I wrote a post for a long-abandoned blog about things I hated about RPG video games (before I ever played TQ), and I was looking over it and thought it would be a good drop here (far more appropriate than where it was first posted).
I'd like to note that I wrote this before playing Titan Quest. This is the list:
1.) It's always the same horde of evil – Don't get me wrong, I don't exactly get these games for the story, but man, do they all have to be the ******* same? It's always some crap where you're in some medieval place and there's an evil horde of evilness encroaching on the lands. It's always the same army. It's always some word salad of shadow/horde/evil/darkness. Yes, I love the skull-face adornments on the evil armor and all, but does it always have to be the same?
2.) You're always the one – Even though you're some lowly peasant orphan from nowhere, you'll soon learn that youre the child of some great mucky-muck who may or may not still be alive.
3.) You always start out slinging rocks – You go through some long intro about the encroaching horde and your role as the savior of the lands, and what do they do? Your first assignment is to take this stick, go into the forest, and kill all the frogs. When you're done you'll be given a dagger, and your next assignment will be to go into a different forest and stab all the mosquitoes to death. Yeah, you're the direct descendant of Clackarax the Mighty, with the blood of dragons or some **** coursing through your veins, and you're expected to go out and stop the hordes of vile evilness with a leather tunic and a stick. Yeah, nice planning.
4.) It's always the same plot – It's what makes those cut scenes so ******* painful. "Ah, Zirrath, I've been waiting for you."—I know he's been waiting, because I've been standing in front of him for fifteen minutes trying to figure out how to talk to him—"The grand Empress Lich'ana is in league with Xach'arax. She and Xach'arax are planning to betray King Fe'mur. They have the aid of his son, Syr'aleen, who has been corrupted by the dark magic of the dark sorcerer Zy'gote, who is leading a dark army of evil corruption toward us."
5.) You always just bash – The hideous plot wouldn't be so bad if you actually got to play in it. But after that five minute cut scene about who is betraying whom, they say, "Quick, now you must go into the forest with this bow and kill all the wolves!" And it just goes on and on. No matter how convoluted they manage to get the story, your mission is always the same: "Go here, kill everything."
6.) ******* STATIC! – The game never ******* changes from beginning to end. You can get burlier weapons, like the diamond-crusted, demon-possessed, master hatchet, but now all the enemies just take a proportionally greater amount of damage to die. And you can get your shining, dragon-tooth, plate mail of the gods armor, but all the enemies deal a proportionally greater amount of damage. You can spend thirty hours to go from swinging a stick at a frog to swinging a blue-fire enchanted war hammer at a demon lord, and they'll both just take 3 hits to die.
Titan Quest managed to avoid those 6 potholes pretty well. In Titan Quest,
1) it's not the same horde of evil.
2) you're not the chosen one (though there is some of this grand hero stuff in there).
3) you don't start out slinging rocks. While you are underequipped, you are attacking with an actual weapon and are fighting the actual monsters (though, there is a painful amount of crows and boars to be dealt with).
4) it's not the same plot. Though, because of the way the game played, the plot becomes blurry rather quickly.
5) it is largely dominated by "kill everything" quests and "kill everything, and while you're there pick up my shiz" quests. This doesn't necessarily apply, as all we really want to do in TQ is kill ****.
6) it is NOT static. Monsters don't just gain hitpoints and damage, they gain a huge number of skills that create increasingly dynamic fights. While not taken to the limit as could have been done, TQ has far more replayability than any ARPG I've ever played as a result.
So, you know, do good again and HAPPY NERDYEAR!!!