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thqnordic.com (accessed: November 5, 2018)
youtube.com (accessed: November 5, 2018)
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Naomi Rebis, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, email@example.com
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
THQ Nordic (Company, Production Company)
THQ Nordic is a global video game publisher and developer which was founded in 2011. Based in Austria and Sweden, it has multiple development studios across Germany, Sweden and the USA. One of these, Pieces Interactive, helped to develop Titan Quest: Ragnarok. THQ Nordic acquired the rights to Titan Quest in 2013, and their website names it as one of their most prominent titles, alongside others such as Darksiders.
Bio prepared by Naomi Rebis, email@example.com
Sequels, Prequels and Spin-offs
Titan Quest: Ragnarok is itself a sequel, to the game Titan Quest, and its expansion Titan Quest: The Immortal Throne.
Ragnarok was released 10 years after its predecessor Immortal Throne (2007), and added an entirely new Act to the base game. This included the largest map to date, dozens of new quests, and a new character Mastery, as well as new weapons and armour inspired by Norse mythology.
Like its predecessors, Titan Quest: Ragnarok follows a legendary warrior on their travels through the ancient world, fighting monsters and vengeful gods to protect humanity.
Fresh from defeating Hades’s rebellion in the Underworld, the player is approached by Ylva, princess of Skandia. The Aesir are attacking her homeland, and she is sure only the Titansbane can stop them. Thus, a journey begins that takes its hero from Corinth to the Northlands, battling trolls, druids and axe-men to reach Skandia. No sooner does the player arrive in the city than King Gylfi begs them to rescue Ylva, who has been stolen away to Asgard, realm of the gods.
Having followed the kidnappers by means of an ancient mountain pass, the player crosses blades with gods Freya, Odin and Baldr, in a fight which ends fatally for the latter. A triumphant Loki, God of Tricks, appears, crowing that this was his plan from the start: to lure the Titansbane north to kill Baldr, and precipitate Ragnarok, the fall of the gods. He has opened the bridge connecting Asgard to other realms, and soon the gods will be overrun by Giants. For their part, however unintentional, in this plot, the player is charged with travelling to Jotunheim and helping stop the Giants’ attack. Only after defeating Loki and the Giant King Surtr, is Asgard finally pronounced safe, and Ragnarok averted.
Titan Quest: Ragnarok adds a mixture of Celtic, Germanic and Norse mythology to the Greek, Egyptian and Chinese maps in its previous Acts. Consequently, even though the game is identical in principle to its prequels – the player travels around a map battling monsters and completing quests – the action has a distinctly Nordic feel. Rather than fighting crocodile-men in Egypt, or Chinese djinni, the player must now make their way past troll caves, and kelpie-infested rivers. Characters also go by their Old English, or Old German, names, rather than those in common use today: thus Odin becomes Wodan, and Thor is called Donar. The Giants are called Jotun, and the dwarves Dvergr, to name but a few.
Appropriately, the gear and weaponry available to players also changes when they reach this new map. As one reviewer notes, this is the first point in Titan Quest where trousers make an appearance*, but there is also a completely new weapon-class: thrown blades, which include axes similar to those used by Germanic warriors like the Anglo-Saxons. A new Mastery enables players to harness the power of runes, which can strengthen their character’s attack, or siphon magical power from enemies. The Ragnarok expansion also offers distinct clothing for each civilization, so rather than just being able to change the colour of their avatar’s outfits, players can now decide whether they want to dress their character in ancient Greek, Egyptian, Chinese or Norse clothes.
The game’s plot also plays homage to the mix of Celtic and Germanic folklore that inspired it, covering both the mortal and divine spheres. While many of Ragnarok’s main battles are against mythic foes, such as Nidhoggr, the dragon that gnaws at the World Tree, there are also points where different myths are woven into the same storyline. For example, one of the quests the player has to complete is retrieving mistletoe from the cult of Nerthus. This is then used to enchant the player’s weapon so that it can wound the Aesir. In the Prose Edda (a work of Norse literature written in Iceland in 13th century CE) mistletoe is indeed responsible for Baldr’s death, because when every other plant swore never to harm him, mistletoe was overlooked. However, Nerthus plays no part in that story. In fact, she is a Germanic goddess, referred to as Mother Earth in chapter 40 of Tacitus’s Germania. Thus, two differing mythologies are layered together, to further the plot and draw the player deeper into this mythical world.
* Cloete, Kervyn. Titan Quest: Ragnarok review – a slightly (ragna)rocky trip down memory lane. Critical Hit Reviews, criticalhit.net, January 23, 2018 (accessed: November 5, 2018).
Titan Quest: Ragnarok currently has a score of 71/100 on review aggregator Metacritic*.
At the time of writing, the game had a "Very Positive" rating from players on Steam, across a total of 734 reviews.
Genre: Computer game, Action RPG
* Metacritic. Titan Quest: Ragnarok. metacritic.com (accessed: November 5, 2018).