Friday, 22 June 2012

Top 10 best areas of Titan Quest

This list I thought I’d base on one of my favourite action RPGs, Titan Quest. The game story takes place over a massive variety of locations, mostly in Ancient Greece, Egypt, Orient, and finally in the Underworld itself (if we include the expansion). Due to such big variety of different areas in the game, I thought I’d make a list of some of my favourite ones, mentioning why I picked them.

*Some mild spoilers ahead*

10) Tsakonian Ruins

This is one of the first places you encounter in the expansion Immortal Throne. The area has a theme and instantly starts to stand out from the previous 3 acts of the game. We find ourselves in a massive city-like area which had been long destroyed and taken over by vegetation, as well as various animal life forms, such as frogmen and walking trees. It is a very big and open location, requiring some time to explore.

9) The Great Wall

Although a very short part of the game, this is one of the memorable moments when you get to travel along the Great Wall, as it twists around the landscape, and destroy all the pengs which have landed on it. You even get to have a little boss battle on the Wall with the biggest of the pengs.

8) Obsidian Halls

This is one of the last areas of the original TQ, when you finally travel beneath the Wusao mountain, to where Typhon himself is being held. This last area of the Wusao caves looks very stunning as it’s entirely made of obsidian rock and features lava pools and fiery vents. The presence of big, dragon-like Sepulchral Wyrms adds to the intense atmosphere of this place.

7) War Camp in Parnassus

During fairly early parts of the game, whilst you are still in Greece, at one point you stumble upon an entire war camp of monsters. You get instantly overwhelmed by lots and lots of satyrs and then make your way to the Upper War Camp, which features semi-destroyed structures and lots of undead and ratmen. I found this location to be very atmospheric, especially when you get to the end of it and notice what appears to be a statue of a Cyclops. Just a bit further you also notice statues of people and probably start to realise that you are about to face the Gorgon sisters.

6) Chang’an city and palace

Apart from monster-infested open areas, we also come across lots of cities and villages. Perhaps my favourite one of those is city of Chang’an. Apart from being incredibly beautiful, it also has a couple of side quests. It had been taken over by the Terra Cotta soldiers, which in turn are controlled by a powerful mage, Bandari. Your job is to free the city and the palace from the threat.

5) Passage of Souls and bank of River Styx

This is simply one of those ‘Wow!’ moments. It is the part I look forward to every single time I reach it. Not because of the gameplay elements, but simply because of its moody atmosphere. Fairly early in Act 4 you locate the entrance to the Underworld. As soon as you proceed, you find yourself in a cave of sort with hundreds of souls flying about. It looks absolutely stunning. Before you know it, you are finally in Hades for the first time ever, not as a dead man, but as one of the living. Creepy music also heavily adds to the eerie ambience of this place. Right after you’ve left the Passage of Souls, you reach the bank of the River Styx and you see Charon’s boat. However, Charon himself is not there, and all the shades are waiting there anxiously and wondering if they will ever see proper afterlife. The first time I reached this part, I was really impressed, because virtually everything in it added to the creepy, melancholy atmosphere. What an awesome way to begin your journey through the Underworld!

4) Hades’ Palace

Hades’ palace is the final location you go to in the entire game (when counting expansion). This is when you’re done helping others and now going to fight the boss himself – you are about to face one of the gods! For a final area, Hades’ palace looks really cool. It has some pretty unique visual designs and looks like an enormous prison, going many levels underground. Apart from looking impressive, this place also has an intense music playing in it and contains monsters of many sorts, in particular the gigantes.

3) Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Now this is a particularly exquisite location in the game. It marks the very beginning of Act 3 and consists of a huge garden that sort of spirals upwards layer by layer. This garden is incredibly colourful, containing exotic plants, and mini-waterfalls which lead into streams with small bridges over them. The choice of enemies really fits this area and the music is great too. Overall, in my opinion, this is one of the most remarkable parts of the game.

2) Knossos Palace and Minoan Labyrinth

Towards the end of Act 1 our character travels to Crete where he/she must get to the Knossos Palace and in there to find an entrance into the Minoan labyrinth. I have to say the first time through I was really impressed with this location. It’s pretty big and looks gorgeous. It also features a new type of enemy at that stage of the game – automatons, as well as a secret boss in epic and legendary difficulties. Minoan Labyrinth I thought was done really well too and managed to keep the anticipation of facing the Minotaur really high.

1) Fields of Elysium

The top spot on this list I decided to give to the fields of Elysium in Act 4. In Greek mythology Elysium is the equivalent of Heaven, where the most heroic souls go after they die, and I think the game developers managed to successfully make this place look heavenly. Your hero gets to travel through picturesque garden-like areas, as well as tranquil fields with statues and overlooking the beautiful waterfalls, not to mention structures that look like Parthenon here and there. The music in this area is divine as well, perfectly fitting the heavenly environments. However, your hero is in Elysium not to rest and retire, but to fight an intense battle against Hades’ army of demons. This is a great part of the game not only for its stunning music and environments, but also simply because it’s epic as you get to help out well known figures such as Agamemnon, Menelaus, Ajax, Nestor, and Odysseus.

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