The Lost Titans Press Preview
By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-in-Chief
Every once in a while a game with great potential sneaks under the radar until its surprisingly successful launch starts to turn heads. I myself can admit that before yesterday’s invitation to ZQGame’s US office, all I knew about The Lost Titans was its graphical style reminded me of Torchlight. As I sat down for the presentation the word browser was casually dropped and I had to pause the demo to make sure I had heard right. Well it’s not the first time I had seen browsers looking this complete at a demo so at first I figured it was another member of the Unity engine revolution coming to the browser genre of MMOs. Wrong again! This fantastic looking browser game is built entirely on a proprietary engine developed by ZQGames specifically to make The Lost Titans a reality. It was time to bust the pen out as this press preview had suddenly become interesting.
Along the same vein as new browser titles Dark Blood and iOS title Dark Legends, The Lost Titans takes a heavily story driven approach to MMORPG gaming. However they follow a path less commonly followed in client-based titles and actually base their tale in Western Mythology, the tale of the Titans trapped by Zeus to be exact. Though I won’t get into the details, the long story short is that two titans formed their own version of Earth in which the game currently takes place. Yet after many millennia they realized they didn’t quite see eye to eye in what the perfect world would be, resulting in one titan exiling himself to recreate his version of perfection. Well now like an annoying little brother he’s brought his toys back to challenge his vision against the current existence for control of the world. Unfortunately light side gets stomped out and now it’s up to the mortals to pull the pieces together for a second shot at control for their world.
So you ask where do you go from there? On an epic journey to the various kingdoms of the world to unite the once divided armies together once again to overthrow Ophion. See each kingdom has issues with portals slowly drawing Ophion’s world into unison with yours, unleashing monsters everywhere and causing locale exclusive problems as you travel from underwater locations to deserts to jungles to lava filled volcanos. The issue is there are three factions looking for the glory of returning the fallen titan Hyperion to his glory. This war will draw you into it as you progress down the story tree and by end-game your fellow players in rival factions will be just as much of a hindrance to your progress as the monsters themselves. But let’s break down the features a bit to explain how this fits in.
Yes my scorpion has a flower for a tail. Why do you think it's a mount and not a fighting pet?
The game controls just like any fully 3D Fantasy MMORPG you’ve played before. Players can acquire and level pets (teaching them skills along the way), collect sweet mounts with various passive effects and movement speeds, and find and refine gear to create sick looking glow armor that would make Twilight vamps jealous. This is key as the game only has the 3 classes of warrior, mage, and archer (none are gender locked – huzzah!) and with the restrictions of a browser you shouldn’t expect massive alterations in facial detail to set you apart. As such your hair color, style, and unique armor fashion sense will be the defining factors that set you apart from your fellow players.
As this was originally developed as Zeus Online for a Chinese market, players who have experienced titles like Perfect World and Jade Dynasty will feel right at home with the UI. In my personal experience this has some benefits, such as a well-organized chatbox broken up by various preset tabs and the benefit of open world PvP. On the down side this usually is tied uniformly with cash shopping to win. But ZQGame hasn’t been sitting around blind to the market around them, and based on the League of Legends logo on the demo PC’s shortcut bar, it’s safe to say they understand the importance of balancing the cash shop with average player experience to not turn off the more veteran gamers in the industry. As such the in-game currency Silver can be accumulated to become the cash shop currency Gold, allowing any cash shop item to be purchasable directly through hard-earned in-game currency.
Massive hubtown complete with all major NPCs that players can tele back to at any time? Check.
It can’t be emphasized enough that most features you imagine in a client-based MMORPG are present here. NPCs have basic voice acting while themed music fills each section of the world. Parties of 6 players can delve into challenging dungeons with over forty to delve into at launch. A nightmare mode exists for harder dungeons, opening up new maps and monsters in existing dungeons to test your metal. Guilds of 200 a piece can clash against each other to prove their might and control territories to receive taxes. Massive battlegrounds housing thousands of players at once and encompassing members of all 3 factions can clash together for resources. Achievements and titles are up for the taking by those willing to seek them out. An auction house and player shops are both in the works and should arrive sometime after launch. Really professions and crafting is the only major component of a modern MMO that doesn’t seem to be present right now.
Random Fact: ZQGames is stationed in an office with a 13th floor, proving no superstition holds them back. They also shop at IKEA, proving that all programmers and game testers should have leaf shaped light deflectors over their cubicle.
The era of full-screen (or fancy dual monitor resolutions) browser titles is at hand and ZQGame is breaking this can of worms wide open prior to even the Unity engine crowd. Unlike most amazing looking browser games I’ve written about before, you need only wait until tomorrow to get your hands on The Lost Titans! Keep an eye out on MMOHuts and OnRPG as Ange Perdu and Proxzor will bring their impressions of this game’s open beta in the near future. And at that I leave you with their open beta launch trailer: