in the area, a huge time-saver, not to mention the ability to change the game speed to Very Fast to make traversing the (beautiful) areas quicker. Ragnarok takes all these enhancements and adds several more.
Having not played Titan Quest in a very, very long time, and despite owning the Anniversary Edition but never playing it, I wasn’t sure where I was going to begin to review this expansion that includes a fifth major area in the game-world known as The North. It’s actually the biggest hub or area in the whole game, with sixty quests, a dozen more than the previous biggest area of the game which I think was Hades. Anyway, for newcomers (which I consider myself, having not played TQ in so long), one feature Ragnarok offers is the Accomplished Hero option that allows players to jump right into The North. This only works on the default difficulty (Normal), but by simply checking the “Accomplished Hero” box, your player starts at level 40, has at 2.5 million gold to spend, and around 100 attribute points — a huge boost to get your started, but, the journey is not guaranteed easy because of this. Furthermore — the max level cap is now up to 85, before Ragnarok it was level 75.
Indeed, there are a lot of items to buy and you must build out your Mastery tree, too. A whole new Mastery branch has been added to Ragnarok, called Runes, which has ten or so additional special skills for players to unlock. You can actually do this straight-away with the Accomplished Hero option. With Runes, this makes I think ten total Masteries available for players. There are also all kinds of new weapons, charms, and relics, specifically which ones I can’t say for sure, but, new auto-sorting options helps you manage the large inventory you’re bound to gather, including an option that pairs up Charms and Relics together. There are now also throwing weapons — and enemies that throw weapons at you — also make their way into TQ, an interesting change from the original adventure.
The North itself is very large, with more warp points than any previous area and, as said before, more quests to attempt. New enemies and even new audio tracks await, and I love the snowy atmosphere, perfect for this time of year actually. While large, much of it also feels barren, perhaps the atmosphere the developers were going for, but it often works against the enjoyment of the game, although your mileage may vary.
Ragnarok is a beast of an expansion pack, and it gets more right than wrong. It’s not quite as polished or as impressive as the original and its expansion from so many years ago, but it’s still a valiant effort and a solid expansion to a great game. I have yet to complete it at the time of this writing, in part because of holidays and illness, but it’s inspiring to see a classic game get a sudden, big, expansion pack. For old player and new alike, Ragnarok is worth your attention.