I think Ragnarok actually received way too good reviews for what it actually is back when it came out. But we’ll get to that soon.
Before I get to the review part, I have to mention that I did complete the AE+Ragnarok+Atlantis entirely:
I am mentioning this because I’m sick of people “reviewing” games after 0,5h of gameplay. Unless you’re reviewing Tetris, you really shouldn’t play expert - this goes especially to “professional” reviewers that are notorious for playing a couple hours on easy mode and badmouthing/praising games which do not deserve such treatment (it can sometimes hurt the sales tremendously - all because of an unqualified opinion of a casual).
So, what are my main isses with Ragnarok+Atlantis? Well, my main gripe is that they exist. No, I’m honest here. What is the point of those games if they are literally inferior to Titan Quest+IT modded with a great, polished mod like Underlord? If all you get is more killing, you may as well re-play the brilliant act IV rather than going through laggy, poorly designed acts V+VI. And you’ll likely have more fun doing so.
My biggest problem is that the new enemies are just… not satisfying. Neither their death animations, nor sounds are particularly fun. I mean, killing satyrs, zombies or skeletons never gets old for me, but killing those wierd nymphs, poorly animated centipedes badly reskinned eagles feels just… meh.
Another big issue I have is lags/rubber banding. Now when I was playing this on Ryzen 3600, whole North lagged like crazy. IDK if it was a patch or my 10700k upgrade, but now north is almost bearable, but Atlantis still is a lagfest. And without smoothness, this game is considerably less fun.
There is also the fact that AE killed .dll modding, and this means you no longer can turn super flying bodies on (and there is nothing more satisfying for me than ragdolling enemies - something that Grim Dawn knew to put emphasis on, thanks Crate <3 ). This is yet another reason why I prefer old TQ+IT with a mod over AE+new DLCs. And I can’t lock the game timer at 19:00 to enjoy a permanent sunset. Sad.
So, we’ve established that (for me),the gameplay of new DLCs feels lacking because killing is not as fun + lagging spoils stuff. Well, storytelling doesn’t make it any better. For once - why am I killing humans? This is Titan Slayer, not mass murderer. Also, after fighting Machae (lesser gods in Greek mythology) en masse, I’m back to kiling rats and bandits? SERIOUSLY? And the voice acting, what in the hell! this has to be the worst voice acting I’ve ever heard in a videogame, well, except Resident Evil 1 maybe. So awkward and cringy. At least Atlantis doesn’t have those forced scandinavian accents, sheesh.
The new maps are sometimes pretty (Frozen River and Gadir in particular) but the FPS toll is too high…
And the balance. I mean, Anniversary Edition axing -100% recharge, 2500 DA, 100% Ctap - I agree with, those things were too gamebreaking. The massive nerf to life reduction, eh, debatable, I mean the local hammerdin (Oracle) got nerfed heavily but also Spirit now sucks, so it’s not entirely healthy. The new mastery - Runes - I’d say decent. But what is with damage progression? Why are atlantian triton archers doing 1000 damage per shot and shooting twice per second on Legendary? Why am I shoehorned into playing Nature (for +85% HP + briar ward) or Runes (for the OP Menhir wall) or at the very worst Storm (for 100% ranged miss debuff from Squall) or Conqueror (for -100% block/recharge on shield) to go through the game without pulling my hair out? And heck, I’m no noob, I beat the entire game without dying once and got the achievement for it (with a Rune+Nature build, so it wasn’t that hard). But still! A typical untwinked toon on Legendary will have like 3-4k HP at best. And two triton archers will four-shot him. And those bastards sometimes are in groups of 5-6, wit supporting mages that summon 5+ jellies. What the heck? I think I’ve been playing Hunting+Rogue poison dagger build once and after meeting with those enemies, I just quit because the game lagged for 1 second near a group of archer tritons and when it unpaused I was dead…
To think people complained about 500 damage Grandmaster Machae Archers from TQIT… heh!
And what’s with the frustrating enemies? In Ragnarok, Nymphs “dive” when moving which makes them unhittable with projectiles (nearly). Magical animals from Ygdrassil reflect damage back (automatically and it cannot be prevented). Giants kneel down and shieldblock, meaning you have to stupidly wait for them to get back up again when meleeing because they take no damage. F*kn Golems use a shield that makes them invulnerable AND reflects damage, and it’s active the very second they start the animation, so you can’t even halt your attacks with careful observation and without +43895% HP from Heart of Oak (nature) you may as well instagib yourself with a powerful attack… and many enemies actually can avoid projectiles (deflect them) entirely… I mean… all of this, this just isn’t fun. And it makes melee really, really frustrating before you get to -100% recharge on your shield. Playing warfare with two weapons? haha, have fun. I bet you won’t have much.
There was a time when people mocked Path of Exile for being notoriously bad for melee toons (even resorting to calling it “Path of Non Melee”), but I think Ragnarok takes the cake on that one lol. And I have a level 80 Conqueror, so I actually beat the game with him and trust me, it wasn’t pretty before getting twinked heavily. And this game actually doesn’t have auto targetting with melee! So many times, you just struggle to start attacking an enemy, but THEY don’t have a problem, they throw 1 million arrows and projectiles at you. Frustrating as hell.
Also, why is there a goddamn bug with dual-throwing weapons? Sometimes I press the LMB, but my character just stops attacking for no goddamn reason. If I keep the button pressed, he’ll restart after 1-2 seconds. Happens every minute or so. Introduced in Ragnarok, not fixed as far as september 2021. Most likely will never get fixed. Sigh.
And why is Menhir Wall so ridiculous? I mean, I don’t mind powerful abilities, but this thing, it just stops enemies right away. Makes them focus the wall (which takes a while to get destroyed) like a 100% effective provoke, and blocks projectiles entirely. Turns the game into EZ mode. If you want to go for the no-death challenge, don’t forget to pick rune mastery… now add nature, like I did, so the wall gets +85% HP from OP Heart of the Oak… ohhh boi. And you still have briar ward as backup, kek. Which is essentially same thing, only better but with long ass CD.
And the level 40 skills from Atlantis…well, now you have ternion-killer from Dream (triples your attack speed and reduces the charges on the psionic attack skill to 1, lol). And a wall of spartan ghosts from defense that are actually powerful enough to vanquish bosses. And a spammable -66% life reduction attack with 8 meter radius (LOL) that ALSO does 150 vitdam AND heals you AND drains energy (lol). I guess spirit needed a buff after getting hammered by nerfs in AE, but holy cow. The rest though? Boring, and a wasted opportunity to fix many underpowered masteries. Like earth for example. Some of the new skills I really can’t understand, like the Storm ones - I mean, an active skill for the storm wisp that does a bit of damage? really? And a LMB replacement that just plain does nothing? Is that what storm mastery needed?
To sum up - don’t buy the DLCs. Just install old TQIT and play Underlord, or Soulvizier. You’ll have a much better time, trust me.
Titan Quest standalone - 7/10 (super fun game, but not challenging enough).
TQ:IT - 8/10 (good challenge, fantastic music, good storytelling, amazing game).
TQ:Ragnarok - 3/10 (buggy, the new act sucks, introduces stuff that breaks the game).
TQ:Atlantis - 2/10 (feels like a cash grab. One very short, laggy act and an “arena” mode that feels like a joke compared to Crucible and is not fun to play).
TQ+IT+Underlord: 9/10 - a complete package, fun, challenging and rewarding.