Image: Titan Quest
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In Titan Quest you play as a human who has the job of setting the world right after Titans escape the underworld.
updated 7/13/2006 7:32:22 PM ET 2006-07-13T23:32:22

Some video games challenge one’s luck, others require hand-eye coordination. “Titan Quest” takes another approach by challenging players’ endurance — and tempting their greed.

This new role-playing video game (Rated T, $49.99, for Windows PCs) will take weeks to complete, even on the initial easy setting.

There’s just so much content to explore.

Based on — and set in — a world of Greek mythology, you play as a human who somehow gets stuck with the job of setting the world right after Titans escape from their underworld confinement to take revenge on humanity.

When the game begins, you have to create a hero or heroine to lead into battle.

There are the usual character options to choose from. If you like melee combat, you can specialize in warfare to deal damage.

I opted for the ranged, high-damage output of a fire-blasting magic conjurer. Plus, I was eventually able to summon an elemental Earth guardian called a core dweller to fight alongside me.

From this point, “Titan Quest” is laughable in its addictive simplicity: you travel from one area to another, killing everything you can and gathering up all the precious items dropped by foes.

The more beasts you annihilate, the more experience you’ll gain, which in turn leads to greater powers.

This sort of treadmill is a thrill for gamers who enjoy leveling up, customizing, perfecting their statistical bonuses and collecting an assortment of rare staves, shields and armor.
And there’s the sadistic pleasure in mowing through waves of monsters, which can make you feel invincible sometimes.

“Titan Quest” is a process that will consume lots of time, though. In my case, several weeks.
At times, the repetition involved in killing enemies can get pretty boring. And considering how many swords and other items drop, there should be a better, less time-consuming way to manage all the stuff you’ll collect.

At least there’s some incentive to be social.

For the really hard areas (and there are plenty as the game progresses) you’ll need to hop online and team up with others in free multiplayer mode to defeat some of the baddest boss monsters.

It’s awfully hard to use, but the creators of “Titan Quest” wisely included special software to design your own custom game levels and quests.

Anyone who’s played the classic hack-and-slash of the role-playing game “Diablo” will feel right at home here. “Titan Quest” is strikingly similar to that 1996 game and its sequels — just with better graphics.

For a junkie on all things involving dungeons and/or dragons, “Titan Quest” for me was a polished, well-executed experience.

It doesn’t break any new ground but offers plenty of mindless entertainment. Sometimes, that’s all a good video game needs to do.

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