Titan Quest is Still A Stupid Mess

Titan Quest is Still A Stupid Mess

The big patch and both expansions are here on consoles, but many bugs remain

Image for postXbox One X Screenshot taken by Alex Rowe.

After an unbelievably long wait and a change of development teams, Titan Quest on consoles finally got its ?big? patch last week. It desperately needed it, as the game launched in a disastrous state on Xbox One, PS4, and Switch way back in 2018.

First, let me get the good news out of the way. A lot of work was indeed done on these versions to bring them closer to the PC?s recent Anniversary Edition. Both expansions, Ragnarok and Atlantis, are now on sale as digital downloads and seamlessly integrate into the main game. The graphical ?enhancements? on PS4 and Xbox, which mostly constituted some questionable additional bloom and weird shader changes, are now rolled back, allowing the still-impressive original graphics to shine. And the whole game feels a little less like it?s going to shake itself apart at any moment.

That?s where the good news stops. The rest of the game is still a bizarre mess, with random performance issues, obvious rendering bugs, and baffling old problems that should have been fixed if this were truly a big new refreshed update.

Standout bugs that I highlighted in my previous article still aren?t fixed. The vendors still usually play two ?goodbye? sound snippets when you exit shops. The load times are still orders of magnitude longer than on even a modest laptop or the old mobile phone port. The rendering engine often stops loading in new texture assets, leaving you to stare at blank polygons and low res models for several seconds. And once on Xbox One X, my character?s skin got stuck as a dark blue/gray color for about ten minutes.

Image for postMy skin eventually returned to the right shade for no apparent reason. Xbox One X Screenshot by Alex Rowe.

I thought that the game was supposed to be much better than this after the big update, and then reasoned that maybe I was just experiencing some sort of anomaly. But a visit to the game?s subreddit reveals countless new posts about the game still being a trash fire. Quality of life improvements that are supposed to be part of the paid expansions are missing. Random areas still slow down from 60 frames per second to slideshow levels of performance and then crash the game. And some players can?t even get the expansions to load after they?ve purchased them.

I could keep going and link you to more and more threads reporting issues with the game, but I have to stop writing this article at some point.

This monster patch (an 11 gigabyte download or so) was supposed to bring the console versions in line with the PC edition. That PC version benefits from years of development, and started from a much higher place of polish than this console version has ever aspired to. While it?s true that you can finally buy the expansions and that the graphics look more like the PC release now, the console version in no way feels like the same code base. It has bugs, issues, and performance hiccups that were either fixed on PC years and years ago or were never there in the first place.

Image for postThese fields had much more overt bloom and shading in the old release, both now dialed back to PC levels. Xbox One X Screenshot taken by Alex Rowe.

The promised controller patch also still hasn?t launched on PC, as of this writing, so you can?t even use the fun new UI and interface from the console versions to play on PC from the comfort of your couch. The control system one of the few working things in the console release, and I?m still hopeful that it?ll be grafted onto the much better PC version some day.

I know that the console versions of Titan Quest are maintained by a small studio on a small budget, but they made big promises for months and continue to promise that fixes are coming. The game should never have launched in such a broken state to begin with, considering its age, how easy it is to run on old PC?s, and how patched up its code was. Titan Quest is one of my favorite games, and the consoles continue to be the worst way to play it, especially if you want to take it seriously and see all of the high level content without threat of the game crashing.


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