TITAN QUEST / THQ / PC
 
 
Titan Quest is a linear, mindless loot grind in the vein of Diablo. Instead of descending into a dungeon in a typical Tolkeiny world, however, you run endlessly down some big road in ancient Greece. To be fair, you move on to Egypt and China eventually, but the game never really gets less linear.

Character creation is about the most uncustomizable ever - you pick gender (one model for each), and one of five tunic colors. And off you go! The pattern for pretty much the entire game is this: follow Big Road out of town, kill monsters by holding down the left mouse button over them until you can't carry any more Lewt (which doesn't take long since you have a cramped inventory), create magic portal back to town and sell off Lewt. Repeat until you work your way to a Boss of some sort, beyond which is usually the next town to start the cycle over again. I assume the Road ends with some big to-do at some point, but hell if I was going to sink that much of my life into seeing it.

You have commit to one of eight "builds" (character classes) after gaining your first level, and if you pick the more magic-oriented ones a *slight* strategic twist is added in that you control the path of your upgrade to new abilities. Still, holding down generic Attack over everything with the left mouse button is by far the most effective way to carry the day most of the time.

The generally high ratings for the game are befuddling to me; it's one of the most boring, repetitious, challenge-lacking grinds I've ever encountered. It seemingly was created just to satisfy a certain lucrative subset of OCD. If that does it for you, hey, I'm not telling you how to live your life. But I found it even more simplistic and uninteresting than even the first Diablo.
 
 
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