Path of Titans

When I first started playing the Path of Titans beta, I chose the T-Rex as my playable character, and I very quickly started to regret this decision. It’s not that the T-Rex isn’t a good dinosaur — in fact, it’s objectively one of the best — but it’s currently the most popular choice in the game. Because this is a multiplayer game (I’d call it MMO-lite), you will run into other players in the wild. So it will become clear very early on that T-Rex mains have chosen the same dinosaur as everyone else.

Some people roll with it, putting together whole T-Rex groups so they can roam the world as a pack and terrorize the game’s herbivores. But in a previous article, I compared this to showing up for the first day of class to find out that you’re wearing the same exact shirt as five other people in that class.

So I rolled a fresh character and started over. This time I went with a Struthiomimus, which doesn’t have the sort of fanfare the T-Rex gets, but it has feathers and a puffy tail, so it seems kind of cool. It’s also a lot faster than Rex, which makes traversal in this massive world feel less tedious. Plus, being an herbivore means that you’ll not have to kill things to keep your hunger meter full — something that can be a problem for the carnivorous characters.

Path of Titans

In my playtime across two characters, I discovered a lot to love about Path of Titans. The game currently allows you to choose between 26 species of dinosaur. Since the game’s microtransaction model seems to swing toward charging players for dinosaur species and skins, I imagine that they have no plans to stop releasing new dinos. And the more the better, I say. I would love to play as a velociraptor, for example, and I’d really like to see what the game could do with flying dinosaurs, like the Pteranodon.

I’ll point out here that my complimentary beta code came with absolutely every premium item unlocked from the get-go, so I’m not sure what the economy for these new dinos and skins looks like. It’s possible that these items are prohibitively overpriced, but I don’t think so. Console players can buy the Standard Founder’s Pack for about $30 U.S., which includes some premium currency so you can buy some of these items right away. Or else you can go with the Deluxe Founder’s Pack for about $60 U.S., which includes the base game, plus all the stuff that I have in one convenient package. Those prices don’t seem all that bad to me.

As for the actual playable portion of the game, the world is vast, as I mentioned earlier, and it’s pretty. There were times where I had to just stop to marvel at the god rays shining through the pines. I honestly can’t say how period-accurate the foliage is, but I can’t deny that it’s gorgeous to look at (it’s important to note that I played on PS5, as my understanding is that the PS4 version is a considerable downgrade visually).

Path of Titans

Plus, the servers are poppin’ off right now. Every time I logged in, there was a constant chat happening on the server, and while the world is big enough that you can avoid heavily populated areas if you want to, I did bump into several other players. I was even eaten by a T-Rex at one point. Path of Titans currently has a lot more life than, say, Beyond the Wire.

However, the proverbial new car smell (or new dinosaur smell, eww) fades pretty quickly. It becomes pretty clear early on that being a dinosaur isn’t really that exciting. When you compare this to something like ARK: Survival Evolved, it becomes painfully obvious that being human in a world of dinosaurs is much more interesting than being a dinosaur in a world of dinosaurs. You don’t really have crafting options, for example, and there are no cities where you can establish community hubs. You won’t be taming other dinos or cooking food or building houses — though admittedly, the game does give you a home cave that you can trick out with… like, mushrooms and stuff.

Even the general gameplay loop is kind of dull, because there aren’t a lot of options for interesting quests. Basically, you’ll do the tutorial, which walks you through the basics and gives you enough XP to unlock your first combat skill. Beyond that, you’ll really just run around from area to area, collecting pinecones and acorns and tree branches. Completing quests feeds you XP so you can level up (which “ages” your dinosaur), and an in-game currency that allows you to buy new skills, skins, and cave decorations. But that’s really it.

There is a multiplayer component, of course, where you can team up with your friends and run around killing other players. However, there’s not really a reason to do so if you play as an herbivore (I didn’t play as the T-Rex long enough to actually kill another player, but I assume you can eat other players to fill your hunger bar).

Path of Titans

So Path of Titans needs to figure out something interesting for players to actually do in this world. You can only spend so much time collecting acorns and getting chomped and stomped by T-Rexes before you feel like you’ve had your fill.

And I don’t have a solution to this problem. I can’t really think of anything interesting that a dinosaur would actually do that could become a compelling gameplay loop. But I really do hope Path of Titans can figure this out, because what they’ve put together so far does have a lot of potential. Since the game is currently in beta, there’s still plenty of time to address this complaint — I just hope developer Alderon Games can establish a compelling gameplay loop so its players have something to do within the massive and majestic world they’ve created.

Disclaimer: I was given a review code for the Path of Titans console beta on PS5, but the opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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